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Delinquent Tax
Charleston County Delinquent Tax Sale Frequently Asked Questions

11/17/2014 Tax Sale:

Charleston County

Tax Sale Date(s): Starting Monday, November 17, 2014, @ 9:00 AM

BY VIRTUE OF EXECUTIONS issued by the Charleston County Treasurer, pursuant to S.C. Code Section 12-45-180, he has directed the Charleston County Tax Collector, to levy the Executions by distress and sell certain pieces and parcels of real and personal property of the defaulting tax payer’s estate in his jurisdiction in order to collect the delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties and costs due. The tax sale auction is being held in the Charleston County Council Chambers (Suite B249) in the Lonnie Hamilton, III Public Services Building at 4045 Bridge View Drive, North Charleston, SC 29405 beginning at 9:00 am, Monday, November 17, 2014 and stopping at 5:00 p.m. that same day. If additional days are necessary to complete the auction an announcement will be made to that effect before the close of business each day. The sale on subsequent days (if necessary) will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will stop at 5:00 p.m. We will do our best with your help in completing our tax sale in one in a half (1 ½) days’ time if at all possible. To that end, there will be no lunch breaks during our tax sale.


PAYMENT OF TAXES PRIOR TO TAX SALE: All real property owing delinquent taxes for the tax years 2004 through 2013 is subject to sale. To avoid sale, all delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties and costs must be received and processed by the County by 5:00 p.m. November 14, 2014. Personal or company checks will not be accepted for payment of delinquent taxes at this time since sufficient time must be allowed for the checks to clear. Only cash, money order, attorney's trust/escrow checks or certified bank checks will be accepted for the payment of delinquent taxes.


DELINQUENT TAX PROPERTY LISTINGS: On Friday, October 3, 2014 a listing of properties in current owner last name alpha order will be available on the Charleston County Website. You will be able to view and print this listing. Property to be offered for sale will be advertised in the Charleston Post & Courier on the succeeding three Wednesdays of October 29th, and November 5th and 12th, 2014 in the name of the owner or prior owner of record who on December thirty-first of the year proceeding the taxable year defined by South Carolina Statute or the current defaulting taxpayer (new owner of record) who owned or currently owns the particular property subject to tax sale. Note: The newspaper and online delinquent property listing is not the list used during the actual tax sale (see below).


BIDDER REGISTRATION AND PROCEDURES: You do not have to be signed up as a bidder to just attend the tax sale. Anyone interested in bidding on property must register as a bidder with the Delinquent Tax Collector beginning Wednesday, October 1, 2014 and pay their required $10 Bidder Registration Fee (may be paid with personal check) at the Dept. of Revenue Collections Counter in (Suite B110). Register early to avoid standing in line the day of sale. This bidder fee will cover your bidder registration costs and bidder number card as well as the cost of your printed bidder delinquent tax sale property listing given to you on the day of the tax sale that needs to be used during the sale. Prospective bidders, while registering, you are required to have copied a valid driver's license or other acceptable photo identification or copy provided thereof if registering by mail (see online registration form). If you refuse then you will not be allowed to sign up as a bidder. Property will be auctioned in Alpha Order (Current Owner’s Last Name) followed then by Mobile Homes to the highest bidder and all bids must be paid for with cash, money order or certified check by the close of business on the day(s) of the tax sale. Pursuant to S.C. Code Section 12-51-70 should the bid amount not be paid by that time, the defaulting bidder is liable and will be charged $500.00 for the bid default plus court costs. It is possible that you will be barred from any future tax sales. Please do not bid on your own property. If you bid on your own property or have someone else bid on your property on your behalf, we will consider you or your agent’s bid to be null and void and the Forfeited Land Commission will become the winning bidder on your property. You or your agent will also be barred from future tax sales. If there is no bid put forth from bidders at the tax sale, the property will be considered purchased by the County's Forfeited Land Commission for the amount of the taxes, penalties and costs plus current year’s taxes (TY2014). Receipts and tax titles will be issued in the name appearing on the bidder registration form. Bids will be recognized only from registered bidders or their agents who are present at the sale. According to S.C Code Section 12-51-50, in case a defaulting taxpayer has more than one item to be sold, as soon as sufficient funds have been accrued to cover all of the defaulting taxpayer's taxes, assessments, penalties, costs, and current year taxes, no further items will be sold. This is to protect the defaulting taxpayer from excessive redemption penalties. The bidder, however, is only entitled to the property actually sold and not the excess properties (children parcels) their bid paid as well. Assignment of bids, either in whole or in part, will be accepted from December 22, 2014 until November 18, 2015.


