Divided by Rivers - United by People

Collection Process of the Tax Claim Bureau Pursuant to the PA Real Estate Tax Sale Law

The Pennsylvania Real Estate Tax Sale Law mandates a fair and efficient method to secure collection of delinquent real estate taxes on behalf of those taxing authorities utilizing the services provided by the County Tax Claim Bureau.

The law offers delinquent taxpayers opportunity to successfully discharge delinquent tax claims at reasonable costs, as well as, providing for the transfer of non-taxpaying properties into the hands of responsible taxpayers.

Consequently, property taxes, (county, municipal or school), not paid to the local tax collector by December 31 of the year in which they are levied, may be filed with the Tax Claim Bureau for specific collection procedures as follows:

Year One

  • Taxing authorities file with the Tax Claim Bureau all unpaid and delinquent real estate taxes no later than the 3rd Monday in April of the year subsequent to the year of levy. The unpaid tax claims are each assessed a fee of $15.00.
  • Notices of the claims for unpaid taxes are mailed to the owner of record no later than July 31.  The notice advises the taxpayer that a one year grace period is given in which to fully pay the claims, interest accrual (9% per year) and costs, otherwise the property will be advertised and subject to an Upset Tax Sale.  The cost of mailing is assed against the parcel.
  • If the owner of record does not claim the certified mailing, the property is physically posted and the posting fee is assessed against the parcel.

Year Two

  • If the claims for delinquent taxes, interest and costs remain unpaid, notice of pending Upset Sale is mailed to each record owner, by certified mail, restricted delivery, no later than July 31.  The cost of mailing is assessed against the parcel.
  • The sale notices advise the delinquent taxpayer that the property will be exposed to public auction, scheduled no earlier than the second Monday in September, unless the tax claims, interest accrual and costs are paid or the taxpayer requests to enter an agreement to make payments in four equal installments, with the first installment remitted at the time of agreement and the other payments to be made quarterly all with one year.  A $25 fee is assessed against the parcel.
  • Absent an agreement a notice of the pending sale is advertised in both the Beaver County Times and the Beaver County Legal Journal at least 30 days prior to the scheduled sale.  Costs of advertising are assessed against each parcel advertised.
  • A notice of sale is again mailed to each individual record owner by 1st class mail at least 10 days before the sale with the costs of mailing and sale preparation assessed against the parcel.
  • The notice of sale must also be posted on the property and personal service to the owner, must also be performed by the Sheriff upon owner occupied parcels.  The costs of posting and personal service are assessed against the property.
  • If the property owner fails to satisfy and discharge the claims for delinquent and unpaid taxes or does not enter into a formal payment plan for quarterly installments, the property will be exposed to Upset Sale.
  • The Tax Claim Bureau will publicly auction the property at a minimum price established by the delinquent tax claims, interest accrual and costs of the Bureau, as well as, the current year taxes.  The sale is made subject to the existing liens of record.  Successful bidders will be responsible to also pay transfer taxes and recording fees.

Year Three

  • If a property is exposed to Upset Sale and not sold, then the property will be prepared for a judicial court ordered sale.
  • Properties which will become subject to a Judicial Sale are required to have title searches conducted in order to notice lienholders and other parties identified in the abstract.  Notice to lienholders is made by the Sheriff who conducts the services, deputizes sheriffs of other Pennsylvania Counties or sends certified mail notice to out of state parties.  The cost of the Sheriff action is proportionately assigned to each parcel.
  • The Court will establish a date for the Judicial Sale requiring the properties be subject to auction, with a minimum bid equal to costs, divesting the delinquent taxes and interest accrual and blocking other lienholders from future execution.
  • The Court will require the properties to be advertised in the Beaver County Times and the Beaver County Legal Journal at least 30 days prior to the scheduled Judicial Sale.  Costs of advertising is allocated to those parcels appearing in the advertisement.
  • Delinquent taxpayers must satisfy and discharge fully all claims of record prior to the Judicial Sale.  No formal payment agreements can be implemented in effort to delay or suspend a Judicial Sale.
  • Successful bidders will be required to also remit transfer taxes and recording fees in addition to the successful bid price.

After Year Three

  • Properties not sold at judicial court ordered sales will be placed into the repository of unsold properties.
  • Any delinquent taxpayer/owner may still redeem their property upon total satisfaction and discharge of all claims for delinquent taxes, interest accrual and costs of the Bureau.  No formal payment agreement will be considered and the property may be sold to an interested party without notice to the owner.
  • If for any reason, a property was removed from a sale process and not exposed to a particular sale, the parcel will be re-subject to all notice procedures, in preparation for the next available and scheduled sale, accumulating continued interest accrual and subsequent costs expended by the Tax Claim Bureau.

Options to Remove the Property From Sale

  • Satisfaction of Delinquency – remittance of the claims for delinquent taxes, interest accrual and costs of the Bureau will remove the property from sale.  Any partial payment made to the Tax Claim Bureau will be applied first to costs expended, second to interest accrual of the tax claims and finally the claim for delinquent taxes.
  • Agreement to Stay Sale - is available only prior to the scheduled Upset Sale.  The agreement requires an initial payment equal to 25% of all delinquent tax claims, projected interest accrual and costs of the Bureau.  The taxpayer agrees to remit equal installments at least every three months for one (1) year.
  • Bankruptcy – under federal law, bankruptcy allows for suspension of collection activity.  Upon the taxpayers notice and proof of filing, the Tax Claim Bureau will cease collection activity until the Bankruptcy is completed.

BEAVER COUNTY TAX CLAIM BUREAU
COST SCHEDULE

Year One Costs

Entry & Satisfaction fee per Claim $15.00
Certified Mail Return & Claim Notice $7.00
Posting of Return & Claim Notice $25.00

Year Two Costs

Entry & Satisfaction fee per Claim $15.00
Certified Mail Return & Claim Notice $7.00
Posting of Return & Claim Notice $25.00
Certified Mail Restricted Deliver of Sale Notice/name $12.00
Advertisement $70.00
Post/Serve Sale Notice/parcel $125.00
1st Class Mailing of Sale Notice $14.00
Review of sale file & preparation $25.00
Stay of Sale Agreement $25.00

Year Three Costs

Entry & Satisfaction fee per Claim $15.00
Certified Mail Return & Claim Notice $7.00
Posting of Return & Claim Notice $25.00
Title Search $300.00
Service Preparation $250.00
Sheriff Service/parcel $325.00
Advertising/parcel $70.00
Review of sale file & preparation $25.00

This schedule is subject to change without notice. The schedule may be changed dependent upon market and allocation costs.