Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can the delinquent tax attorneys sell my property for unpaid taxes?
Yes. It is possible that property can be sold for delinquent taxes. A lawsuit for tax lien foreclosure can be filed and a judgment subsequently granted by the court. The attorneys, with the approval of the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office, can then proceed with Tax Sale procedures.
Q. Who holds the Tax Sale?
Tax Sales are held by the eight Harris County Constables who are responsible for holding sales of property with delinquent taxes within their respective precincts.
Types of Auctions and Sales
Q. What is the difference between a Tax, Trustee, and Execution Auction?
The Constable conducts the sale pursuant to a court order on behalf of a private plaintiff.
The property is being sold for reasons other than delinquent property taxes.
The property will be listed in the
Daily Court Review and other foreclosure publication services.
The Constable conducts the sale on behalf of the taxing entities.
The property is being foreclosed on for delinquent property taxes.
The property will be listed in the
Daily Court Review and other foreclosure publication services.
The Trustee conducts the sale on behalf of a lender.
Trustee auctions, while held at the same time and place as delinquent Tax Auctions, are not conducted by Harris County. Trustees are hired by the lienholder to legally foreclose on the mortgagor/debtor.
Q. How do I know if a property will be offered in the Tax Auction or the Trustee Auction?
A property will be offered for sale by a Constable at a Tax Auction if there are delinquent property taxes owed that were taken to judgment.
A property will be offered for sale by a Trustee at a
Trustee Auction if the Trustee (represents lienholder) forecloses on a deed of trust.
Note: You do not need to register with the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office to bid at the Trustee Auction. You may, however, need to register with the trustee.
Q. What is the difference between a sale and a resale?
sale is for a property that is being offered for the first time. When a property does not receive at least the minimum bid at a first Tax Sale, it may be “struck off” to the taxing entity that initiated the sale. A new deed is filed, reflecting the change in ownership to the posting jurisdiction. Usually, the property is posted for resale at a later date.
Q. When and where are Tax Sales held?
When: 1st Tuesday of each month
Where: Bayou City Event Center 9401 Knight Road
Houston, TX 77045
Hours: Registration begins 8:30 am. Sales are conducted from 10 am - 4 pm.
Parking and Transportation
Q. Is onsite parking available?
Yes. Onsite parking is available at the Bayou City Event Center. Please be advised, however, that the lot fills quickly and is usually full by 9:30am.
Effective August 2, 2016, there is a
$5.00 CASH ONLY fee. Bills larger than $20 will not be accepted.
Q. If I cannot find parking at the Event Center, what alternatives are available?
You can park at the
Fannin South Park and Ride lot, less than a mile from the event. Then, catch the free METRO shuttle from the Fannin South Transit Center to the Bayou City Event Center. Cost for parking is $5.00 .
Q. Are there any other options available through METRO?
Yes. You may use one of METRO’s other service to arrive at the
Fannin South Transit Center, where you will catch the free shuttle to the Bayou City Event Center. Other service to the Transit Center include these buses: 8 West Bellfort, 73 Bellfort, 11 Alameda/Lyons and 87 Sunnyside.You may also take METRORail’s Red Line. Cost for the rail ticket is $1.25.
Q. What hours does the METRO shuttle run?
Round trip service runs from 8am-5pm. Transfers to the shuttle occur every 20 minutes. The shuttle trip takes approximately 8 minutes.
Q. How do I register to bid on a Tax Sale?
All bidders must register with the Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office prior to placing a bid. Registration is free.You may register online, in person or by mail.
Online at Select www.hctax.net: Property Tax, then Delinquent Property Tax Sales. Click on the blue Registration of Bidders button, then click on Register to enter and submit your information. Those who register online will receive an email confirmation and may create and maintain a profile for future use.
In person: Complete and submit the form at the registration table on the day of the Tax Sale. “ Tax Sale Bidder Registration ”
By mail: Complete and then print the form from the “ Tax Sale Bidder Registration ” FORMS section of our website. Mail to: P.O. Box 3746, Houston, Texas 77253-3746.
Q. What information is required for registration?
The following information is required to complete the bidder registration application process:
form with signature, certifying that there are no delinquent taxes owed to Harris County or any taxing units within the county “ Tax Sale Bidder Registration ” Valid, government-issued photo identification
List of properties
(real and business personal) you currently own in Harris County ( if applicable)
Q. Can I bid on behalf of another party?
Yes. Agents are allowed to represent a bidder at the sale provided they have identification and written authorization for representation of the individual or company on company letterhead.
