2020 Georgia Code
Title 48 - Revenue and Taxation
Chapter 4 - Tax Sales
Article 3 - Redemption of Property Sold for Taxes
§ 48-4-45. Notice of Foreclosure of Right to Redeem; Time; Persons Entitled to Notice

Universal Citation: GA Code § 48-4-45 (2020)
  1. After 12 months from the date of a tax sale, the purchaser at the sale or his heirs, successors, or assigns may terminate, foreclose, divest, and forever bar the right to redeem the property from the sale by causing a notice or notices of the foreclosure, as provided for in this article:
    1. To be served upon all of the following persons who reside in the county in which the property is located:
      1. The defendant in the execution under or by virtue of which the sale was held;
      2. The occupant, if any, of the property; and
      3. All persons having of record in the county in which the land is located any right, title, or interest in, or lien upon the property;
    2. To be sent by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to each of the persons specified in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (1) of this subsection who resides outside the county in which the property is located, if the address of that person is reasonably ascertainable; and
    3. To be published, if that tax sale occurs on or after July 1, 1989, in the newspaper in which the sheriff's advertisements for the county are published in each county in which that property is located, which publication shall occur once a week for four consecutive weeks in the six-month period immediately prior to the week of the redemption deadline date specified in the notice.
  2. Nothing contained in this Code section shall be construed to require that any notice be sent to or served upon any person whose right, title, interest in, or lien upon the property does not appear of record in the county in which the land is located.
  3. The heirs of any deceased owner of any land entitled to notice pursuant to this Code section shall be served by the sheriff or notified as provided in this article.

(Ga. L. 1937, p. 491, § 2; Code 1933, § 91A-434, enacted by Ga. L. 1978, p. 309, § 2; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1391, § 1; Ga. L. 2000, p. 1589, § 3.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 1589, § 16, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that the amendment to this Code section is applicable with respect to notices delivered on or after July 1, 2000.

Law reviews.

- For annual survey of law of real property, see 38 Mercer L. Rev. 319 (1986). For annual survey of real property law, see 57 Mercer L. Rev. 331 (2005). For annual survey on real property law, see 61 Mercer L. Rev. 301 (2009). For annual survey on real property, see 69 Mercer L. Rev. 251 (2017).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Notice requirements of O.C.G.A. § 48-4-45 must be complied with by one seeking redemption. Blizzard v. Moniz, 271 Ga. 50, 518 S.E.2d 407 (1999).

Proper notice requires compliance with multiple provisions.

- Under the plain language of O.C.G.A. § 48-4-45(a), the right to redeem is foreclosed and forever barred only upon compliance with paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), and (a)(3); because those three paragraphs are set forth in the conjunctive, compliance with each paragraph is required. Reliance Equities, LLC v. Lanier 5, LLC, 299 Ga. 891, 792 S.E.2d 680 (2016).

Lack of notice not affecting foreclosure of redemption.

- Because the former owner's interest in property was foreclosed upon by the creditor prior to the issuance of the tax fi-fa, the former owner's interest did not appear of record in the county in which the property was located when the foreclosure of the right of redemption was begun and, accordingly, the lack of notice to the former owner did not affect the validity of the foreclosure. GE Capital Mtg. Servs. Inc. v. Clack, 271 Ga. 82, 515 S.E.2d 619 (1999).

When notice requirement applicable.

- Appellant was entitled to fee simple title to a 50-acre tract as a predecessor in interest who purchased the property from the county after the county had purchased the property at a tax sale did not make an out-of-time redemption under former Code 1933, § 92-8301 (see now O.C.G.A. § 48-4-40(2)) as the extension of the right to redeem was not enacted until after the death of the initial purchaser, who was the predecessor's parent; the notice requirement in O.C.G.A. § 48-4-45 also was not enacted at that time. Selph v. Williams, 284 Ga. 349, 667 S.E.2d 40 (2008).

Proof of publication of notice.

- Tax sale purchaser's attachment of a copy of the newspaper notice to the summary judgment affidavit satisfied the purchaser's burden of showing on the record that the purchaser was entitled to judgment. GE Capital Mtg. Servs. Inc. v. Clack, 271 Ga. 82, 515 S.E.2d 619 (1999).

Computation of time.

- O.C.G.A. § 48-4-45 requires that 12 months shall have elapsed before the right to redeem property shall be foreclosed and before notice of the right to foreclose the right shall be served. Wallace v. President St., 263 Ga. 239, 430 S.E.2d 1 (1993).

Lienholders acquiring interest subsequent to tax sales not barred from redemption.

