Tag: foreclosure

How To Successfully Foreclose the Right to Redeem Following a Tax Sale

Tyner v. Edge, which was decided by the Georgia Court of Appeals on May 22, 2020 (A20A0265), provides guidance on the process of foreclosing the right of redeem following a tax sale.

The court clarifies several aspects relating to properly barring the right to redeem:

(1) With regard to foreclosure of the right to redeem, Georgia law holds that a party who owns “any right, title, or interest in or lien” on the subject property is entitled to redeem (see O.C.G.A. § 48-4-40). Therefore, because of the word “any,” even a party with an unrecorded interest is entitled to redeem a property lost at a tax sale.

(2)  A party’s failure to record its interest does, however, have consequences because the holder of an unrecorded interest is not entitled to get a notice of foreclosure of the right to redeem. See OCGA § 48-4-45(a)(1)(c) and Freeman v. Eastern Sav. Bank, 271 Ga. 439, 440 (1) (520 SE2d 902) (1999). This means a tax deed holder can successfully bar the right to redeem without notifying persons or entities not in the chain of title. For this reason, a title search and careful examination of the title search is necessary in all cases.

(3) Regarding service by publication, the court confirmed that if the name and address of an interested party can be reasonably ascertained, notice of a tax sale by publication does not meet the requirements of due process. Hamilton v. Renewed Hope, Inc., 277 Ga. 465, 466 (589 SE2d 81) (2003). Consequently, tax deed holders must make a reasonable effort to locate all interested parties to successfully complete a barment, and cannot simply rely on publication.

(4) Payment of taxes, in and of itself, does not create an interest in property sufficient to trigger the notice requirements mentioned above. Thus, in this case, the party trying to redeem, who was not in the chain of title but had paid taxes, was not entitled to receive a barment notice.

Here, the tax deed owner won and the party trying to redeem lost. However, all parties who deal with tax deeds in Georgia can learn from this case. If you own a tax deed and need a lawyer, please call us at (404) 382-9994 to discuss barring the right to redeem for your tax deed.

Does a Foreclosure Sale Determine Fair Market Value in Georgia?

The answer is a resounding yes according to an interesting case that came out recently. SeeDekalb County Board Of Tax Assessors v. Astor Atl, LLC, A19A0516 (April 1, 2019). In that case, the Georgia Court of Appeals rejected DeKalb County’s argument that it could assess property taxes in an amount higher than the price paid for the same property at a foreclosure sale.

Dekalb County argued that a foreclosure sale does not qualify under as an arm’s length, bona fide sale, and that it had appraised the property in conformity with its rules using the sales comparison approach.

In deciding the case, the Georgia Court of Appeals referenced O.C.G.A. § 48-5-2(3), which provides a limitation on the maximum allowable fair market value. Under that statute, “the transaction amount of the most recent arm’s length, bona fide sale in any year shall be the maximum allowable fair market value for the next taxable year.”

The decision concluded by holding that foreclosure sales can be arm’s length, bona fide sales. Moreover, the fact that the sale may not bring in the true market value of the property does not require a different rule; the fact that the sale results in a financial loss is not relevant.

The court noted that foreclosure sales are distinct from tax sales. While foreclosures are considered arm’s length, bona fide sales, tax sales are considered “forced sales” because owner retains a right of redemption, so the tax deed purchaser does not obtain proper title until the redemption period has run.

While this isn’t super helpful in the current market with surging property values, it would definitely help investors should the real estate market turn south down the road. Something to keep in mind.

Please call us at 404-382-9994 for real estate related questions.