Tax Sale Litigation
In South Carolina, the Treasurer or Tax Collector can sell your home (or other property) at an auction if you become delinquent on your property taxes. The winning bidder at a tax sale will become the owner of your property, if you don’t redeem the property (catch up the past-due amounts and costs of sale) within 12 months after the sale.
To redeem your property, you must pay:
- the delinquent taxes
- costs of sale
- interest due to the bidder (up to 12% of the bid). The amount of interest you’ll have to pay depends on when you redeem the property.
- If you redeem during the months 1 – 3 of the redemption period, you must pay 3% of the bid amount.
- If you redeem during months 4 – 6 of the redemption period, you must pay 6% of the bid amount.
- If you redeem in months 7 – 9 of the redemption period, you must pay 9% of the bid amount.
- If you redeem during months 10 – 12 of the redemption period, you must pay 12% of the bid amount.
- The amount of interest cannot exceed an amount equal to all delinquent taxes, penalties, assessments and costs plus the current year’s taxes.
If your mobile home is sold at a tax sale, you must, in addition, pay rent to the winning bidder in order to redeem it.
If you fail to redeem the property before the end of the redemption period, you should not assume that all is lost. It is not unusual for the Treasurer or Tax Collector to fail to comply with all of the requirements of a proper tax sale, and the tax sale may be reversed. It is better to point out errors in the sale process before a tax deed is issued, as the Treasurer or Tax Collector may reverse the sale. After a tax deed is recorded, litigation will be required to obtain a reversal of a tax sale and tax deed.