The Tax Claim Bureau was established under Act 542 of 1947 (the purpose of Act 542 is to promptly return properties with delinquent real estate taxes to the productive tax rolls.
The act also provides for the consolidation of all delinquent real-estate tax claims into one agency as a convenience to local officials, property owners, prospective purchasers and title searchers.
The Tax Claim Bureau of Greene County, collects delinquent real-estate taxes. Taxes become delinquent, the end of every year, if not paid. The Treasurer's Office and the local Tax Collector's send all delinquencies to our office. When the taxes are delinquent two years, our office holds an Upset Sale.
The Upset Sale is held no earlier than the second Monday of September or later than the last day of September each year. An auction-type sale is held on the Greene County Courthouse steps. These properties are not sold "free and clear". Properties not sold at our upset sale, are then eligible for our Judicial Sale, which is our "free and clear" sale.
This sale is held at the discretion of our Solicitor. Properties not sold at a Judicial Sale are then placed in our Repository. Our office accepts private bids for these properties. A list is available at our office, for a fee of $1.00 per page.
Our office provides, lien certificates for any property. This states if there are any delinquencies on a property. The cost is $15.00 per parcel. We provide printouts, showing what is owed on a property, cost for this service is $1.00 per page.
Click here for tax lein certifications for Greene County. For additional information, contact your local tax claim bureau at 724-852-5232.
The Tax Claim Bureau conducts upset, judicial and private sales of unpaid real-estate tax properties during the year.
Upset Sale: Properties exposed at the upset sale are offered together with any mortgages, judgments or non-tax liens. Properties offered are sold at a bid equal to or higher than the amount of outstanding taxes, bureau costs and any municipal liens. An upset sale becomes final after confirmation by the Court of Common Pleas.
Judicial Sale: Properties not sold at the upset sale become eligible for judicial sale. The Bureau makes a current owner title search. All known holders of mortgages, judgments or liens are notified that, by order of the Court of Common Pleas, the property will be offered for sale divested of all mortgages, judgments and liens.
Private Sale: Properties not sold at judicial sale are placed in a "repository" status. This in effect is a bank of unsold properties. The Bureau may negotiate a private sale of any property held in the repository.
Unpaid taxes are filed in the Tax Claim Bureau Jan. 15 of each year. Once taxes are filed with the Bureau, partial payments can be paid. If a tax is unpaid after two years with the Bureau and three years after it was issued, the property is exposed to the annual upset sale.
In order to stay the sale of owner occupied property, the owner can enter into an agreement with the Tax Claim Bureau. The owner would pay 25% down in cash, followed by three (3) additional payments.
In order to assure that property owners are aware of the potential sale of their real estate, the Bureau sends certified restricted notification, posts the premises and advertises the properties in local papers.
Real estate taxes are imposed by three taxing authorities: 1) by your local Township/Borough Government; 2) by your local School District; and 3) by the County of Greene. Taxes are calculated by Property Assessment Value X Current year's Tax Millage Rate determined by each taxing authority. Bill are issued in early April for County & Township taxes, then early August for School District taxes.
• What does it mean to have a lien on my property?
Basically, if the property is sold or financed, the tax debt will be paid from the proceeds before any other debt of the owner is satisfied. A tax lien is imposed when county; township or school district real estate taxes were unpaid as of January 1 of the year after they were billed. The lien is automatic but is not filed in the office of the prothonotary as is the case with mechianic's liens and such. The lien is a matter of public record; therefore, anyone can inquire about the liens outstanding regarding owner's name(s) and address, amount due, years liened, etc. In Pennsylvania, the property can be sold by the Bureau if the lien remains unpaid after 2 years. The lien is removed automatically upon payment in full.
• Can I make payment arrangements?
The Bureau accepts partial payments in any denomination. Payments can be made by cash, check, money order, or credit card online. Make your check payable to Greene County Tax Claim Bureau, note your control # in the memo portion of your check. No written payment plan is needed to make partial payments. There is a $25 fee imposed for checks returned for insufficient funds.
An AGREEMENT TO STAY SALE is available for properties that are in jeopardy of tax sale. The Agreement is a legal contract between the owner(s) of a property and the Bureau whereby the owner(s) agree to make four (4) payments, nine (9) weeks apart to pay all delinquent taxes in full. The property is protected from the sale process as long as the agreement remains in good standing.
• I paid my taxes to my tax collector last year?
Your tax collector reported your taxes as unpaid as of December 31 of the billing year. Please contact him/her if you have a valid receipt of payment.
• My escrow statement shows that my mortgage company paid my taxes. Why have I been liened?
When taxes are escrowed by your mortgage company, the property owner is responsible for sending the tax bill to the mortgage company for payment. If you believe your liened taxes were paid through an escrow account, contact your mortgage company to obtain a copy of the receipt. Most often, there was an oversight, .e.g the funds were taken from the escrow account but the payment was not made to the tax collector. Mortgage companies normally rectify the situation quickly and pay for the additional interest and fees incurred due to their oversight.
• Will this lien affect my credit rating?
The Tax Claim Bureau does not report to any consumer credit agency but it is important to note that all liens are public record.
• Can anyone else pay my taxes?
Pennsylvania real estate law directs the Bureau to accept payment from any "party of interest" to the property. A Party of Interest is a person or entity named on the deed as having at least partial ownership of the property. Payments can also be accepted from a designated agent for a Party of Interest.
• When does the Tax Claim Bureau sell properties?
The Bureau conducts tax upset sales each year in September. Details of the sale and a list of the properties to be sold are advertised in the Greene Report, local newspapers, and on our website (www.co.greene.pa.us) in mid-July.