REDEMPTION OF PROPERTY SOLD: S.C. Code Section 12-51-90, “(A) The defaulting taxpayer, any grantee from the owner, or any mortgage or judgment creditor may within twelve months from the date of the delinquent tax sale redeem each item of real estate by paying to the person officially charged with the collection of delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs, together with interest as provided in subsection (B) of this section. If prior to the expiration of the redemption period, the purchaser assigns his interest in any real property purchased at a delinquent tax sale, the grantee from the successful bidder shall furnish the person officially charged with the collection of delinquent taxes a conveyance, witnessed and notarized according to S.C. Code Section 12-51-90. The person officially charged with the collection of delinquent taxes shall replace the successful bidder's name and address with the grantee's name and address in the delinquent tax sale book. (B) Interest is due on the whole amount of the delinquent tax sale based on the month during the redemption period this property is redeemed according to the following schedule: property redeemed in the first three months 3%; months four, five and six 6%; months seven, eight and nine 9% and last three months 12%. However, the amount of interest due must not exceed the amount of the bid (opening bid) on the property submitted for the Forfeited Land Commission pursuant to S.C. Code Section 12-51-55.” If you are the winning bidder on a mobile home and land combined bid you do not also earn rent. If you win a bid on a mobile home only bid in the tax sale not only do you earn interest as describe above, but you also earn rent per month at 1/12th of the TY 2013 original tax amount without costs, fees and penalties although the rent factored per month can be no less than $10 a month by law pursuant to S.C. Code Section 12-51-96. An additional month is added starting on the 16th day of every month for a maximum of twelve month’s rent collected. We will collect this rent for you if the owner redeems the mobile home. On a voided mobile home only sale no rent is earned. Remember, as stated above in law, as a bidder, you are not one of the listed entities or persons allowed to redeem property sold at a tax sale. Only the defaulting tax payer, grantee from the owner, or any Mortgage or Judgment Creditor may redeem properties according to S.C. Code Section (12-51-90) listed above.


RETURN OF ORIGINAL BIDDER RECEIPT FOR REDEMPTIONS OR VOIDS: Please do not call the office wanting to know if a property has been redeemed. Your phone calls through the year and then research on your information by staff only make the process slower for all bidders wanting their refund checks in a reasonable amount of time. According to S.C. Code Section 12-51-100, once a property is redeemed or voided, the bidder will be notified by mail and must return the original sales receipt(s) to the Delinquent Tax Collector before a refund check can be issued. The bidder should allow at least twenty (20) business days for the processing of your refund check starting when the office receives your mailed in original bidder sales receipt for the respective property.


WHEN VOIDING A TAX SALE: Prior to a property being deeded or titled in the case of a Mobile Home, the Charleston County Tax Collector can void the tax sale of the property at any time and for any reason pursuant to S.C. Code Section 12-51-150. Due to a void, the bidder only earns “actual interest” the County earned while holding their bid money.


CONVEYING PROPERTY NOT REDEEMED: Property not redeemed will be conveyed by tax title to the successful bidder within thirty (30) days or as soon thereafter the twelve month redemption period has expired. The purchaser will be notified in writing and must pay all applicable fees prior to the deed being recorded by the Register of Mesne Conveyance (RMC). If you do not pay the recording fee then the office will pay it for you and collect this amount from you by any legal means allowable. The purchaser of a mobile home will be given a month’s time after receiving the mobile home bill of sale to title the mobile home in their name with the S.C. Dept. of Motor Vehicles or the office will consider barring you from any future mobile home bids in our tax sales.


THE PURCHASER OF PROPERTY AT A TAX SALE ACQUIRES THE TITLE WITHOUT WARRANTY AND BUYS AT THEIR OWN RISK. THE COUNTY IS NOT LIABLE FOR THE QUALITY OR QUANTITY OF THE PROPERTY SOLD. For the bidder's own protection, it is highly recommended that legal advice be sought if there are any questions pertaining to properties sold or acquired at a delinquent tax sale. Since Charleston County is not liable for the quality or quantity of the property sold, there will be no refunds of your bid money in those instances.


Daniel M. Gregory, Tax Collector

Charleston County



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