- O.C.G.A. § 48-4-45 does not provide that the interest must have been held at the time of the tax sale. The statute requires notice to lienholders who exist at the time of any attempted foreclosure of the right of redemption. Therefore, such lienholders are not barred from the right of redemption by reason of having acquired their interest subsequent to the tax sale. Leathers v. McClain, 255 Ga. 378, 338 S.E.2d 666 (1986).

Power of court of equity to allow redemption after expiration of period.

- After the statutory redemption has expired, the right to redeem is gone, and there is no power even in a court of equity to authorize redemption of the property in such cases. Boroughs v. Lance, 213 Ga. 143, 97 S.E.2d 357 (1957).

Failure to exercise right of redemption.

- Transferee by tax deeds of tax lien encumbered property, following a tax sale of the property, held fee simple title to the property unencumbered by any competing tax liens after notice and expiration of the redemption period. Nat'l Tax Funding, L.P. v. Harpagon Co., 277 Ga. 41, 586 S.E.2d 235 (2003).

Notice of barment.

- There was no evidence in the record showing that the notice of barment was ever provided to the sheriff by the purchaser for service; consequently, there was no evidence that the sheriff violated the sheriff's duties regarding service of the notice of barment as alleged. Tharp v. Vesta Holdings I, LLC, 276 Ga. App. 901, 625 S.E.2d 46 (2005).

Right to notice not shown.

- Because a tax sale listed the wrong owner of the property to be sold and the description of the property was inconsistent, such that it was unclear which property was being sold, the bidder's deed was defective, as was the quitclaim deed of the purchaser of the property from the bidder, and, accordingly, there was no merit to the purchaser's claim that it was due summary judgment on the issue of whether the owner's executrix had a right to redeem the property or whether the sale was barred under O.C.G.A. § 48-4-45; after the tax sale, the bidder quitclaimed the deed to the purchaser, which occurred prior to the sheriff's "administrative cancellation" of the tax sale due to procedural errors, and the purchaser's action to quiet title, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 23-3-40 et seq., resulted in summary judgment to the executrix. Harpagon Co. v. Gelfond, 279 Ga. 59, 608 S.E.2d 597 (2005).

In a challenge to the tax deed holder's acquisition of the subject property, a neighbor's complaint that, because of the neighbor's claim of adverse possession, the neighbor was entitled to statutory notice of foreclosure of the right to redeem the property, was rendered moot by the neighbor's abandonment of the adverse possession claim and the neighbor failed to show any other basis for a right to notice under O.C.G.A. § 48-4-45(a)(1). Ritchie v. Metro Tax Investors, Inc., 280 Ga. 79, 623 S.E.2d 498 (2005).

Alleged property owner not entitled to notice because interest not recorded.

- Claimant who asserted that the claimant was the owner of commercial property that had been sold at a tax sale, based on an oral contract that the claimant had fully performed and the claimant's payment of property taxes for over ten years, was not entitled to service of the notice of foreclosure of the right to redeem under O.C.G.A. § 48-4-45(a)(1) because subsection (b) required service on an "occupant" only if the occupant had an interest that was "of record," and the claimant had no recorded interest. Tyner v. Edge, 355 Ga. App. 196, 843 S.E.2d 632 (2020).

Power company easement a nullity.

- Easement the power company obtained from the landowner after the landowner had already lost the property to a tax sale became a nullity when the property was not redeemed after a buyer properly invoked the state barment statutes. Land USA, LLC v. Ga. Power Co., 297 Ga. 237, 773 S.E.2d 236 (2015).

No record of successful completion of foreclosure of redemption rights.

- Buyer's claim of foreclosure of all rights to redeem property purchased by the buyer at a tax sale failed because the county real estate records did not contain an entry memorializing successful completion of the foreclosure of the right of redemption as provided by O.C.G.A. § 48-4-46(d); a corporation thus only had notice that the buyer, as a later tax deed grantee, held an inchoate or defeasible title, which could have been perfected on foreclosure of all senior redemption rights. The corporation stood in the position of a good-faith purchaser for value without notice. Washington v. McKibbon Hotel Group, Inc., 284 Ga. 262, 664 S.E.2d 201 (2008).

Reasonably diligent steps to locate property owner.

- Summary judgment for a tax sale purchaser was affirmed as the purchaser took reasonably diligent steps to locate a property owner to notify the owner of the foreclosure of the owner's right to redeem the property as it: (1) attempted to learn from the owner's tenant how to contact the owner; (2) left letters under the condominium door; (3) contacted the management company; and (4) contacted the owner's mortgage company; the owner's claims that the purchaser should have searched a state court's docket and should have used a phone book to locate the owner were rejected. Hamilton v. Renewed Hope, Inc., 281 Ga. 393, 637 S.E.2d 412 (2006).

