Alabama Tax Sale Deed

6 Replies

I have been researching Alabama Tax Sale and have found a lot of information on this site. I have been reading about voided tax sales because an owner has deceased and the heirs never had the property put in their name. From what I have found, if the heirs leave it in the deceased owners name, the tax sale is void. My question is, will the State of Alabama issue you a tax deed on a void tax sale? An would they notify you if the sale is void? 

@Justin Mason , if the property is in Jefferson County, they have a special law passed in 1938 that says it doesn't matter if the wrong name is on the tax sale, it is still valid. Everybody else, void. Yes, they will sell you a tax deed even if it is void. That is because it's valid until somebody makes a claim it is void. Many times the heirs are in the wind, or don't care, or don't know, and the problem never arises. Plus, if you possession the property for 3 years after you obtain your tax deed, then the statute of limitations expires and nobody is allowed to sue you and claim the tax sale is void.

So if there are heirs to the property it would be best to wait until a tax deed is issued and then take possession of the property after that? Would you need to send a notice to all the heirs to demand possession of the property after the tax deed is issued to take possession of that property?

@Denise Evans when taking possession of a property after either the tax sale or after the tax deed, if the property or structure is vacant and not abandoned because abandonment is hard to prove, do you have to give written demand for possession or can you go on the property and just start using it for rental or income property? Thanks

@Justin Mason , taking DIY possession without an ejectment court order or a voluntary surrender of possession by the taxpayer is risky, but sometimes you have you choice because you can't find anybody.  You can't sue them if you can't find them. You can't give written notice (required if you have only a certificate) because the six month waiting period is from when they receive the notice, not when you mail it. If you can't find them, you can't send them anything they can receive. The determination is on a case-by-case basis about whether it is a good idea or not, and how to go about the DIY possession.

There are tactical reasons for taking possession either before or after the tax deed.  Those are situational, and depend on the property and the owners and other outside factors.  I wish I could give you a more specific answer.  It's kind of like asking which is better, long pants or shorts?  It depends on time of year, cold snaps, heat waves, is the A/C working, inside or outside, formal/informal settings, whether your calves  are covered with bruises from a fall, what's in the laundry and even available, whether you have a romantic partner who gets veto power, how short are those shorts, anyway? etc etc etc

@Denise Evans okay thank you for all of your help I am just starting out with tax sale and the property I’m interested in my family use to own as years ago but the owner has passed away so I know the sale will be void so I won’t touch it till the tax deed is issued. I also watched your video on taking possession of property it was very helpful!