If you don’t keep up with the property taxes on your Georgia home, you could lose it at a tax sale. After the sale, you will get a chance to buy back the home (called "redeeming" the home) within a certain period of time. If you don't redeem during this period (called a "redemption period"), you’ll lose your opportunity to reclaim it.
In Georgia, any overdue property taxes automatically become a lien on your home. If you don’t pay the amount due, the sheriff may hold a nonjudicial tax sale (the most common type of tax sale in Georgia) and sell the home to a new owner. (For details on the tax sale process in Georgia, see What Happens If I Don't Pay Property Taxes in Georgia.)
After the tax sale, you get 12 months to reimburse the purchaser for the amount paid at the sale (plus other amounts) and reclaim your home. This is the redemption period.
To obtain ownership of the home, the purchaser must wait for 12 months after the sale and then foreclose your right of redemption by giving you a written notice that the right to redeem will expire on a certain date. You can redeem up until the expiration date given in the notice (generally around 30 days after the notice). This means that you get at least a year to redeem, perhaps quite a bit longer, depending on when the purchaser from the tax sale decides to take steps to terminate your right of redemption (Ga. Code Ann. § 48-4-46).
To redeem your home, you’ll have to pay:
If you don’t redeem until more than 30 days after the notice giving the redemption deadline, you also have to pay the sheriff's cost for serving you the notice and publishing the notice in a newspaper (Ga. Code Ann. § 48-4-42).
While you can redeem your home after a tax sale in Georgia, it is usually a good idea to take action prior to getting behind on your property taxes to make them more affordable. You could, for example:
To review the statutes that govern redeeming your home after a tax sale in Georgia, go to Title 48, Chapter 4, Article 3, § § 48-4-40 through 48-4-48 of the Georgia Code.