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New Jersey

Summary: Local tax collectors (municipal level) conduct public oral bid tax sale auctions to sell properties having delinquent real estate property taxes (Sec. 54:5-19, Sec. 54:5-31). The property shall be struck off and sold to the bidder who offers to pay the amount of such taxes, assessments or charges, plus the highest amount of premium. Whenever the governing body of a municipality shall by resolution determine that a particular parcel or parcels of real estate, scheduled to be sold at public auction pursuant to the tax sale law, would be useful for a public purpose, it may authorize and direct a municipal official to attend the auction and bid for such parcel or parcels at such sale on behalf of the municipality in the same manner as any other bidder. (Sec.54:5-30.1). If there are no bidders, the property will be stricken off and sold to the municipality (Sec. 54:5-34).

Law: New Jersey Revised Statutes, Title 54, Subtitle 2, Chapter 5, “Tax Sale Law.”

Contact: Local tax collector (Sec. 54:5-19). “When unpaid taxes or any municipal lien, or part thereof, on real property, remains in arrears on the 11th day of the eleventh month in the fiscal year when the same became in arrears, the collector or other officer charged by law in the municipality with that duty, shall enforce the lien by selling the property in the manner set forth in this article, provided that the sale is conducted no earlier than in the last month of the fiscal year.”

Interest Rate: 18% per annum and 4%-6% penalty depending on the amount of the certificate (Sec. 54:5-61). According to (Sec. 54:5-32), “The sale shall be made in fee to such person as will purchase the property, subject to redemption at the lowest rate of interest, but in no case in excess of 18% per annum. If at the sale a person shall offer to purchase subject to redemption at a rate of interest less than 1%, he may, in lieu of any rate of interest to redeem, offer a premium over and above the amount of taxes, assessments or other charges, as in this chapter specified, due the municipality, and the property shall be struck off and sold to the bidder who offers to pay the amount of such taxes, assessments or charges, plus the highest amount of premium.” Furthermore (Sec. 54:5-61.), “The holder of the tax title shall be entitled to fees and expenses in ascertaining the persons interested in the premises sold, but such fees and expenses shall not exceed in all the sum of twelve dollars, and the holder shall also be entitled for his expenses, to such sums as he may have actually paid for recording the certificate. In addition, and upon compliance with the provisions of R.S.54:5-62 the holder
shall also be entitled for his expenses, to such sums as he may have actually paid for necessary advertising in a newspaper under this chapter and fees for services of notices necessarily and actually served. Such fees and expenses shall be separate, apart from and in addition to those fees permitted under section 7 of P.L.1965, c.187 (C.54:5-97.1) and R.S.54:5-98. Upon redemption in accordance with R.S.54:5-58, R.S.54:5-59 and R.S.54:5-60 the holder of the tax title shall be entitled to collect from the owner or other persons having a right of redemption pursuant to R.S.54:5-54, additional sums in accordance with the following schedule: When the tax title certificate amount shall exceed the sum of two hundred dollars, the holder, upon redemption of the tax title shall be entitled to collect from the owner or other person having an interest in the lands an additional sum equal to two per cent of the amount so paid for the tax title certificate.”

When the tax title certificate amount shall exceed the sum of $5,000, such additional sum shall be equal to 4% of such amount paid; and when the tax title certificate amount exceeds $10,000, such additional sum shall be equal to 6% of such amount paid. This section shall also apply to all existing tax title certificates held by municipalities on the effective date of P.L.1991, c.75.

Auction Type: Tax Lien Certificate (Sec. 54:5-46). “Public auction the sale shall be made in fee to such person as will purchase the property, subject to redemption at the lowest rate of interest.” (Sec. 54:5-32).

Bidding Procedure: Bid down interest rate. (Sec. 54:5-32).

Costs: The officer conducting a tax sale shall collect and pay into the treasury of the municipality a fee for all costs incurred by the municipality in holding the sale. The amount of the fee so paid shall be 2% of the existing lien as stated in R.S. 54:5-19 and R.S. 54:5-2, but not less than $15.00 and not more than $100.00 for each parcel sold. The fee shall form part of the tax lien and be paid by the purchaser at the tax sale. If a tax lien on a specific parcel is not sold at a sale, the fee for the sale shall be added to the amount due to the municipality and shall form part of the lien and be paid by a purchaser at a subsequent tax sale. (Sec. 54:5-38).

Redemption Period: Two (2) years. (Sec. 54:5-86). Except as hereinafter provided, the owner, his heirs, holder of any prior outstanding tax lien certificate, mortgagee, or occupant of land sold for municipal taxes, assessment for benefits pursuant to R.S.54:5-7 or other municipal charges, may redeem it at any time until the right to redeem has been cut off in the manner in this chapter set forth, by paying to the collector, or to the collector of delinquent taxes on lands of the municipality where the land is situate, for the use of the purchaser, his heirs or assigns, the amount required for redemption as hereinafter set forth. When the municipality is the purchaser of a tax sale certificate, the municipality, or its assignee or transferee, may, at any time after the expiration of the term of six months from the date of sale, institute an action to foreclose the right of redemption. Except as provided in subsection a. of section 39 of P.L.1996, c.62 (C.55:19-58), for all other persons that do not acquire a tax sale certificate from a municipality, an action to foreclose the right of redemption may be instituted at any time after the expiration of the term of two years from the date of sale of the tax sale certificate. On instituting the action the right to redeem shall exist and continue until barred by the judgment of the Superior Court. (Sec. 54:5-54, Sec. 54:5-86).

