Apache County Tax Lien Sale
Frequently Asked Questions
This information has been compiled to answer the most frequently asked questions about delinquent real estate taxes and the sale of tax liens on the internet.
1. When are property taxes in Arizona due?
2. What happens when property taxes become delinquent?
3. Are delinquent taxes publicized?
4. What does the newspaper ad contain?
5. What are "tax lien certificates"?
6. How does someone acquire a tax lien certificate?
7. When are my bids due?
8. Who may participate in the tax certificate sale?
9. What do I do if I forget my password?
10. If one bidder wants to purchase for several buyers, how is this handled?
11. Will the Treasurer's office research parcel information for me?
12. Where may I obtain copies of the Arizona Revised Statutes that pertain to the tax liens?
13. What is an Internet auction?
14. How does the bidding proceed?
15. What equipment or software do I need to be able to participate?
16. Who will show me how to use the Internet auction system?
17. What is a batch?
18. What is proxy bidding?
19. How will I know if the taxes on a property have been paid after the certificate has been advertised?
20. When do the bidders have to pay the amount due for their purchases?
21. What is an ACH debit?
22. What happens to my security deposit if I don't win any certificates in the auction?
23. How does the holder of the certificate receive the interest income?
24. Can interest rates be changed after the bid?
25. Why would a certificate be cancelled or reduced?
26. Are tax sale certificates transferable?
27. What about tax certificates issued to the state?
28. What is the "life" of a tax certificate?
29. What is the tax deed process?
30. What is the latest date I can make a redemption payment prior to the auction?
31. Are auction fees refundable?
32. Will all prior year certificates of purchase be re-assigned at the tax lien sale?
33. What will the interest rate be for re-assigned certificates of purchase?
34. Is there a fee for re-assignments of certificates of purchase?
1. WHEN ARE PROPERTY TAXES IN ARIZONA DUE? (top)
Property taxes are billed in September and are payable in two installments. The first installment is due on October 1st, delinquent after November 1st, and the second installment is due on March 1st of the next calendar year, delinquent after May 1st.
2. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PROPERTY TAXES BECOME DELINQUENT? (top)
Delinquent property taxes accrue interest at an annual rate of 16% simple interest prorated monthly. In addition, when a property tax lien is listed for sale there are advertising fees ($5.00 or 5% whichever is greater) plus sale fees.
3. ARE DELINQUENT TAXES PUBLICIZED? (top)
The Treasurer’s Office must publish the list of delinquent taxes at least once not more than three weeks before the sale but not less than two weeks. The list is published in the White Mountain Independent.
4. WHAT DOES THE NEWSPAPER AD CONTAIN? (top)
The place, date and time of the tax certificate sale. A listing of each parcel showing the parcel number, delinquent tax amount, the property owner's name, and the property’s legal description. The parcels are consecutively numbered for reference during the sale.
5. WHAT ARE "TAX LIEN CERTIFICATES"? (top)
They are a first lien on the real estate. Buyers are provided a listing of all certificates purchased.
6. HOW DOES SOMEONE ACQUIRE A TAX LIEN CERTIFICATE? (top)
At the public auction conducted each February. The auction is called a Tax Lien Certificate Sale.
7. WHEN ARE MY BIDS DUE? (top)
Bids are due by the sale date, Thursday, February 14, 2013. Bidders can prepare to bid and begin to submit bids starting on the Advertising Date, Friday, January 25, 2013. Bids will only be accepted through the Treasurer’s auction web site, BidApacheCounty.com.
8. WHO MAY PARTICIPATE IN THE TAX CERTIFICATE SALE? (top)
Anyone. Beginning January 25th, the registration process can be completed on the Internet at www.BidApacheCounty.com. Bidders must take the following steps:
- Obtain a login ID and password for the site by going to www.BidApacheCounty.com, clicking the "Register" button and completing the form.
- Submit an IRS W-9 form on the web site. Bidders who have participated in a previous Apache County tax sale can look up the record on file with the county using a combination of their TIN and bidder number assignment. New bidders can complete a new W-9 form. NOTE: W-9 submission is only available on the web site between the Advertising Date and the Sale Date each year.
- Submit a deposit. Bidders are required to make a deposit for 10% of the estimated amount they intend to purchase. All payments are made using an ACH interface under "My Account" on www.BidApacheCounty.com. The Treasurer's Office requires a minimum deposit of $100.00. The deposit may be increased any time prior to the close of the auction.
- Enter a budget. Bidders must indicate the maximum amount they want to purchase (up to 10x their deposit amount) by setting a Budget on the "My Account" page.
