Lawrence Township has announced it will hold a tax sale on Monday, Dec. 10, beginning at 10 a.m. in the council chambers in the municipal building at 2207 Lawrence Rd. (Route 206).
In preparation for the sale, the township has published on its website a list of more than 275 properties – both residential and commercial – located within Lawrence Township whose owners, as of Nov. 21, still owed money to the township in the form of municipal taxes, sewer fees and other charges from calendar year 2011.
(The list of properties can also be found in the Patch media box to the right.)
Property owners have until the close of business on Friday, Dec. 7, to settle their 2011 debts to avoid their properties being included in the Dec. 10 tax sale.
Real property is not sold at a tax sale. Instead, the township tax collector offers to sell to the public "tax sale certificates" for delinquent properties.
If someone purchases a tax sale certificate by paying delinquent taxes and, in turn, files that tax sale certificate with the Mercer County Clerk’s Office it becomes a tax lien on the property.
Property owners, in order to clear a tax sale certificate on their property, must pay the lien holder.
The incentive for someone to buy a tax certificate is two-fold: interest is earned once the certificate is filed and becomes a tax lien; and, if the property owner does not settle the account with the lien holder, the lien holder can then initiate foreclosure proceedings after two years.
Interest rates at a tax sale are bid; they start at 18 percent and are bid down.
If no member of the public bids on a particular certificate that certificate reverts to the township and becomes known as a municipal lien. The interest rate for a municipal lien is 18 percent and the township has the right to begin the foreclosure process after waiting just six months.