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General Tax Lien/Foreclosure Questions and Answers

If your question is not answered below, please submit your complete question  to .  A response will be provided via email.

Q. Does Mecklenburg County sell tax liens?
No. The requirement to sell tax liens was abolished by the legislature in 1983. The sale of a tax lien is different from the sale of the property by way of a tax foreclosure action for failure to pay taxes.

Q. Does Mecklenburg County advertise tax liens on real property?
Yes. Each year, the Office of the Tax Collector advertises in The Charlotte Observer the names of all persons who have not paid Real Estate and Personal Property taxes for the previous year. This is simply a reminder to the specific taxpayers and to the public of the unpaid taxes for the previous year.

Q. Does Mecklenburg County sell property for failure to pay taxes?
Yes. At anytime after taxes become delinquent, the Tax Collector has the authority to file a tax foreclosure action to have the property sold for collection of the delinquent taxes. All persons who have an interest in the property have to be named in the action and served with notice of the pending sale of the property. The taxpayer or any other person can pay the taxes and costs of the action at anytime prior to the sale of the property. This procedure takes from four to six months to complete.

Q. How can the public find out about pending tax foreclosure action?
All sales are published online at,  in The Mecklenburg Times and posted at the County Courthouse . The Times is published twice weekly and can be purchased on the newsstands or by subscription. The mailing address for The Mecklenburg Times is Post Office Box 36306, Charlotte, North Carolina, 28236. The telephone number is 704-377-6221. For more information click on the Tax Foreclosures link.

Q. Can prospective purchasers be placed on a list to be notified when sales are to be held?
No. We receive requests from many people to be notified when sales are to be conducted. From a logistical standpoint, it is impractical to notify a long list of persons when property is to be sold. Persons who are interested in tax sales or any other distressed sales (such as mortgage foreclosures, sheriff sales, etc.) should visit or subscribe to The Mecklenburg Times or check the County Courthouse Bulletin Board.

Q. If a person is interested in a specific property on which there are delinquent taxes, will the Tax Collector file a foreclosure action to have the property sold?
Yes. There are hundreds of properties on which taxes remain unpaid and often the amount of taxes outstanding is relatively small. There are significant costs in bringing a foreclosure action including court costs, advertising costs, commissioner's fee,  auctioneer's fee, guardian ad litem fee, and legal fees. The balance of unpaid taxes and interest are also included. In addition, there is the time factor involved in bringing each suit to a conclusion. Most of the outstanding taxes (approximately 98%) are collected by personnel in the Tax Collector's Office without the necessity of a foreclosure action. However, some taxes cannot be collected in this manner and the only avenue for collection would be through a tax foreclosure action.

Q. If a property is sold for nonpayment of delinquent taxes, what is the bidding process?
All sales are public, and usually conducted on Mondays at 12:00 noon in the Courthouse. The property is sold to the highest bidder. There is a ten (10) day upset period after the sale during which time anyone can pay off the taxes and costs, or can trigger a resale by raising the bid by the greater of five percent (5%) of the previous bid or $750. If a raised bid is filed, the property will be advertised again and resold at public sale.

Q. Can any person pay the taxes and obtain title to the property?
No. Any person can pay the taxes but payment of the taxes does not entitle the person to any interest in the property. Unless the person is an owner of the property, he/she should not pay the taxes with the expectation of acquiring title to the property.

Q. What kind of title does the purchaser of tax lien foreclosed property obtain?
A commissioner is appointed by the Court to sell the property. When the property is sold, the commissioner will deliver a deed to the purchaser but the deed has no warranties.

Q. How does a person obtain a list of properties on which taxes are delinquent?
A. Tax records are public information. If a person has a specific tax parcel in mind, personnel in Tax Support Services are available via email at to assist in determining the status of the taxes. There is a specific scroll that contains a list of delinquent taxpayers and there is a fee involved. The Tax Collector's Office does not have sufficient personnel to assist a person in scrolling through the tax records to find properties on which taxes are delinquent.

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