Getting Your Home Back After a Property Tax Sale in Ohio

Options for reclaiming an Ohio home that's being sold due to a tax lien.

When you don’t pay your property taxes in Ohio, the county treasurer may foreclose and sell your home to cover the tax debt. Ohio law also allows the county treasurer to collect delinquent real property taxes by selling tax-lien certificates. If this happens (and you don’t get caught up on the delinquent amounts), the person or entity that bought the certificate may eventually foreclose on your home.

Read on to find out more about how you can get caught up on the late tax amounts to prevent a foreclosure (by either the county or a lien purchaser), how much you’ll have to pay to keep your Ohio home, and whether you have to pay the full amount up front.

Ohio Tax Foreclosures and Tax Lien Sales in a Nutshell

When you don’t pay your Ohio property taxes, the county treasurer can:

  • sell the tax lien that exists on your home to a third party (who can later foreclose on your property if you don’t pay the debt) or
  • initiate a foreclosure of your home in court. (Get further details on tax foreclosures and tax lien sales in Ohio in What Happens If I Don't Pay Property Taxes in Ohio.)

Saving Your Home After an Ohio Tax Lien Sale

In the case of a tax lien sale, the person or entity that buys the lien may eventually foreclose on your home if you don’t get caught up on the delinquent amounts.

How long you get to redeem your home in Ohio. Following the tax lien sale, a one-year period must expire before the purchaser can start the foreclosure. During this one-year period you can get caught up on the delinquent taxes, plus various other amounts, and prevent the purchaser from foreclosing. This is called “redeeming” the property. Even if the foreclosure has started, you get the right to redeem up until the court confirms the foreclosure sale (Ohio Rev. Code § 5721.38).

How much it costs to redeem before the person or entity that bought the lien starts the foreclosure. To redeem before the purchaser starts the foreclosure, you must pay an amount equal to the certificate price (or prices, if there is more than one tax certificate on your property), which includes taxes and fees plus interest (Ohio Rev. Code § § 5721.30, 5721.38).

How much it costs to redeem after the person or entity that bought the lien starts the foreclosure. To redeem after the purchaser starts the foreclosure, you must pay the certificate price plus 18% interest per year, attorney’s fees, costs, and other fees (Ohio Rev. Code § 5721.38).

You can get caught up with a payment plan. If you can’t afford to pay the redemption amount all at once, you can enter into a payment plan to get caught up on the delinquent amounts (Ohio Rev. Code § 5721.38).

You Can’t Get Your Ohio Home Back After a Tax Foreclosure

If the county treasurer forecloses (rather than selling the lien), the court will eventually issue a judgment and sell your home at a public auction to a new owner.

Your right to redeem. You can stop the foreclosure at any time before the court confirms the sale by paying the taxes, assessments, penalties, interest, fees, and court costs (Ohio Rev. Code § 5721.25). (This is also called “redeeming” the home.) There is no redemption period after the court confirms the sale.

How much it costs to redeem before the county starts the foreclosure. To redeem before the county initiates the foreclosure, you must pay the overdue amount of taxes, assessments, charges, penalties, and interest (Ohio Rev. Code § § 5721.18, 5721.25).

How much it costs to redeem after the county starts the foreclosure. To redeem once the foreclosure begins, you’ll have to pay the amount stated above and you must also show that the property is in compliance with all applicable zoning regulations, land use restrictions, and building, health, and safety codes (Ohio Rev. Code § 5721.25).

In some cases, you can get caught up with a payment plan. If you have not previously defaulted on a payment plan for delinquent property taxes, you may enter into a contract with the treasurer to get caught up (Ohio Rev. Code § 5721.25).

Where to Find Ohio’s Property Tax Laws

To find the statutes governing what happens when you fall behind in property taxes in Ohio, go to Title 57, Chapter 5721, § § 5721.01 through 5721.43 of the Ohio Revised Code.

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