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Delinquent tax foreclosure properties are typically handled by the Tax Claim Bureau department within each Pennsylvania county. The county will hold two tax sales to try and sell tax delinquent real property. First, at the Upset Sale, then at the Judicial Sale where tax liens are wiped out. If a property goes unsold at both tax sales, it will go onto the 'Repository' list and will be available during much of the year for over-the-counter purchase via mail-in offer process. Some counties will also hold a third auction; a repository sale consisting of previously unsold properties.
In Pennsylvania, the tax collector or treasurer will sell Tax Deeds to the winning bidders at the delinquent property tax sale. The bidder willing to pay the most wins the bidding contest.
The Upset Sale is scheduled each September and includes those parcels whose taxes, from two years earlier, remain unpaid or other specified conditions exist.
A Private Sale can occur after a property has been exposed but not sold at an Upset Sale. An interested buyer submits a written bid to the Tax Claim Bureau. The Bureau decides whether to accept the bid. If accepted, the bid is advertised in a newspaper. Any one objecting to the sale must petition the court within 45 days to disprove the sale.
A Judicial Sale is held at least once each year and can include only those properties that have been exposed but not sold at an Upset Sale. After advertisement, notice to owners and lien holders, etc., the parcels are presented free and clear of all liens.
A Repository Sale consists of properties that are exposed but not sold at a Judicial Sale. Any bid on a repository property must be approved by all taxing districts where the property is located (i.e. township borough, county, school).
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It is recommended that you further research Tax Deed information for each given state as laws and regulations are constantly changing. We cannot guarantee that the information given here is the most current information.