As stated previously, you are not purchasing property, and will not be receiving, a deed. Instead, you
are purchasing a tax certificate: the right to stand in the place of the State of Ohio as to the delinquency purchased with respect to other lien holders in the event of foreclosure.

How will the sale be conducted?

1)       Pre-sale Registration

Prior to the beginning of the sale, all interested purchasers must register with the Treasurer’s Office.  When registering, interested purchasers must complete the bidder registration form and deposit Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) in cash with the Treasurer. This is a statutory requirement, and any person not complying with the deposit or form completion is banned from bidding under state law. In the event an interested purchaser does not successfully bid, his money will be refunded at the end of the sale.

 2)     Sale Proceedings

During the sale, the Treasurer will announce the parcel, or multiple parcels auctioned as a lot, that is up for bid.  Additionally, he will announce the total amount of the money that is to be paid for it: the “certificate purchase price”. The certificate purchase price consists of the total delinquent taxes, penalties, and interest due, plus the administrative fee charges by the Treasurer (which covers the costs of the sale). This is the amount the winning bidder must pay, and it itself is not subject to bid.

 Interested purchasers will actually be bidding on the interest rate that the owner must pay on the certificate purchase price. Bidding will begin at eighteen percent (18%),and then decrease in amounts of one quarter of one percent (0.25%) increments. For example, Bidder 1would bid 18%, Bidder 2 would bid 17.75% or lower, so long as it is in increments of (.25%).  After bidding stops and the winning bid accepted, the sale will proceed with the next lot. The bidding cannot go below 0.00%.

 3)      Immediate Post-Sale Proceedings

a)   Unsuccessful  Bidders

 All unsuccessful bidders are entitled to a full refund of their deposit, and it may be claimed immediately after the auction.

 b)  Successful Bidders

 Successful bidders must pay a minimum of ten percent (10%) of his certificate purchase prices to the Treasurer in cash by the close of business the day of the sole. The balance must be paid in full within five (5) business days of the date sale. Again, these are statutory requirements, and the Treasurer may not waive them. If the balance is not paid in full by the required date, the successful bidder forfeits his deposit and the amount paid on the certificate. The Treasure may choose to apply the registration deposit to the certificate purchase price, or refund it upon payment in full of the certificate purchase price.

After payment in full, the Treasurer shall issue a tax certificate to the purchaser, and record the specifics of the certificate in the Treasurer’s Tax Certificate Register.

The certificate purchaser may wish to record the tax certificate in the Recorder’s Office, as it will put all future property purchasers on notice of the lien. The decision to record the certificate is the certificate purchaser’s, who must pay the recording fee separately to the recorder.

 Under Ohio law, the certificate purchaser and/or his agent may not contact the owner of the property for at least one month after the purchase of the certificate. Penalties for violating this statute (R.C. 5721.43) are banishment from future sales, a court injunction, and a fine of up to $5,000.00 for each offense.

 4)       Post-Purchase Proceedings

 a)  Redemption by Property Owner

Successful purchasers have in essence loaned money at the interest rate for which they won their bid. A property owner may pay off the delinquency at any point by paying the amount of the certificate purchase price, the recording fees if recorded, and the interest that has accumulated on the tax certificate. The interest accumulates monthly as simple interest, and is not compounded.

b)   Foreclosure

There are two methods of foreclosure of a tax certificate, but the common factors are as follows:

 i)    A foreclosure may not be brought by the tax certificate holder until at least one year after the purchase date.

ii)   A foreclosure must be brought within six years of the purchase date.  If it is not, the tax certificate is cancelled, and the holder had no legal rights

 iii)   Prior to filing a foreclosure, the tax certificate holder must notify the Treasurer of his intention to foreclose, and pay to the County all outstanding current taxes and assessments on the property. In addition, if the parcel had other tax certificates sold for any years after the original purchaser, the foreclosing holder must pay that amount to the County to be paid over to the other certificate holders.

iv) After payment of the above, the Treasurer will certify that a foreclosure can processed.  The two methods of proceeding arc:

 (1) Prosecuting Attorney

If the tax certificate holder files a “request to foreclose,” he must pay an additional fee fixed by the Prosecuting Attorney. After the Treasurer issues his certification, the Prosecuting Attorney must file a suit to foreclose within 90 days, and prosecute the Same to its conclusion.

 (2) Private Attorney

 If the tax certificate holder files a ”notice of intent to foreclose,” he may have a private attorney file the suit on his behalf. Likewise, there are time restrictions within which the private attorney must file suit. As set forth below, judgment for the fees of a private attorney will be granted, and can be recovered from the foreclosure proceedings.

 v)   Irrespective or the method chosen to foreclose, if the property  owner doesn’t answer, the court will grant judgment for the following:

 (1) The costs of the foreclosure, including court costs, attorney’s fees, and any title examination or insurance fees.

 (2) The amount the tax certificate holder paid for the certificate, plus interest at the bid rate from the date of purchase through the date of filing the notice with the Treasurer, and any recording fees. Additionally, the certificate holder shall receive reimbursement for any amounts he paid to the Treasurer for the benefit of other taxes, assessments, and other certificate holders.

(3) Interest in the amount of 18% on those amounts paid by the certificate the foreclosure was requested


vi)  If the property is not sold at the foreclosure sale, it will be auctioned again at a second sale If it is not sold at the second sale, the court will transfer ownership of the property to the tax certificate holder.