(Read by Doug Todd, former Treasurer at the opening of the Maricopa County tax lien sale.)
Welcome to the Maricopa County Tax Lien Sale. This is a public sale of delinquent real property taxes, held
pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 42, Chapter 18, Article 3, Sections 42-18101 through 42-18126. Please note the
new numbers given to the taxation title of the Arizona Revised Statutes. It has been completely recodified and is now in
its new form; the law of the land.
As a reminder, the County Treasurers of Arizona convinced the State Legislature to put an end to the administrative
foreclosure on tax liens. We long have felt the process of the taking of property belonged in the Courts and the hands of
professionals; not in the hands of government employees. Therefore, in accordance with Chapter 233, Laws of 1998, 2nd
Regular Session, the Treasurers will accept for the action of administrative foreclosure any CP that was issued on or
before December 31st, 1998. On January 1st, 2004 we will be completely out of the foreclosing business.
To those of you who are new to this type of sale, I would like to make clear the manner in which this sale will be
conducted, exactly on what you are bidding, and what you will receive in the event you are successful in purchasing a tax
lien on a property.
You are not bidding an amount that you wish to pay in order to obtain a Certificate of Purchase; you are bidding the rate
of interest that you are willing to accept on your investment. The amounts printed in the newspaper are the base tax only.
You are not purchasing property, but a tax lien against the property in the amount of your investment. In the absence of
any future payments by the property owner, your Certificate of Purchase allows you to make subsequent payments of delinquent
taxes. This amount will be added to your initial investment and continue to draw interest at the same rate as originally bid
until such time as the tax lien is redeemed or a foreclosure action results. Your Certificate of Purchase does not give you a
right to contact the property owner for any reason. Such contact, while not specifically prohibited by law, can be considered
a form of personal harassment. We have asked the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to investigate some recent occurrences
reported to us by property owners.
Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statues, Section 42-18201, you must hold the certificate for a period of three years from the date of
original offering before initiating an action in Superior Court. You are advised to investigate, prior to bidding, to determine whether
the property would be of sufficient use or value to you should you be fortunate or unfortunate enough to be in a position to obtain a
deed at some future date.
Legal descriptions are obtained from the assessment and tax roll generated by the County Assessor, who, by the way, does not guarantee
the descriptions are complete or entirely correct. You are advised to independently verify legal descriptions prior to bidding. Otherwise,
difficulties, including obtaining title insurance, may occur in connection with foreclosure.
In the event the Board of Supervisors, by resolution, retroactively cancels a property or corrects the valuation or classification of a
property; you may not receive the anticipated interest.
The tax lien you wish to purchase may be rescinded due to a pre-existing stay order from Bankruptcy Court. In that case, only your purchase
price will be refunded to you at such time as the existence of the stay order affecting a particular property is made known to the Treasurer.
In the event of bankruptcy proceedings either before or after the sale of the lien, there is no guarantee the purchaser of the tax lien
will receive the anticipated interest, or any interest whatsoever. The United States Bankruptcy Court will make that determination!
In the event a property has been split from another property with delinquent taxes, there may be tax liens prior and superior to the one
you are purchasing. You are advised to research such genealogy and tax status prior to bidding.
Due to re-platting, conveyances, etc., real estate may have a different legal description and / or different parcel number for different
tax years. Once again, you are advised to research the genealogy of a property prior to bidding in order to buy all delinquent taxes under
all numbers for that property.
So that Maricopa County may report interest received by certificate holders in accordance with Internal Revenue Service regulations, this
Office is required by the Federal Government to obtain the tax identification number of the buyer at the time of purchase of the tax lien.
Accordingly, please present your properly executed form W-9, W-8BEN, or W-8BEN-E for non-US citizens to the cashier together with your payment.
Pay particular attention to any change in your current business status, such as a new corporation or sub chapter ‘s’ , etc.
Processing of your certificate will not begin until a properly filled out W-9, W-8BEN, or W-8BEN-E is received; no exceptions! New regulations implemented
by the Federal bureaucracy require us to withhold at the 24% rate for US citizens and 30% for non-US citizens of the proceeds for non-compliance
or incorrect reporting of the tax identification number to the IRS.
You are advised that, pursuant to the laws of the State of Arizona, specifically ARS 42-18116, in the event a person to whom a tax lien has
been sold fails to pay the amount due and the sale has closed, the Treasurer may recover the amount bid by civil action in a court of
At the completion of each day, you may submit written requests for parcels already offered and not bid on. The total for these requests
will be included in the next sessions' total.
Again, I would like to welcome you to the tax lien sale. Welcome to, in my humble opinion, the ultimate in buyer beware. On your own
volition, you are about to do business with government and government has written every one of the rules by which we play this game.
Caveat emptor! Let the buyer beware! Good luck and good bidding.
back to top