Under Alabama law, when a property owner fails to pay their ad valorem taxes (or property taxes), the taxing county will conduct an auction and sell the property to recoup the taxes owed. The result is what is known as a tax certificate, and is a lien on the property that takes priority over most other liens (assuming proper legal procedures are followed). In order for the original property owner (or other lawful redemptioner) to remove this lien, they must pay back the amount of back taxes plus 12% interest (plus certain other fees and charges). This creates an investment opportunity for many, and unfortunately, a problem for the original homeowner. After a certain period of time, if these liens are not cleared up, the tax certificate becomes a tax deed, and at some point, the purchaser of the lien can lawfully have the property owner removed from the property.
At Lex Christi, we deal with a large amount of these cases. If you are an investor in need of legal advice on how to best manage your tax certificate / tax deed investment, please contact us today. Often times, we can even recoup some or all of your legal/attorney fees.
Likewise, if you are a property owner, and have received notice that your property has been (or will be) sold for back taxes, please contact us today. We can likely help you through the process of clearing up the tax liens on your property.