The redemption price is the amount paid for the tax deed at the tax sale plus any taxes subsequently paid by the tax deed purchaser plus 20% of that amount for the first year or fraction of a year elapsing between the date of the sale and the date of redemption. After the first year following the conclusion of the tax sale the tax deed purchaser is entitled to an additional 10% for each subsequent year or fraction of a year until redemption.
Twelve months after the date of the sale the purchaser may begin to forever "bar" or "foreclose" the right of redemption by having proper notice served upon the taxpayer, occupant (if any) and upon all persons having recorded any right, title, interest in, or lien on the property in the county where the property is located in accordance with O.C.G.A. 48-4-45 through 48-4-48.
Additional fees may be charged for sheriff's service and advertising 20 days after service of notice. Thus a minimum time of one year and forty-five days elapses between acquisition of a tax deed and the right to physical control of the property.
Even though the purchaser receives defeasible title before the redemption period expires, he or she acquires sufficient interest in the property to make a return on the property after January 1st the following year (if still unredeemed) and also to be liable for taxes due on the property the year in which it is sold and subsequent years until redeemed.
Current and prior year tax information is available at the Camden County Tax Commissioner’s Office.
A Georgia Supreme Court Decision, [Blizzard v. Moniz, 271 Ga. 50, 518 S.E.2d 407 (1999)] has rendered "ripening by prescription" (O.C.G.A. 48-4-48) inapplicable to tax sale purchases in most cases. The Court determined that actual possession of the property is necessary for a tax deed to convey fee simple title to the property absent the process of barring or foreclosing the right of redemption.
It is important to remember that the worth of a tax title is subject to many factors and that all tax sales are administered under the doctrine of caveat emptor ["Let the buyer beware (or take care)"]; to ensure your rights you should consult a knowledgeable real estate attorney.
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