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27 Nov 2015

City of Philadelphia to hold second tax lien sale

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November 27, 2015 Category: Local Posted by:

Department of Revenue expects successful repeat of summer pilot program

The City of Philadelphia announced that the Department of Revenue will hold a second internet-based real estate tax lien sale auction, which will run from December 16-18, 2015 and be hosted by Real Auctions, LLC.  Following the success of the June pilot, the real estate tax lien sale auction will  include approximately 2,500 properties.

“The real estate tax lien sale sends a clear message to delinquent property owners that our Administration will seek out money owed to the City of Philadelphia with vigor and intent using new and innovative approaches,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.  “We know that in our first effort, the tax lien sale model was successful and generated much-needed dollars.  I expect another successful sale with this second and larger group of properties.”

The sale makes real estate tax liens available via online auction.  At the end of the auction, the tax lien will be transferred from the City to the third-party buyer with the highest bid.  The transfer does not make the third-party purchaser, or “lien holder”, the owner of the property, but does allow the lien holder to begin foreclosure procedures should the lien, and any additional charges related to it, not be paid or resolved.

“The lien sale is a quick, effective, and cost-efficient tool for collecting funds owed to the City and the School District of Philadelphia,” said Revenue Commissioner Clarena I.W. Tolson, Chief Revenue Collections Officer.  “The first pilot online tax lien sale generated $10.4 million in 60 days to support Philadelphia schools and City services.”

Eligible delinquent property owners have already been notified of their properties potential inclusion in the lien sale.  To avoid inclusion in the sale, property owners must pay their real estate balance in full or enter into a repayment agreement with the City.   

A real estate tax lien is a legal claim against real property for unpaid real estate taxes and/or other charges, expenses and fees.  All unpaid real estate taxes become liens against the property on January 1 the year after the tax is due.

For more information, including a preliminary list of properties that are subject to the tax lien sale, visit Revenue’s website at

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