Tax deed states rules

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Advocates are trying to change the tax sale system in MD. potentially to a tax deed system. I would like information on as many tax deed states as possible. I am looking for information I can use to keep our system as is.

  • Is a quite title action required for title insurance in all tax deed states?
  • How often are tax deed sales challenged? Are the municipalities at any risk for improper handling of tax deed sales? 
  • Can anyone give my nightmare stories of how tax deed sales have gone bad?
  • Do any tax deed sales allow for the inspection of the property inside or are they all at the courthouse steps?

Great questions....I'll be surprised if there are good answers to these questions.  

I ask a lot of the same questions of people who look like they're in the know, but rare do I hear what I think are good answers.

From my experience and the answers I've heard from others in Texas very little is I'm guessing little is challenged.  Most of the municipalties/tax authorities seem to hand over to one of several different law firms to handle the proceedings and sales, I'm guessing to minimize risk and handle the problems.

I'm really interested to hear the proceedings this month of the San Francisco case...I'm planning/thinking of attending the hearing to see how/what is discussed.

Saw this problem today, but not sure previous owner can resolve it.

I think most of the time from what I see the values are low enough and when you look at the history of the problem most people won't fight or it doesn't make sense for them to fight the sale.  I'm thinking if they didn't pay their taxes for 2-3-5-10 years...they probably don't have the wits to find a lawyer who would take the case, don't have the money for a lawyer to work the case, and the law is not in their favor.   I can see a judge asking 2-3-5 simple questions in a courtroom and the answers most people would give are not in their favor.  So probably the lawyer they seek out....tells them it's cheaper to buy it back than to fight.   I'm sure there are exceptions....or people who want to fight "on principal". 

I have been to a tax sale here in Texas where there was inspection was for the liquidation of a business.  Felt more like a regular home goods/farm equipment type auction.   Auctioned off all of a machine shop contents and the guys truck.  

But as the regular auctions go, no inside inspections that I've ever seen unless you do that on your own and at your own risk.

I've also been and bought at one auction that was held on a Saturday instead of the regular 1st Tuesday.  It was for bid-in-trust lots that had not sold at the regular Tuesday sale, the school district had held these lots for a while and wanted to try something different.  Had it on a Saturday in the school gym.  Everything sold, but not sure at the prices they wanted.

My brother went to a tax deed sale in Virginia. He said everything was selling for retail prices since people were getting a deed instead of a tax lien that might get redeemed. Not a good scenario for investors who hope to get a bargain if a tax lien is not redeemed.