- Obtain a bidder number. Bidder numbers are assigned by the system once a bidder completes the W-9 form and makes a deposit. Previously assigned Apache County bidder numbers can be retained using the search described above.
9. WHAT DO I DO IF I FORGET MY PASSWORD? (top)
Please be careful to remember your password, as it is the key to your access to the Tax Sale Web site. If, however, you forget your password, it may be recovered easily by clicking on the "Forgot your password?" link on the Tax Sale Web site home page. When you provide your matching personal information, a new temporary password will be sent to your registered email address. This password will need to be changed after your next login.
10. IF ONE BIDDER WANTS TO PURCHASE FOR SEVERAL BUYERS, HOW IS THIS HANDLED? (top)
Bidders are responsible for maintenance of their own accounts. Each bidder who participates in the auction must complete a separate registration, W-9 form and deposit.
11. WILL THE TREASURER’S OFFICE RESEARCH PARCEL INFORMATION FOR ME? (top)
No, the bidder must conduct any research surrounding potential purchases.
12. WHERE MAY I OBTAIN COPIES OF THE ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES THAT PERTAIN TO THE TAX LIENS? (top)
Statutes are available on-line (Title 42, Chapter 18, beginning with Article 3).
13. WHAT IS AN INTERNET AUCTION? (top)
An auction in which bids are transmitted and received through the Internet using a computer and a web browser.
14. HOW DOES THE BIDDING PROCEED? (top)
Each item is auctioned in the order listed in the publication. The bidding begins at 16% (the maximum rate) and is bid down. The "winning" bidder's number and rate of interest are recorded. Any item not bid upon is "sold" to the State.
15. WHAT EQUIPMENT OR SOFTWARE DO I NEED TO BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE? (top)
A bidder must have a computer with Internet access and a web browser (recommended: Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher, or Mozilla FireFox 2.0 or higher). If you do not have access to a computer, the Treasurer’s Office will supply computers for training and/or bidding by appointment. You can reach the Treasurer’s office at 928-337-7629. Also, many public libraries and other buildings make computers available to the general public.
16. WHO WILL SHOW ME HOW TO USE THE INTERNET AUCTION SYSTEM? (top)
Users are encouraged to participate in a Self Demo, Trial Auction or a Guided Demo prior to bidding.
- Self Demo - Click the Auction Demo link under Auction Site Training Tools after you log in. The instructions are designed to lead users through the auction process.
- Trial Auction - Click the Trial Auction link under Auction Site Training Tools after you log in. The Trial Auction is a simulation of a real auction, in which bidders practice bidding and, subsequently, viewing auction results.
- Guided Demo - Please contact Auction Support to receive a Guided Demo (which is available only after user completes the Self Demo). Auction Support will guide the user through the auction process on the website over the phone at 800-410-3445.
17. WHAT IS A BATCH? (top)
A Batch is an auction subgroup of the Advertised List that serves as a means of organizing tax certificates for the purpose of facilitating bid submission. Each tax certificate in each Batch is auctioned independently of every other tax certificate and arranged in sequential order with a unique auction closing time for each Batch.
18. WHAT IS PROXY BIDDING? (top)
In a live auction, a bidder will lower his bid by one percent increments until he is the only bidder left or until the interest goes below his acceptable minimum level, at which point he would drop out. Proxy bidding is a form of competitive sale in which bidders enter the minimum interest rate that they are willing to accept for each certificate. The auction system acts as an electronic agent, submitting bids on behalf of each bidder. The result of the proxy system is that the electronic agent keeps lowering the bid to submit by one percent increments until you are either the only bidder left, (in which case you get the certificate at one percent lower than the previous bid) or until you reach the floor you have set. Zero percent bids will not be treated as proxy bids. They will be awarded at zero.
If you are the only bidder on a given certificate and your minimum rate is greater than zero percent, the electronic agent will submit a bid of 16% on your behalf.
In the case of a tie at the winning bid rate, the system awards to one of the tie bidders through a random selection process using a random number generator.
In no case will a bidder be awarded a certificate at a rate lower than his specified minimum acceptable rate.
Certificates that receive no bids will be "struck to the state" at 16%.
19. HOW WILL I KNOW IF THE TAXES ON A PROPERTY HAVE BEEN PAID AFTER THE CERTIFICATE HAS BEEN ADVERTISED? (top)
The certificates listed on www.BidApacheCounty.com will be updated weekly between advertising and the sale date on the following dates:
- January 25, 2013
- February 1, 2013
- February 8, 2013
- February 13, 2013
20. WHEN DO THE BIDDERS HAVE TO PAY THE AMOUNT DUE FOR THEIR PURCHASES? (top)
Bidders will receive an email invoice on Thursday, February 14, 2013 indicating the total amount due, if any. All payments must be made via ACH Debit on the Payments Page of the Tax Sale Web site by no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 15, 2013. Failure to pay by that date results in the forfeiture of the deposit and makes the certificates available for re-sale.
