Tax Liens and Tax Sales

We represent financial institutions, municipal and county governments, companies and individuals in real estate litigation involving property tax liens and property tax sales.  Our litigation attorneys are uniquely qualified to provide experienced representation advising clients of all available remedies and defenses while remaining mindful of practical business considerations to ensure our clients achieve the best possible outcome in all situations.

Our real estate litigation services include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Tax sale redemptions and related litigation
  • Recovery of tax sale excess proceeds and related litigation
  • Quiet title actions
  • Barment proceedings
  • Claims of lien

Wtih respect to the recovery of "excess funds” (i.e., funds stemming from a tax sale of real property that are held in trust by the county tax commissioner’s office for the benefit of the first priority interest holder of the property) we have the the capacity, experience and knowledge to recover these funds on a national scale and have created an internal process specifically tailored towards banks and other financial institutions to do so.  Specifically, each state handles the disposition of “excess funds” differently.  We canvassed the law in each of the 50 states, including the District of Columbia, and identified the specific statute that addresses the process that each state’s various county tax commissioners must follow when handling the disposition of “excess funds” from tax sales.  We then created a nationwide survey of these "excess funds" laws, including identifying any applicable deadlines for claiming the funds from the county tax commissioner, and most importantly, for redeeming the property from the tax sale purchaser.  We uitilize this proprietary information to locate "excess funds" and prepare and submit the necessary documents to recover the funds.

To maximize efficiency, we concentrate our initial recovery efforts on states in which our banking clients have the greatest number of real estate loans.  We then begin acquiring the “excess funds” lists which county tax commissioners’ offices in those states typically maintain and update on a regular basis. We first focus our efforts on the largest counties in each state as they most likely conduct the greatest number of tax sales in a given calendar year involving the greatest number of residential and commercial properties and therefore they are likely to have the greatest amount of excess funds available. 

After we receive an “excess funds” list, we immediately begin comparing the properties listed on the county's list to the properties listed on our clients' property list to determine if the same property is identified on both lists.  If so, we immediately send an e-mail to our client advising them the we located a property that was sold at a tax sale in which they appear to have a first priority interest, and in the e-mail, we including the following information about the property:  (1) the property address; (2) the date of the tax sale; (3) the amount of “excess funds”; and (4) the basis for the client's first priority interest in the property.  In addition to this information, we will also scan and e-mail copies of any supporting documents we may have (e.g., security deed(s), warranty deed(s), tax deed(s), assignment(s), etc.) to our clients for their review. We then ask our clients to confirm they still own and/or service the loan and determine the specific amount of money that the mortgagee currently owes the client under.  This step is critical as it helps ensure our clients have a first priority interest in the property before we submit a claim for the “excess funds”, and it allows us to confirm the exact amount of money our clients are owed under the subject loan which helps prevent an overpayment of funds. 

Assuming our client still owns and/or services the loan and instructs us to recover the funds and/or redeem the property, we will prepare the necessary paperwork and submit it to the county tax commissioner on our client's behalf.  We then actively monitor the status of the “excess funds” claim and send an e-mail to our client as soon as we receive the funds from the county.  Alternatively, if the county tax commissioner indicates that there is an issue with our claim (e.g., a junior lienholder submits a claim for a portion of the funds), we send an e-mail to our client to apprise them of the problem and to explain how we intend to address it.

Dye Snyder, LLP
260 Peachtree Street, Suite 502
Atlanta, Georgia 30303 | T 678.705.7795 | F 404.393.9549