Harford County sold more than 400 properties at its annual tax lien sale Monday, marking another "successful" year, County Treasurer Kathryn Hewitt said.
The event involves selling tax liens for delinquent taxes owned on real estate.
The sale was again held online, starting at 10 a.m. Monday. Out of 433 properties for sale, 403 were sold, many of them to a single successful bidder.
"It went very well," Hewitt said.
The total amount of taxes the county had been set to collect for the original 433 properties was $1,017,730.
"What we will be collecting on the 403 is $963,308," Hewitt said.
Hewitt did not know exactly how many people placed bids but said 85 had registered to bid.
One bidder took 104 properties, which Hewitt said is typical. Ten different bidders took most of the sale, 378 of the 403 properties.
The most expensive property sold was a commercial building in office building, assessed at $3,935,200, Hewitt said.
That property's owner owed $53,899.48 in taxes.
Seven property owners had more than $10,000 in taxes due on each property.
Most of the properties left unsold had very small assessments, such as $200.
"Sixteen of the properties had only a $200 assessed value, and one or two had a $0 assessed value," Hewitt said.
She added that was also typical, explaining the properties are usually a small piece of open space.
"We don't expect to sell 100 percent, but this was a good sale," Hewitt said. "It was a little larger sale than last year by about 20 properties."
The county has held its annual sale online since 2011 to make it more convenient for both bidders and county employees tabulating the bids.
With the sale of the tax liens, the property owner has four months to redeem the lien by repaying the amount of taxes due plus interest at the rate of 12 percent per annum, according to the legal notice for this year's sale. If the owner does not redeem within four months, the purchaser of the tax lien can institute foreclosure proceedings in court to claim title to the property.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun