Filing a property deed is the first step to eliminating the redemption period!
Every county has a different procedure for filing a deed after a Sheriff Sale, but it is critical that you find out exactly what procedure your county uses. Why? Because no matter WHO is responsible for filing the deed, the redemption period clock does not start ticking until the deed is filed by the county clerk in the property office. If you forget to file the deed, even though you have clear proof when the property was purchased, you STILL will not be able to enforce a redemption period any shorter than the one started when you do finally file the deed!
When I considered writing the page for this tab, I almost skipped it. After all, how difficult is it to figure out how to file a deed? But, I decided to keep it in simply because of its’ importance. Not filing a deed in a timely manner is a very common and costly mistake. So, once you have purchased your property at the Sheriff Sale, the procedure will be much like the following:
- Sheriff Sale Receipt – the receipt that you receive at the Sheriff Sale is not your Property Deed. It is simply a receipt showing that you made a purchase at the sale. The Sheriff’s Deed will typically be mailed to you after the sale.
- Receiving and Filing the Deed – once you receive your deed in the mail, typically about 2 – 4 weeks after the sale – you will receive in the mail an actual deed. When you receive the deed, do not delay. Go directly to the county property tax office with the deed and ask that it be filed. There is usually a small fee – typically around $10.00 – and the clerk will “file” electronically your deed so that it is recorded on the public records that the property was purchased at a Sheriff Sale and that the property is now officially in your name. The date that the deed is actually filed (the date that will be stamped on your receipt) is the actual date from which the redemption period begins. In Texas, six months after this date for non-homesteaded and non-agricultural properties or two years after this date for homesteaded or designated agricultural properties, the redemption period ends. For more details regarding the redemption period and what it means to you, see Redemption Periods.
That is all there is to it! Once the redemption period ends, there is no need to go back to the property tax office to file anything else. The Sheriff’s Deed remains on the record, but if you sell the property and have a title company that is familiar with Sheriff’s Deeds and Sheriff Sales, they will recognize the deed for what it is and calculate the redemption period to verify that it has indeed ended!
Simple – yes – but crucial!! File the deed right away, or if the county claims they file it for you,verify, verify, verify! Nothing else will change when the redemption period begins!