Tax Sale Registration – Where do I go and What do I do?

Tax Sale Registration begins with registering to bid on the tax auction. Not all counties require this step and you must check with your individual county to know if this step is required. For easy reference, I have included this information for most counties on your County Reference Page at the bottom of the page. For example, Dallas County does not require a tax sale registration in advance to bid at their auction. Their auction is informal and is conducted by a person simply raising their hand and stating the amount they wish to bid. Other auctions, such as some in Houston, require a tax sale registration so the person can collect a number used to identify them when bidding. This is necessary because of the size of the auction. However, one thing that is consistent among all Texas auctions is the need to present a notarized document stating that the bidding party owes no delinquent taxes before being allowed to complete the purchase of tax lien properties.

No Delinquent Taxes Due Statement

This statement can be obtained at your county’s tax assessor/collector in person. You can either print a request form in advance at Linebarger’s Website or you can obtain one locally at the county tax assessor/collectors office. Either way, the form must be notarized before it can be processed. An advantage to pre-printing your request form is the ability to take it to your local bank to be notarized in advance, perhaps at no charge depending on your bank’s policies. If you do not do this, there is usually a notary at the tax/assessor collector’s office who will notarize your document for a fee. Once notarized, you submit your document along with an additional fee – typically $10.00 – and an administrative person researches your account to verify that you have no delinquent taxes due. If this is the case, she signs the document, stamps it and returns it to you.

How long does this process take?

Again, that depends on the individual county. Some larger and smaller counties process your request while you wait whereas others ask that you leave the form and that they mail it to you when completed. To be safe, complete this process at least one week before the auction takes place.

How long is the form valid?

The form will be valid for three months past the date of completion. You must then repeat the entire process. Don’t forget! More than once, I have gotten to the day before the sale before realizing my form had expired. By law, the sheriff is not allowed to let you complete the sale without this form. Note: I have been told that one exception is in Houston! Although their website clearly states that this form must be completed before bidding takes place, my readers have told me that they are told to wait until AFTER successfully bidding on a property before obtaining the form. However, because the property code clearly states otherwise, I would still obtain the form in advance to avoid any potential problems!

What other documents are required on the day of the auction? The only other documentation that will be required on the day of the sale is a proof of identification and, of course, payment for the sale, which brings us to our next topic… Funding! More information regarding funding will be discussed in Step 8!