Tax Sale Process
The annual tax sale process begins in the first week of February when the City mails a Final Bill and Legal Notice to the property owner of record at the address on file in the City’s real property database. The notice lists all of the delinquent City taxes and charges due through the last day of February. If the amounts that are due remain unpaid, then additional penalty or interest charges may continue to accrue for each unpaid item.
Tax Sale Timetable
- March: The complete list of properties still eligible for tax sale is published twice in two newspapers of general circulation during the month of March.
- Early April: The City mails a second tax sale notice to the same property address during the first week of April. The amounts included in the second notice are due and valid until the last day of April, the last day to pay all of the outstanding taxes and charges owed the City to avoid tax sale.
- Mid-May: The annual tax sale is normally held during the third week in May.
- Late May: Redemption can begin. Redemption involves the owner, or an interested party such as a mortgage holder, reimbursing the bidder an amount of interest and other fees and costs. If a property is not redeemed by July 1, then the new fiscal year’s real property taxes also must be paid to redeem the property.
Once a successful bidder has paid to the City all of the taxes and charges listed in the tax sale for a property, the property owner may only redeem their property by reimbursing the bidder. The sooner a property is redeemed, the lower the additional charges imposed by the bidder will be.
- Four months after the tax sale, other fees and costs may be added to the redemption amount.
- Six months after the sale, the successful bidder may file a lawsuit to foreclose the right of redemption on non-owner occupied residential properties.
- More fees and costs may be added seven months after the tax sale on owner occupied properties.
The successful bidder may file a lawsuit to foreclose the right of redemption nine months after the tax sale on owner occupied properties. Fees and most costs are defined by State law and are owed to bidder, not to the City. The City has no power to waive or to reduce the fees and costs set by State law.
It is important to note that the earlier a property is redeemed, the smaller the amount to redeem will be. Delay causes the costs to increase significantly. For more details about the tax sale process and the City’s tax sale, please visit BidBaltimore.com to view a list of Frequently Asked Questions and data from prior City tax sales.