Property Tax Sale FAQs

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What is a tax sale?

A tax sale is an “auction” conducted on property that has been foreclosed on due to unpaid property tax.  Tax sales are primarily governed by Sec. 34 of the Texas Property Tax Code.

When and where are tax sales advertised?

Tax sales are generally held two to three times a year and are advertised in the local newspaper for three (3) consecutive weeks prior to the date of the sale.  The notices usually appear in the classified section of the Sunday Orange Leader.

When and where are tax sales held?

Tax sales may only be held on the first Tuesday of each month.  Sales are held online @, and begin at 10:00 am.  Orange County tax sales are generally held two to three times a year.

Who can bid on property at a tax sale?

The tax sale is a public auction and any member of the public is entitled to bid on properties that are offered.

Am I required to obtain a Written Statement to be able to bid on property at a tax sale?

No.  You are not required to obtain a written statement in order to bid on property at a tax sale.  A written statement is only required if a property is awarded to you at a tax sale. 

What is a Written Statement and how is one obtained?

A written statement is a statement obtained from the county Tax Assessor-Collector which states whether there are any delinquents taxes owed by the purchaser in the county.  A written statement may be obtained by submitting the form, "Request for TAC Written Statement of Delinquent Taxes", to the county Tax Assessor-Collector.  These statements expire on the 90 th   day after the date of issuance.  An officer conducting a tax sale may not execute or deliver a deed to the purchaser unless the purchaser exhibits to the officer an unexpired written statement.

Is payment in full required on the day of the sale? What forms of payment are accepted?

Successful bidders are expected to pay for the property within 24 hours. Please refer to the online auction website for acceptable forms of payment.

What is the bidding process?

There is no formal bidding process.  Oral bids are made consecutively by whoever can raise the last bid made, the same as in auctions generally.  All sales will be to the highest bidder.  The officer begins by reading a description of the property then states the minimum opening bid and asks if there are any bids.  Bidding will continue until no higher bid is offered.

What is the minimum opening bid I should expect to pay?

The minimum opening bid varies from property to property.  The minium opening bid is an amount that is equal to the   lesser   of the following:    1)  the total amount of the taxing jurisdictions judgment including tax, penalty, interest, and court costs, or 2) the appraised value of the property appearing in the judgment.

What happens to the properties that are not sold at the tax sale?

Properties that do not sell at a tax sale are struck off as properties in trust to the county.  These properties are eligible for bid through a 30-day sealed or an open bid process conducted by the tax assessor-collector.  See Trust Property Sales for more information

How do I obtain a list of properties struck off at a tax sale and now held as trust property?

You may obtain a listing of Trust Properties from the County Tax Assessor-Collector office.

What if I purchase property at a tax sale and the former owner of the property then wants to “redeem” the property?

The former owner of the property has a statutory right to redeem the property from the auction purchaser; however, they must meet very specific redemption requirements and time period in order to do so.  The Right of Redemption is governed by Sec. 34.21 of the Texas Property Tax Code.  We can not give any legal advice regarding this matter except to advise you to seek legal counsel if you are unsure of the redemption period applicable to the property and/or the amounts to which you are entitled upon redemption by the former owner.

If I purchase property at a tax sale and later become dissatisfied with the property, may I cancel the sale and have a refund of the purchase price?

All tax sale purchases are final and not subject to rescission due to the purchaser’s mistake or dissatisfaction with regards to the property.

General Information
Tax Assessor-Collector
Karen Fisher
Phone Numbers
(409) 882-7971
Emergencies: Dial 911
123 S. 6th Street