Tax sale buyer complied with O.C.G.A. § 48-4-45(a)'s notice requirements when, after conducting a reasonable search, the buyer sent notice to the owner's known addresses via certified mail, as the buyer resided outside the county where the property was located, and published the required notices in a newspaper in the county where the property was located. Mancuso v. TDGA, LLC, 301 Ga. 671, 802 S.E.2d 248 (2017), cert. denied, 200 L. Ed. 2d 518, 86 U.S.L.W. 3485 (U.S. 2018), cert. denied, 2018 U.S. LEXIS 2010, 200 L. Ed. 2d 518 (U.S. 2018).

Bankruptcy.

- Tax sale purchaser creditor's motion for relief from the automatic stay under 11 U.S.C. § 362(d) was denied, and the debtor could not yet proceed to foreclose on the debtor's equity of redemption under the barment provisions of O.C.G.A. §§ 48-4-45 and48-4-46 because the foreclosure was filed after the chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. Greyfield Res., Inc. v. Drummer (In re Drummer), 457 Bankr. 912 (Bankr. N.D. Ga. 2011).

Although the time period for the chapter 13 debtor to exercise the debtor's right of redemption as to the tax deed sale of the debtor's real property passed, under O.C.G.A. § 48-4-45, the debtor could still pay the claim pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 1322 as a claim under the debtor's chapter 13 plan. Francis v. Scorpion Group, LLC (In re Francis), 489 Bankr. 262 (Bankr. N.D. Ga. 2013).

When Chapter 13 debtor proposed extension plan prior to date when the right of redemption would have expired under Georgia state law, without regard to an extension provided by 11 U.S.C. § 108, the debtor did not reside on that property, and the Chapter 13 plan would pay the redemption amount in full, plus interest, then the redemption amount could be paid over the length of the plan regardless of whether applicable state law required a lump sum payment. In re Jimerson, 564 Bankr. 430 (Bankr. N.D. Ga. 2017).

Redemption untimely.

- Judgment denying the redeemer's motion for relief was reversed because the plain terms of O.C.G.A. § 48-4-45(a) provided unambiguously that the right to redeem was foreclosed only after compliance with paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), and (a)(3) and the redeemer attempted to redeem the property before the buyer had complied with paragraph (a)(3); thus, the right to redeem was not yet foreclosed, and the buyer improperly rejected the redeemer's tender of the redemption price as untimely. Reliance Equities, LLC v. Lanier 5, LLC, 299 Ga. 891, 792 S.E.2d 680 (2016).

Cited in Funderburke v. Kellet, 257 Ga. 822, 364 S.E.2d 845 (1988); Davis v. Harpagon Co., LLC, 281 Ga. 250, 637 S.E.2d 1 (2006); Human v. Harpagon Co., LLC, 281 Ga. 372, 637 S.E.2d 684 (2006); Davis v. Harpagon Co., LLC, 283 Ga. 539, 661 S.E.2d 545 (2008); BX Corp. v. Hickory Hill 1185, LLC, 285 Ga. 5, 673 S.E.2d 205 (2009); Nix v. 230 Kirkwood Homes, LLC, 300 Ga. 91, 793 S.E.2d 402 (2016).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 30 Am. Jur. 2d, Executions, § 458. 72 Am. Jur. 2d, State and Local Taxation, § 911 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 85 C.J.S., Taxation, § 1370 et seq.

ALR.

- Who entitled to notice necessary to perfect tax title, 54 A.L.R. 756; 169 A.L.R. 686.

Necessity and sufficiency of statement in notice of application for tax deed, or notice to redeem for tax sale, as regards time for redemption, 82 A.L.R. 502.

Tax title or deed as subject to attack for want of notice of application for tax deed or of expiration of redemption period, where a statute makes tax deed conclusive evidence of matters preliminary to its issuance or limits attack thereon to specific grounds or exempts deed from attack for procedural irregularities or omissions, 134 A.L.R. 796.

Statutory limitation of period for attack on tax deed as affected by failure to comply with statutory requirement as to notice before tax deed, 5 A.L.R.2d 1021.

Right of interested party receiving due notice of tax sale or of right to redeem to assert failure or insufficiency of notice to other interested party, 45 A.L.R.4th 447.

Recovery of sales taxes paid on bad debts, 38 A.L.R.6th 255.

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