A Guide to Maryland Tax Sales

Maryland is a tax lien state. There are live and online tax sales and the redemption period is six months. Specific bidding procedures and interest rates vary by county. Although, the one consistent bidding procedure is that every county is bid up/premium. You are not required to pay the entire premium amount unless the lien is not redeemed. You must pay the premium, however, in order to foreclose the right of redemption.

Frederick County holds their tax sale in May. The interest rate is only 8%. You must register before the sale in order to bid and if you are bidding for an entity, registration must be submitted a few days before the sale. Parcels are sold for cash to the highest bidder.

Montgomery County holds its tax sale on the second Monday of June. Their tax sale procedures are somewhat complicated and differ from those used in other Maryland counties. They use a sealed bid process. The properties are divided into groups and bidders can bid on individual properties or groups of properties. Although they utilize the premium bid method, they have a very unique way of bidding. Instead of bidding up the price for a lien or group of liens, your bid consists of the percent of assessed value that you are willing to pay. All payments are done by wire transfer and you do not have to be present to bid.

Baltimore City (not to be confused with Baltimore County) holds their tax sale in May. Their online sale is held at: https://www.bidbaltimore.com. One group, or “batch” as they are referred to, is sold every hour. Advanced registration is required (usually one week in advanced) along with a non-refundable $100 registration fee via ACH debit (it will not be subtracted from the lien amount). You must also submit an IRS Form W-9 as well as a budget to cover the costs of your anticipated purchases. The same account will be used for the registration fee and certificates purchased.

Howard County holds its tax sale in May or June. In contrast with Montgomery County, Howard County requires bidders to register before the sale with a $500 deposit in cash or certified funds. You, or your representative, must be present to bid at the sale. The initial bid price is the amount owed plus interest, penalties, and the cost of the sale.

Harford County conducts their tax sale in June. The interest rate in Harford County is 12% per annum. They do require that you register before the sale and that you or a representative be present at the sale in order to bid. Although you do have to pay the certificate amount on the day of the sale, you do not have to pay any amount of the premium that you bid until you foreclose on the property. This is different from Montgomery and Howard Counties where you have to pay a certain percentage of the premium on the day of the sale.

Keep in mind that the redemption period in Maryland is short, only 6 months, and so is the time that you have to foreclose. If you do not take action to foreclose your lien in two years from the date of the sale, your certificate is void and you lose your investment.

For more information about Maryland visit http://www.taxsaleresources.com/NewsAndUpdate.aspx?state_id=23 or contact us at support@taxsaleresources.com.

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