(Sec. 54:5-61.) The holder of the tax title shall be entitled to fees and expenses in ascertaining the persons interested in the premises sold, but such fees and expenses shall not exceed in all the sum of twelve dollars, and the holder shall also be entitled for his expenses, to such sums as he may have actually paid for recording the certificate. In addition, and upon compliance with the provisions of R.S.54:5-62 the holder shall also be entitled for his expenses, to such sums as he may have actually paid for necessary advertising in a newspaper under this chapter and fees for services of notices necessarily and actually served. Such fees and expenses shall be separate, apart from and in addition to those fees permitted under section 7 of P.L.1965, c.187 (C.54:5-97.1) and R.S.54:5-98. Upon redemption in accordance with R.S.54:5-58, R.S.54:5-59 and R.S.54:5-60 the holder of the tax title shall be entitled to collect from the owner or other persons having a right of redemption pursuant to R.S.54:5-54, additional sums in accordance with the following schedule: When the tax title certificate amount shall exceed the sum of two hundred dollars, the holder, upon redemption of the tax title shall be entitled to collect from the owner or other person having an interest in the lands an additional sum equal to two per cent of the amount so paid for the tax title certificate.

When the tax title certificate amount shall exceed the sum of $5,000, such additional sum shall be equal to
4% of such amount paid; and when the tax title certificate amount exceeds $10,000, such additional sum shall
be equal to 6% of such amount paid. This section shall also apply to all existing tax title certificates held by
municipalities on the effective date of P.L.1991, c.75.

Deed Assigned at Foreclosure to: Tax Lien Certificate purchaser. More specifically, The Superior Court, in an action to foreclose the right of redemption, may give full and complete relief under this chapter, in accordance with other statutory authority of the court, to bar the right of redemption and to foreclose all prior or subsequent alienations and descents of the lands and encumbrances thereon, except subsequent municipal liens, and to adjudge an absolute and indefeasible estate of inheritance in fee simple, to be vested in the purchaser. The judgment shall be final upon the defendants, their heirs, devisees and personal representatives, and their or any of their heirs, devisees, executors, administrators, grantees, assigns or successors in right, title or interest and no application shall be entertained to reopen the judgment after three months from the
date thereof, and then only upon the grounds of lack of jurisdiction or fraud in the conduct of the suit. Such judgment and recording thereof shall not be deemed a sale, transfer, or conveyance of title or interest to the subject property under the provisions of the “Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act,” R.S.25:2-20 et seq.

In the event that any federal statute or regulation requires a judicial sale of the property in order to debar
and foreclose a mortgage interest or any other lien held by the United States or any agency or instrumentality
thereof, then the tax lien may be foreclosed in the same manner as a mortgage, and the final judgment shall
provide for the issuance of a writ of execution to the sheriff of the county wherein the property is situated and
the holding of a judicial sale as in the manner of the foreclosure of a mortgage. (Sec. 54:5-87).

New Jersey Contacts
number of Counties: 21

Atlantic County
1333 Atlantic Ave.
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Atlantic City, NJ 08401-8201
Phone: (609) 645-5900
www.aclink.org

Burlington County
49 Rancocas Road, PO Box 6000
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Mount Holly, NJ 08060-1388
Phone: (609) 265-5104
www.co.burlington.nj.us

Hudson County
583 Newark Avenue
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Jersey City, NJ 07306-2301
Phone: (201) 795-6224
www.hudsoncountynj.org

Mercer County
640 South Broad Street
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Trenton, NJ 08611-1822
Phone: (609) 989-6832
www.mercercounty.org

Middlesex County
P.O. Box 871
Delinquent Property Tax Division
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-0871
Phone: (732) 745-3184
www.co.middlesex.nj.us

Monmouth County
One East Main Street
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Freehold, NJ 07728-2273
Phone: (732) 431-7184
www.shore.co.monmouth.nj.us

Ocean County
101 Hooper Ave
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Toms River, NJ 08753-7605
Phone: (732) 244-2240
www.oceancountygov.com

Somerset County
20 Grove Street
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Somerville, NJ 08876-2306
Phone: (908) 231-6800
www.co.somerset.nj.us

Union County
Elizabethtown Plaza
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Elizabeth, NJ 07207
Phone: (908) 527-4112
www.unioncountynj.org

Warren County
165 County Road, 519 South
Delinquent Property Tax Division
Belvidere, NJ 07823-1949
Phone: (908) 475-6992
www.warrennet.org/warrencounty