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Delaware

Summary: A public sale is conducted by the county sheriff for properties having delinquent taxes (Sec. 8725). The minimum bid is the amount of past due taxes, interest, costs, and penalties. The Department of Finance or the chief county financial officer as designated by the county governing body may approve or disapprove the final bid at a sale made by the Sheriff under this subchapter provided that the notice of the public sale includes that such sale is “subject to the approval of the Department of Finance or the chief county financial officer” in the terms of sale. (Sec. 8726). In the event the Department of Finance or the chief county financial officer does not approve the final bid at such sale, the said Department of Finance or chief county financial officer may expose the property to another and as many succeeding sales as it chooses
Law: Delaware Code, Title 9, Part V, Chapter 87, “Collection of Delinquent Taxes.”

Contact: County Treasurer/Sheriff (Sec. 8773). “Every sale of lands and tenements shall be returned by the tax collecting authority to the Superior Court for the county, at the next term thereof, and the Court shall inquire into the circumstances, and either approve the sale, or set it aside. If it be approved, the tax collecting authority making the sale shall make a deed to the purchaser which shall convey the title of the taxable, or of his or her alienee, as the case may be; if it be set aside, the Court may order another sale, and so on until the tax due be collected. The certificate filed, together with the return and deed, shall be presumptive evidence of the regularity of the proceedings.”
Interest Rate: 15% penalty rate (Sec. 8758). “The owner of any real estate sold under order of sale or his legal representative may redeem the real estate so sold at any time within 60 days from the day the sale is confirmed by the Superior Court, by paying to the purchaser or his legal representative the amount of the purchase price and 15 percent in addition thereto or if the purchaser or his legal representative shall refuse to receive the same or does not reside within New Castle County or cannot be found within the County the owner may pay the amount into the Superior Court for the use of the purchaser.”

Auction Type: Hybrid Tax Deed (Sec. 8728). “If the owner of the property or his legal representatives fail to redeem the property as provided in this subchapter, the purchaser of the property or his legal representatives, successors or assigns may present a petition to the Superior Court setting forth the appropriate facts in conformity with this subchapter and pray that the Superior Court make an order directing the Sheriff, then
in office, to execute, acknowledge and deliver a deed conveying the title to the property to the petitioner; and thereupon the Superior Court shall have power, after a hearing upon the petition, to issue an order directing the Sheriff to execute, acknowledge and deliver a deed as prayed for in the petition. A description of the property as the same shall appear upon the assessment rolls, and a description by metes and bounds where obtainable shall be a sufficient description in any such deed.”

Bidding Procedure: Premium bid / highest bid. (Sec. 8779). “After satisfying the tax due and the costs and expenses of sale from the proceeds of sale under this subchapter, the amount remaining shall be paid at once to the owner of the land, or upon the refusal of the owner to accept the same, or if the owner is unknown or cannot be found, the amount remaining shall be deposited in some bank in the county either to the credit of the owner, or in a manner by which the fund may be identified.”

Costs: See the state statutes for a long list of fees and costs (Sec. 8733).

Redemption Period: 60 days (Sec. 8729). “The owner of any such real estate sold under this subchapter or his legal representatives may redeem the same at any time within 60 days from the day the sale thereof is approved by the Court, by paying to the purchaser or his Legal representatives, successors or assigns, the amount of the purchase price and 15 percent in addition thereto, together with all costs incurred in the cause; or if the
purchaser or his legal representatives, successors or assigns refuse to receive the same, or do not reside or cannot be found within the county where the property is located, by paying the amount into the Court for the use of the purchaser, his legal representatives or assigns.”

Deed Assigned at Foreclosure to:  The purchaser of the tax deed (Sec. 8727). “Any real estate or interest therein sold under the provisions of this subchapter shall vest in the purchaser all the right, title and interest of the person in whose name the property was assessed, and/or all right, title and interest of the person or persons who are the owners thereof, and likewise freed and discharged from any liens and encumbrances, dower or curtsy or statutory right, in the nature of a dower or curtsy, whether absolute or inchoate, in or to the real estate.”

Delaware Contacts
number of Counties: 3
Kent County

414 Federal Street
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Kent County Administration Building
Dover, DE 19901-3615
Phone: (302) 736-2040
www.co.kent.de.us

New Castle County
800 French Street
Delinquent Property Tax Division
City-County Building
Wilmington, DE 19801-3590
Phone: (302) 571-4011
www.co.new-castle.de.us

Sussex County
2 The Circle, PO Box 589
Delinquent Property Tax Division
County Administrative Office Building
Georgetown, DE 19947-1502
Phone: (302) 855-7742 www.sussexcounty.net