Virtually all homeowners are responsible for paying property taxes to their local taxing authorities or counties. Generally, property taxes are assessed based on the value of the property. If a homeowner fails to pay his property taxes, a lawsuit may be filed on behalf of the county against the homeowner in the amount of the delinquent property taxes, plus penalties and miscellaneous fees. The homeowner can respond to the lawsuit by paying the amount requested. If the homeowner does not pay the delinquent taxes, the county can sell the property at a property tax sale. The sale proceeds in an auction format, with the starting bid set at what the homeowner owns plus any additional fees that accrue. The highest bidder will earn the deed to the property. Texas tax sale law is governed primarily by the Texas Property Tax Code, Sec. 34.
The law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, L. L. P. handles all delinquent property tax accounts for Orange County. Delinquent real property accounts are turned over to them on July 1st of the tax year and delinquent personal property accounts are turned over on April 1st of the tax year.
Delinquent tax sales are the last alternative to enforce collections. While selling someone's property is not desirable, it sometimes is necessary if collections are to be fairly and effectively enforced.