Overview of Delinquent Tax Collection
On or about March 17th of each year all property taxes that have not been paid in the Treasurer’s office become delinquent. The property is turned over from the Treasurer’s office to the Delinquent Tax Collector’s office. On or about April 1st a notice is sent on all unpaid taxes including due dates and the amount due, including all penalties. 30 days from the first delinquent mailing the taxpayer is sent a certified tax notice. If the certified notice is not received, the notice is returned to the delinquent tax office and the property is posted. In posting delinquent tax property it is also seized to be advertised for sale. Certified tax notices state the property has been seized and will be advertised and sold for the delinquent taxes, if not paid. Delinquent taxes are due by August 31 of each year.
Delinquent Tax Sale
After August 31st the Delinquent Tax Collector’s office will compile a list of all unpaid taxes to be included in the delinquent tax sale. Once the tax sale list has been compiled and all certified return notices have been posted, the tax sale list is ready to be sent to the (local newspaper) The Voice of Fairfield County and Winnsboro/Fairfield Country Chronicle for advertisement. The delinquent tax sale listing is advertised for three consecutive weeks. The delinquent tax sale list is composed of the names of the defaulting taxpayer, the property tax map number, description of the property to be sold. The listing will also tell you where the tax sale will be held as well as the date and time of the sale. All property is sold in compliance with the South Carolina Code of Law and will be subject to the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Relief Act of 1940 as amended.
The purchaser of property at the delinquent tax sale acquires the title without warranty and buys at one’s own risk. The county is not liable for the quality or quantity of the property sold. The full parcel of the defaulting taxpayer’s property will be sold to satisfy the taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs, therefore the full parcel will be sold.
Bidding will begin with the amount of taxes, penalties, and cost of the sale. The highest bid is the official bid. The successful bid amount is due the day of the tax sale. Anyone wishing to become a bidder at the delinquent tax sale is asked to come in and register. They will receive a bidder number which is to be used during the tax sale. Bidders may register during the assigned time before the tax sale date. Terms of payment for the tax sale are cash, certified checks, or money orders. NO PERSONAL CHECKS ARE ACCEPTED DURING THE ADVERTISEMENT OF PROPERTY OR ON THE DAY OF THE TAX SALE.
After the Tax Sale
Once the actual bid is paid the bidder will receive a bidder receipt for the property bided on. Becoming the successful bidder in no way permits you to enter the property or intimidate the property owner. The property owner has a period of twelve (12) months from the date of the tax sale to redeem the property. The redemption is done through the Tax Collector’s office only.
If there is a failure of any action required by law to be properly performed, the tax sale must be voided by the Tax Collector. In this event, actual interest earned on the bid will be paid; your bid amount plus interest will be refunded as soon as possible after the sale is voided. If the delinquent taxpayer redeems the property the bidder will be mailed a redemption check which will include the bid amount and interest. 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 the delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties, and cost, together with interest as provided in Section 12-51-90 (B) of the Code of Laws of South Carolina, as amended, and required defaulting taxpayers to pay three (3) percents of the whole amount of the delinquent tax sale bid, if the redemption is during the first three (3) months. Every three months from the date of the tax sale three percents interest will be added to the whole amount of the delinquent tax sale bid. However, in every redemption, the amount of interest shall not exceed the amount of the delinquent taxes submitted on behalf of the Forfeited Land Commission, pursuant to Section of Law.