Memphis, Tennessee Tax Sales FAQ
When and where are the tax sale advertised?
The First & Final Publication listing the tax sale properties
is published no less than 20 days before the tax sale in either
the Daily News or Memphis Business Journal publications.
When and where are tax sales conducted?
Tax Sales are conducted at the Shelby County Courthouse, at 140
Adams Avenue, either in the Supreme Court Courtroom on the 3rd
floor, or the southwest corner steps. The time, date and location
are specified in the First & Final Publication published
particular to that sale.
What if I purchase a property that is
encumbered by a mortgage or other lien?
Our firm's practice is generally to conduct a title search prior
to filing tax suits on behalf of our taxing unit clients and, if
we discover an outstanding lien, the holder of that lien is generally
made a party and served with citation with a view toward having
the tax judgment and tax sale extinguish and terminate that lien
interest. However, there is no guarantee that all ownership
or lien interests have been accounted for and extinguished by the
judgment, nor can we guarantee against any other possible defects in
the tax sale or in the underlying judgment on which the sale is
based. ALL SALES ARE CONSIDERED FINAL BY THE OFFICER CONDUCTING
THE SALE, AND ALL SALES ARE WITHOUT WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED. We
urge you to independently verify the quality of the title you expect
to receive by commissioning your own title search and by engaging
your own attorney to examine all papers on file with the court
in the underlying tax foreclosure suit.
Is payment in full required the day of the sale?
Full payment with secured funds (cash or certified funds) must
be made to the Clerk of Court within 24 hours of the sale.
What is the bidding process?
The bidding begins with the minimum bid amount, and bidding increases
according to the bids, in increments no less than $100. All sales
are made to the highest bidder, subject to the equity of redemption,
and for cash.
What is the minimum bid I should expect to pay?
The minimum bid to be paid is the amount that is advertised in
the First & Final Publication.
Does your Law Firm offer a financing program or any discounts?
What type of ownership document is issued at the sale?
A receipt is issued by the Court clerk upon full payment of the
bid amount. Then, after the Decree Confirming the Sale Divesting
and Vesting Title is entered with the Court, the owner can
request a Quit Claim Deed from the Chancery Court Clerk, and
the Chancery Court Clerk will prepare the Quit Claim Deed upon
payment of the application fee.
What happens to the properties that are not sold at the
In some cases, if no one bids, the properties may be withdrawn
from the sale. Alternatively, some properties not sold at the auction
are struck off and sold to the City of Memphis, and after the one
year right of redemption has passed, the Real Estate Department
will market and sell those properties for fair market value.
How do I get a list of properties struck off at auction
and now sold for resale?
You can get a surplus property list from the City of Memphis Real
Estate Department by calling 901-576-6330.
How do I find out the results of a tax sale auction including
which properties were sold to whom and for what amount?
That information is public record and can be found in the Tax Sale
file held by the Chancery Court Clerk. The information is contained
in a Decree Confirming the Sale, Divesting and Vesting Title.
What if I purchase property at a tax sale and then the
prior owner wants to redeem the property?
We cannot give you any legal advice regarding that matter, except
to advise you to seek your own legal counsel if you are unsure
of the redemption period applicable to the property and/or the
amounts to which you are entitled upon redemption by the former
If I purchase property at a tax sale and later become
dissatisfied with the property may I cancel the sale and have
a refund of the purchase price?
The officers who conduct tax sales regard those sales as final
and not subject to rescission due to the purchaser's mistake or
dissatisfaction with regards to the property.
Will I be able to get title insurance on a property I
purchase at tax sale?
We cannot guarantee that title insurance will be available. Underwriting
practices vary from one company to the next with regards to tax
sale property. If the availability of title insurance is of paramount
importance to you, we urge that you explore that matter with a
title company of your choice prior to any tax sale purchase.