21. WHAT IS AN ACH DEBIT? (top)
An ACH debit is an electronic funds transfer from your bank account, initiated by the Treasurer with your prior authorization. Debits entered on the Payments Page of the web site will be submitted immediately for processing.
Funds must be drawn from a US financial institution. Some types of money market, brokerage, and/or trust accounts cannot accept ACH debits. Please check with your financial institution prior to initiating payment on the web site.
For more information on ACH, please visit the NACHA, the Electronic Payments Association at www.nacha.org.
22. WHAT HAPPENS TO MY SECURITY DEPOSIT IF I DON'T WIN ANY CERTIFICATES IN THE AUCTION? (top)
Refunds for unused portions of the deposit will be issued via ACH debit by the Treasurer to your bank account. Refunds typically take two weeks to process following the sale. You will be notified via email when your refund has been issued.
23. HOW DOES THE HOLDER OF THE CERTIFICATE RECEIVE THE INTEREST INCOME? (top)
The Treasurer remits the principal (face amount of certificate) and the interest earnings if the property taxes are paid by the owner or an agent.
24. CAN INTEREST RATES BE CHANGED AFTER THE BID? (top)
If a certificate should be cancelled or reduced, the interest earned will be 10% per year, simple interest or the rate of interest bid at the tax certificate sale, whichever is less on the cancelled or reduced amount. Bankruptcy rulings may also affect interest rates.
25. WHY WOULD A CERTIFICATE BE CANCELLED OR REDUCED? (top)
To correct errors, omissions, or double assessments and when ordered by a court.
26. ARE TAX SALE CERTIFICATES TRANSFERABLE? (top)
Certificates may be transferred by completing an endorsement form and paying the applicable fees, prior to redemption.
27. WHAT ABOUT TAX CERTIFICATES ISSUED TO THE STATE? (top)
State held tax certificates, may be acquired by individuals after the close of the tax sale. The Treasurer’s Office will announce the date(s) these certificates become available.
28. WHAT IS THE "LIFE" OF A TAX CERTIFICATE? (top)
Certificates are dated as of the date the purchase was made. Ten years later, if the purchaser has taken no additional action to foreclose the tax lien, the lien expires and is voided. No payments will be made to the purchaser. A purchaser may initiate a Judicial Foreclosure action after three years from the initial purchase date.
29. WHAT IS THE TAX DEED PROCESS? (top)
Any certificate holder including the County may file an “Action to Foreclose” in the Superior Court of Apache County three years from the date of the sale.
30. WHAT IS THE LATEST DATE I CAN MAKE A REDEMPTION PAYMENT PRIOR TO THE AUCTION? (top)
The last day for redemption payments will be February 12, 2013. The Treasurer will not process redemptions on the day of the sale (February 14, 2013).
31. ARE AUCTION FEES REFUNDABLE? (top)
The Treasurer's $10.00 auction fee is non-refundable and not interest-bearing. All other fees included in the face value of the certificate are refunded at redemption and are interest-bearing.
32. WILL ALL PRIOR YEAR CERTIFICATES OF PURCHASE BE RE-ASSIGNED AT THE TAX LIEN SALE? (top)
Yes. An investor is required to acquire by assignment all currently outstanding certificates of purchase previously issued on the property. This includes state and investor owned certificates of purchase. The prior year certificate(s) amount will be listed. This amount is included in the total amount due.
33. WHAT WILL THE INTEREST RATE BE FOR RE-ASSIGNED CERTIFICATES OF PURCHASE? (top)
The interest rate will be the same as the certificate that is being re-assigned. You may be awarded 16% on the 2011 tax lien, but the 2010 and prior years may be at a lower rate and would be assigned at that rate. You may contact the Treasurer’s Office for the interest rate on prior years.
34. IS THERE A FEE FOR RE-ASSIGNMENTS OF CERTIFICATES OF PURCHASE? (top)
Yes. The fee for assignment of previously issued certificates of purchase is $10.00 per certificate. Some parcels may have multiple certificates that must be assigned. This fee is included in the total amount due.
75 W. Cleveland
St. Johns, Arizona 85936
In accordance with the provisions of ADA, this document may be requested
in an alternate format. Contact the Treasurer's Office at 928-337-7629.