More than 20 real estate plots will be put up for public auction in December 2021 for overdue taxes. The sale will be for 2019 and previous years, departmental and municipal taxes. The auction will again be conducted electronically online by GovEase (www.govease.com). Instructions on the tendering process are available on the same website.
Beginning with the last sale in September, the Hawkins County Chancellery Court began the transition from in-person to online sales. The past sale has been well received with an abundance of both local and outside bidders. The demand for online sales has increased with the restrictions of Covid as well as the convenience of being able to participate from literally anywhere in the world.
Potential bidders can register online to create an account by electronically signing the payment verification form, tax sale announcement and uploading a copy of the valid driver’s license. Bidders will then request an approved dollar amount for the entire sale. Once registered and approved, bidders can, but are not required to, enter maximum bids in advance. The added convenience of being able to enter a maximum bid is ideal for those who are at work or might not be able to participate during live auctions.
The opening offer is for overdue county and city taxes owed to the clerk and master’s office on the date of the sale and all charges associated with delinquency.
Opening offer does NOT include taxes owed to Hawkins County Trustee’s Office or taxes owed to Town of Rogersville, Town of Church Hill, Town of Mount Carmel, Town of Kingsport , the town of Surgoinsville or the town of Bulls. Gap into the respective city recorder office.
Properties are sold subject to these taxes. If the opening offer is not made, this property will be sold to Hawkins County for the amount of taxes due.
The ultimate goal is that no property is sold at auction. Selling properties is always a last resort.
Landowners receive notice throughout the legal process by certified mail and publication in the Rogersville Review and online on the Clerk and Master website at:
Additionally, the county delinquent tax attorney reviews information at the Deed Register office and Real Estate Appraiser office to determine current ownership and notify registered lien holders, if applicable.
However, despite the best efforts of the county and the delinquent tax attorney, selling property is sometimes the only way to collect the taxes owed. Selling online has dramatically increased participation. It is with this increase that the county hopes that all properties offered for sale will be sold and not taken over by the county so that they can remain on the tax rolls.
The listing of properties will likely continue to change during this time as property owners pay. Homeowners have until the morning of the sale to pay back taxes and prevent the sale of their property. An updated list of properties for auction will be maintained on the Clerk & Master website. Even if they are sold, the owners, lien holders and those with a fair interest in the property will have time to redeem the property. The repayment period can generally be up to one year from the date of the Order confirming the sale depending on certain circumstances. The terms of redemption are also listed on the Clerk & Master site. If a defaulting taxpayer buys back the property during this period, the successful bidder will get their money back plus 12% per annum, which will begin to accrue on the date of the sale.
It is a common misconception that the county keeps all funds associated with the sale. However, the county only receives the overdue tax amount and all fees and interest associated with the collection. A notice of the sale of surplus funds is mailed to the owner of the asset and all interested parties advising them of their right to redeem the asset or claim the excess funds. If unclaimed, the Clerk & Master sends unclaimed funds to the State of Tennessee after the legal hold period. At this point, anyone interested can contact the state to claim the funds.
All goods are sold AS IS, WHERE IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS. No warranty is made, express or implied, as to the title or condition of the premises, including warranties of merchantability, title insurability or fitness for a particular purpose. Buyers are responsible for performing their own physical inspection of the property and determining its boundaries. Buyers are also responsible for performing their own title review or obtaining independent legal advice as to the merchantability or insurability of properties sold for tax purposes in order to determine the title status of the properties or their suitability for a particular use.