Property Tax Liens In Utah
You can not purchase delinquent tax liens in Utah. They only sell “tax deeds” to recover unpaid property taxes.
It’s just not a great state for delinquent property tax investing. The property tax in Utah has to be at least 5 years delinquent before they are sold at a tax sale.
In addition, Utah State Law allows for 2 different bidding procedures.
Either the amount of the deed is bid up, starting at what is owed for back taxes and penalties and the highest bid is accepted, or the percentage of the property is bid down.
Unimproved or “vacant” parcels are sold to the highest bidder or via the Bid-Up process. The bidding will start with a minimum opening bid that includes taxes, penalties, interest, and the administrative cost of the sale.
The bid amounts will continue to increase until the parcel up for sale is sold to the highest bidder. The end result of this type of sale is that the county will convey ownership from the previous owner to the winning bidder through the issuance and recording of a tax deed
Improved parcels with homes or buildings are sold for a percentage of the ownership share or Undivided Interest.
“Undivided Interest” refers to the percentage of ownership the winning bidder will get in the undivided parcel. Utah County does not subdivide parcels through the tax sale process.
The bidding will start with an opening bid that includes taxes, penalties, interest and costs for 100% of the undivided interest. As bidding continues, the percentage of ownership will be bid down.
The winner bidder will be final remaining bidder who, for the amount of taxes, penalties, interest and fees due, accepts the lowest percentage of ownership in the property. The remaining percentage of ownership not sold will be retained by the original owner. At the end of the sale, the property will now have two owners. The original owner and the winning bidder will be co-owners of the property.
In this instance the successful bidder is the one that bids the full amount of taxes owed for the smallest portion of the entire parcel.
Each May, county treasurer (or in some counties, the county auditor) conducts a sale of properties that are at least 5 years delinquent. The properties to be sold are advertised in a newspaper approximately four weeks prior to the sale.
Registration prior to the sale. Along with a written sealed first bid accompanied by certified funds. A deposit amount of the minimum bid, may be required in order to bid. The minimum bid amount consists of the total accrued taxes, interest, penalties and costs.
Some properties may not receive a bid. These parcels will be sold to the county. Collusive bidding is prohibited. Bid sheets must be completed and money paid immediately after being declared the successful bidder.
Failure or refusal to submit funds will result in the bidder being banned. Therefore, you can not bid or participate in future tax sales. The successful bidder will receive a receipt on the day of the sale.
A tax deed will be issued later with the bidder’s name and address, property’s legal description, and amount paid.
Also, the State of Utah has NO is no redemption period.
And some Utah counties may offer tax deeds over the counter for parcels not sold during the tax sale.