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Expert Interview with Billy Richards on Indiana Tax Sale Process

By:
Tax Sale Resources
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Click to download the white paper from Billy Richards of William Richards, P.C.

Introduction

Indiana Code 6-1.1-24 & 25 holds the statutory explanation of the Indiana Tax Sale Process.  In this paper, Billy Richards from William Richards PC based in Indianapolis, Indiana explains each step of the process in the collection and tax sale requirements.  The process itself is determined by a mix of “constitutional law, county statutes, county/local rules and customs, and case law.”

Interview Summary

Property taxes are collected at the county level in Indiana and sales are conducted the same way.  The general process is as follows:

  1. A tax delinquency is established and the county auditor notices the property owner which includes a “pre-sale notice” for the upcoming auction.
  2. A county auction is held and in Indiana it could be either live or online.  Take special note that it is the “bidder’s responsibility to make certain they meet the requirements of the rules of the sale.”
  3. All properties are sold “as-is” and any fees incurred at the county or city level while that property is delinquent is the responsibility of the tax certificate purchaser.
  4. A tax certificate is issued to the successful bidder and considered an official lien on the property which is assignable to another party.
  5. It is recommended that the purchaser file a 137-B form in Indiana to recover additional costs, like attorney fees, in acquiring the tax certificate and these refunds based on costs are limited by the county.
  6. A one-year redemption period is set and anyone may redeem the property.  If a party chooses to redeem, all taxes and assessments must be paid and includes an interest due on these two items.
  7. Depending on the county, a post-sale notice must be sent to interested parties in the property.  In some counties, the county takes care of this notice but in others, the purchaser is responsible for that notice.  This notice must be sent out no later than 6 months after the sale.
  8. A tax deed petition must be filed after the 12-month redemption period but no later than 3 months after that redemption period.  An additional sale is not required for the tax deed so therefore it is not deemed a tax foreclosure process.

Conclusion

These are merely the general steps of the tax sale process in Indiana. Read more in Billy’s white paper This state also holds a leftover hybrid sale known as a Commissioner’s Certificate Sale that has a 120-day redemption period. And if properties still don’t sell, they are then acquired by the county and offered in a deed sale as a final attempt in collecting the delinquencies. Neither of these sales are addressed by Billy in this statutory review so Tax Sale Resources recommends further research. For more information from Billy Richards, check out the interview with he and Tax Sale Resources’ CEO, Brian Seidensticker above.

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