If you will be bidding on behalf of another individual(s) or company, you must register separately for each buyer whom you represent and provide the following:
Name and address of the bidder
Name and address of the represented entity
Written proof of authorization on company letterhead in order to bid for that person or company
List of properties (
real and business personal) currently owned by the represented entity in Harris County ( if applicable)
Q. Where can I find a list of the properties to be included in a Tax Sale?
Properties being sold by the constables, as a tax foreclosure or writ of execution, are posted as follows:
publication – tax delinquent properties and executions Daily Court Review On a bulletin board at the
Family Law Center At
Bayou City Event Center on the day of the sale – (tax properties and executions) By
Foreclosure Listing Service companies – trustee properties and sales results
For the taxing jurisdictions they represent, the following
law firms also post properties being sold for delinquent taxes on their websites:
Q. Where can I find information about properties to be sold?
websites contain information on delinquent properties to be sold at Tax Sale:
The buyer should exercise due diligence in investigating the properties in which they are interested, both as to the physical condition of the property as well as any title issues and legal encumbrances, etc.
The property may be subject to other liens or encumbrances that are not cleared by the sale of the property. This may include other tax liens and judgments not included in the sale. The purchaser is also responsible for taxes accrued after the date of judgment.
Q. How can I find out within which precinct a property is located?
There are a few ways to locate a property within a Constable Precinct:
publication and other foreclosure publication services Daily Court Review: If you know the Law Firm that is administering the sale, you can visit its website:
Q. What if a property has a “0” address?
Property addresses are taken from the Harris Central Appraisal District records and in some cases, no address has been assigned to a vacant property. However, the property location can be determined by researching the account details available from the Harris Central Appraisal District at:
Q. Why was a property sale canceled?
A property can be canceled for a number of reasons, the most common of which is that the delinquent taxes have been paid. If a property has been canceled, it will not be offered for sale at auction, but could come up at a later date if it was canceled for another reason other than paid.
Q. Can a property be canceled on the day of the auction?
Yes. A property can be canceled at any time before it comes up for auction.
Q. How is the minimum bid determined?
In order to purchase Tax Sale property at a first sale, the bidder must pay at least the statutory minimum bid, which is set at the lower of:
judgment value – value of the property at the time the judgment is taken
the total of all amounts awarded in the judgment, including costs of suit and sale
The minimum bid is determined prior to the sale by the Constable and is announced at the sale. If taxes have accrued on the property for years after the date of the foreclosure judgment (“post-judgment taxes”), the Tax Sale purchaser is responsible for those taxes. Post-judgment taxes are paid at the Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office – not at the post-judgment sale.
Q. What if no minimum bid is received at the Tax Sale?
minimum bid is offered, the property will be struck-off to the posting jurisdiction and sold at a later date. Harris County properties may be offered at a later Constable sale for a lower minimum bid.
Q. How do I bid on a property?
Once you have registered with the Harris County Tax Assessor’s Office and obtained a bidder card, you are eligible to bid by raising your card in plain sight for the Constable to see at a certain bid price.
Q. Can I bid on multiple properties?
Q. Can I bid in multiple precincts?
Q. What does it mean to purchase the property “as is”?
In Harris County, and in the State of Texas, the taxing units have no liability or responsibility for the condition of the properties or the title of the properties that are posted for public sale. The
successful bidder purchases the property “as is;” meaning that each purchaser is responsible to do their own
investigation of the properties being offered for sale, both as to the physical condition of the property, as well as any title issues, etc.
The property is subject to any other liens or encumbrances that are not cleared from the sale of the property. This may include other tax liens and judgments not included in the sale.
There are no expressed or
implied warranties. The purchaser has no recourse against the taxing jurisdiction(s).
Q. How and when do you pay for property that is purchased at a Tax Sale?
You must pay for the property at the time of sale. Only cash or certified funds (cashier’s checks) are accepted. Certified checks should be made payable to the selling Constable precinct. Alternatively, certified checks may be made payable to the buyer, and then endorsed over to the selling Constable precinct.
Q. Can I go to the bank for money and come back to pay?
No. You must pay for the property at the time of sale. The County may pursue legal actions for non-payment or rescission of a winning bid.
Q. What type of document is issued when I purchase a property?
A receipt will be issued on the day of the sale. The successful bidder on a property will be issued a Constable’s Deed within
4 to 6 weeks after the auction date. The name indicated below the Registrant’s Name on your bidder card will be the name appearing on the new Constable’s Deed.
Q. Will I be refunded any amount I pay over the winning bid amount?
Yes. If the payment is more than the winning bid, the Constable’s Office will issue a refund for the difference. The refund will be made at a later date.
Q. Can I return the property I purchased at auction?
The officers who conduct Tax Sales regard
all sales as final and not subject to rescission due to mistake or dissatisfaction with the property. The County may pursue damages against a bidder who rescinds on a purchase.