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Review of the Ohio Tax Lien Sale Process with Austin Barnes

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Austin Barnes provides a breakdown of the Ohio Tax Sale process by statute to bring clarity to the process.  Property taxes are collected by the county and therefore sales are held by the county as well.  Statutes for the tax sale process in Ohio fall under 5721.30-5721.43.  

Process Summary

Ohio can hold two types of lien sales also known as tax certificate sales which are conducted through the Treasurer, and they also hold a sheriff’s deed sale during the tax foreclosure process.  Here is a general outline of the tax sale process in Ohio:

  1. Two certificate sales are possible in Ohio.  
  2. Bulk Sale–Certificates are sold individually or in bulk as a public sale with Bid down winning interest rate attached.  Bidding is bid down by ¼% increments.
  3. Many bulk sales are bid down to ¼% because of the “Certificate Redemption Price” rule laid out in statute 5721.30 (see below).
  4. Negotiated Sale–(this is the more common sale in Ohio)--”Treasurer may at treasurer’s discretion, negotiate the sale or transfer of any number of tax certificates with one or more persons, including a county land reutilization corporation.”  And the following may be negotiated: may include a discount in total certificate price, certificate foreclosure time frames, interest rate as deemed by the county, attorney fees, and other miscellaneous terms.
  5. The redemption period for the bulk sales is one-year from the date a tax certificate is issued.  In order to redeem the certificate, an interested party must pay the purchase price plus the interest earned and any fees charged by the county recorder & treasurer.
  6. A tax certificate holder from a bulk sale earns one of the two following options depending upon which is greater:
  7. Simple interest at the winning certificate rate of interest from the sale
  8. Six percent of the certificate purchase price (this is why many bid down to 0%)
  9. A tax certificate is transferable in Ohio (Statute 5721.36)
  10. A certificate parcel owner can request to enter a redemption payment plan (RPP) with the certificate holder in either a bulk or a negotiated sale.
  11. Tax foreclosures must be requested with the County Treasurer using a notice of intent (NOI) and cannot be requested until after the 1-year redemption period.  More details on the Ohio Tax Foreclosure process can be found in Maureen Zink's white paper.
  12. Once the NOI is initiated, the last phase of the tax foreclosure process is a deed sale which must be offered through the Sheriff’s office or a Private Selling Officer.


As you can see, Ohio’s process is a bit different in that they offer two different types of lien sales and once a tax certificate reaches the foreclosure process it will be offered in a deed sale up to two times.  For more details, check out Austin Barnes’ white paper.

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