Homeowners who fall behind in their property taxes frequently lose their homes to foreclosure. Because losing one’s home is so traumatic, it is important for all homeowners facing foreclosure to understand their rights and a little bit about the process. In today’s post we present an overview of a homeowner’s “right of redemption” when their property has been sold at tax sale.
The Background Situation: Unpaid Taxes.
In Georgia, if you do not pay your property taxes, the chances of you losing your home to foreclosure are real. The process does not take long (it is generally a nonjudicial foreclosure) and unlike other states, in Georgia, there is no statutory right of “reinstatement.” There is, however, a right of “redemption.”
What is the Right of Redemption?
Redemption comes after the sale of the home. Basically, it means that after your home is sold at foreclosure, you can reclaim it by paying off the entire amount owed plus certain additional costs and interest.
Who Can Redeem?
Only an owner, creditor or other person with an interest in the property has the right to redeem the property after the tax foreclosure sale.
When Can You Redeem Your Home After a Tax Sale?
If your home is sold at tax sale, you have 12 months after the tax sale to pay all the monies owed. In other words, you will need to pay the purchaser at the tax sale the total debt: including the principal balance, along with certain additional costs and interest.
How Do You Redeem Your Home After a Tax Sale?
Briefly, you redeem the property by paying the tax deed holder all monies due as prescribed by law. You must pay the tax deed holder:
- the amount paid for the property at the tax sale,
- any taxes paid on the property by the purchaser after the sale for taxes,
- any special assessments on the property,
- a premium of 20 percent of the amount for the first year or fraction of a year which has elapsed between the date of the sale and the date on which the redemption payment is made,
- and 10 percent for each year or fraction of a year thereafter.
After all amounts have been properly paid, the purchaser must issue a quitclaim deed to the owner of the property, releasing it from tax deed.
As you might expect, things are not always so simple and there is a lot more to know when it comes to the right of redemption. So if you are facing tax foreclosure in Georgia, consult experienced real estate counsel.
We Can Help You.
If you are facing foreclosure or any other real estate problem in Georgia, call us. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C, have experience in all aspects of real estate. We are based in Cumming, Georgia, but we serve Atlanta and the surrounding counties. Give us a call at: 770-888-7707. Or you can contact us here.