Birmingham, AL (Jefferson County) Tax Sale Property

7 Replies

I am a brand new investor starting out in the wholesale business.  I ran across a vacant property that I was planning to try and contact the owner for a potential wholesale deal; however, after a little research I found that the property is headed to a tax sale.  Does anyone have any experience with tax sales in Alabama?  The property appears to need a little work, but it's in a great area and the last sale date on the property was 1983 so it seems there would definitely be some room there to make some money.  If anyone has any tips or advice on this situation, please share!

In Alabama you are purchasing  a tax lien.  You must hold the lien for three years and pay subsequent years' taxes as well.  Then you can sue for "quiet" title. 

 In my opinion, I would contact the property owner and negotiate a wholesale deal.  They may be motivated since the taxes are delinquent.

Try to contact the owner, if you can locate them, and offer to buy the house for a very small amount of money ($500).  If the property has not been sold yet, as the owner you can pay all of the delinquent taxes and bring everything current.  Then you will own the property without a cloud on the title. 

You should check to see how much total is owed to the County, and if a tax lien was sold to an investor in any prior years you will need to pay that off as well with the interest that is due the investor.

Thanks for the info!  The current owner is listed as a financial company in Michigan.  According to the tax records, this company has paid taxes on the property for the past couple of years, so I'm wondering if perhaps they purchased it at the tax sale a few years ago and are waiting to sue for "quiet" title.  I will try to contact the County to see if I can get some more information.

Look in the county records for the tax lien sale when the investor first purchased the lien.  On that document it will show the property owners name.  Then  you can look up the owner.  Many times the owner is deceased, if so you will need to find someone related. 

You can use a website like "BeenVerified.com" to try to locate people.  Send them a yellow letter stating that you are interested in purchasing the property.

Chris - If the financial company bought it at a tax sale, they would most likely know that they need to keep paying the taxes each year to go the "Quiet Title" route.  A different possibility is that the financial company foreclosed or was given the title in a Deed in Lieu, and have written the loan off their books.  Once they do that, they will stop paying the taxes, which is why you are now seeing it on the tax sale list.  I would still try to contact the owner and make an offer.

If the tax sale investor never took possession, then the prior owner still has redemption rights, even though it might be more than three years since the tax sale. Contact the prior owner or heirs, and see if you can get a quitclaim deed for very little money. This will entitle you to redeem from the investor. I have classes, books and dvds on tax sale investing in Alabama, if you want more information.

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