Ever wonder what happens to properties that have delinquent property taxes owed? They are sold at public auction for the amount of the back taxes, administrative costs and accumulated interest. The sales are generally held once per year by the County Treasurer, Tax Collector or Sheriff’s Office.

The Free Public Records Directory provides links to many different categories of public records including delinquent taxes and delinquent tax sales. Using the Foreclosures and Tax Lien Sale Records main page, you can access information about delinquent taxes or tax sales for a specific state and each county within the state. Each state establishes rules and regulations for the collection of the taxes and eventual sale by the pertinent agency.

The State of Alabama maintains an inventory of property available for purchase from the various counties of the state for delinquent taxes. You can view the list of properties by county using Alabama’s Tax Delinquent Property website. The other states that provide County-wide search options are Arkansas, California, Mississippi and West Virginia. By accessing the information through the State or County websites, you will either be able to link directly to the sales information including property listings or obtain contact information for the appropriate County office.

Tax sales can be a great way to purchase developed or undeveloped property for significantly below market value since property taxes represent only a small portion of the actual value of a property. For instance, in Mobile County, Alabama, you can bid on a property with an assessed value of $22,000 and a minimum bid price of only $1,156.98.

When considering the purchase of tax delinquent property, you should do your research regarding such things as current use, potential use, zoning, physical condition, current assessed value and in some states, the right of the former taxpayer to redeem the property within a certain period of time. The Assessor’s Office in the County where the property is located is a good place to start your research. A link to the Assessor is available through Free Public Records Directory – Assessor and Property Tax Records.

Finally, by using the available public records information, it is possible to purchase property through this non-conventional method in order to realize the dream of property ownership.

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