Tax Lien Information
Tax Lien Auction

You are not purchasing property but a tax lien against the property in the amount of your investment. Your Certificate of Purchase will entitle you to make subsequent payments of delinquent taxes which will be added to your initial investment and continue to draw interest until such time as the tax lien is redeemed or a foreclosure action results. You are advised to investigate, prior to purchasing, to determine whether the property would be of sufficient use or value to you should you be fortunate or unfortunate enough to be in a position to obtain a deed at some future date. The tax lien which you wish to purchase may be unavailable due to an existing stay order from Bankruptcy Court.

In the event of bankruptcy proceedings subsequent to the sale of the lien, there is no guarantee that the purchaser of the tax lien will receive the anticipated interest or any interest whatsoever, which determination will be made by the United States Bankruptcy Court.

If it is determined that the tax lien for which you have submitted payment is unavailable for any reason, your payment will be refunded to you without interest.

Although every effort is made to handle all transactions expeditiously, it is possible that processing of refunds or redemptions may take one month or longer, during which time you will not earn interest.

While under no obligation to do so, the Tax Collection's Official makes an effort to advise you of circumstances which may interfere with the receipt of your anticipated interest. However, the foregoing is not all inclusive as new situations are continuously arising.

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Research and Purchase Procedures

In the event a parcel has been split out from another parcel that has delinquent taxes, there may be tax liens that are prior and superior to the one you are purchasing. You are advised to research such genealogy and tax status prior to purchasing.

Due to the renumbering of properties by the Property Tax Commissioner's Office, the same legal description may have different parcel numbers for different tax years. You are advised to research the genealogy of a property prior to purchasing in order to buy all delinquent taxes under all numbers for that property.

In order that Shelby County may report interest received by certificate holders in accordance with Internal Revenue Service regulations, this office is required by the I.R.S. to obtain the tax identification number of the purchaser at the time of purchase of the tax lien. Processing of your certificate will not begin until a proper W-9 is received.

  1. All research must be done by you. Please do not call or ask a cashier for amounts or status of taxes.
  2. Property information may be found at
  3. Your name, as you want it to appear on your certificate, your address, phone number and tax I.D. number (SSN) must be on the list of parcel numbers you submit for purchase.
  4. The lien bears interest at the bid rate from the first day following the purchase of the tax lien.
  5. There is an endorsement fee of $5.00 for each certificate
  6. There is a non-refundable and non-interest bearing $10 fee charged per lien.
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Pre-sale Requirements for the Auction

Prior to bidding, all bidders MUST provide the Property Tax Commissioner's Office with a complete W-9 and Bidder Information Form. These forms may be obtained at the auction prior to 9:00 a.m. All research on parcels must be completed.

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Bid Procedures for the Auction

Each bidder will be assigned a number for use during the bidding process. In offering these liens for sale, the parcel number and the amount shall be read in the order they appear in the newspaper or website.

Vocal bids will be recognized by calling the lowest interest rate you will accept. ALL SALES ARE FINAL!

The successful bidder will pay the entire amount of taxes, interest, fees and amounts necessary to redeem any prior liens with guaranteed funds by 4 p.m. of the day of the Auction.

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Bid Interest for the Auction

Bids must be on the basis of interest income to bidder.

  1. 1. The maximum bid is 12% simple interest per annum prorated monthly. The lowest acceptable bid is 0% per annum.
  2. 2. The successful (lowest) bid will determine the rate of interest to be paid on the Certificate of Purchase lien (CP), representing the amount of taxes, interest, fees and charges then due.
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Redemption of Liens

If the owner redeems the Certificate of Purchase (CP) on the property, the investor receives his money back plus interest at the rate he bid at the sale. Interest starts accruing on the first day after the Tax Lien Auction.

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Our office is not involved in the deeding process. Please do not ask the clerks for legal advice.

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Assignments offer the investor an alternative way to purchase liens on parcels at a time other than the tax lien auction or sale. Please see the current list here.

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Subsequent taxes can be added to an existing lien to protect the CP holder's fiduciary interest. The endorsement of the current year taxes on existing Certificates of Purchase begins The endorsement will consist of taxes, interest, fees and charges dependent on the date the taxes are being paid. There is an additional $5.00 fee for each Certificate of Purchase submitted for the endorsement to be applied for each year requested.

To pay the endorsement the CP holder must submit the current year tax amount including penalty and fee with a Cashier's Check, Money Order, or Certified Check.

If the payment is in excess of the amount due, a refund will be issued, the interest earned on an endorsement is at the same rate as that of the original Certificate of Purchase.

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Tax Lien Expiration

If a tax lien is not redeemed and the purchaser or purchaser's heirs or assigns fails to commence an action to foreclosure on or before ten years from the date of purchase, the certificate of purchase will expire and the lien is void. HB 354.

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