Written by attorney James S. Tupitza

Real Estate Tax Sales The Judicial Sale

C. Judicial Sale

  1. If the upset price is not realized at any upset tax sale, the TCB, any time after the scheduled sale date, may petition the court for a judicial sale of the property. A judicial sale passes title, free and clear of all claims. 72 P.S. § 5860.610. A judicial sale becomes mandatory after a 10 month period. 72 P.S. 5860.626

  2. While an upset sale is administrative procedure until the judicial confirmation of the sale at the end, a tax judicial sale is a judicial process from the beginning.

  3. The court then grants a rule upon all parties in interest to show cause why the property or properties should not be sold free and clear, returnable within thirty days. 72 P.S. § 5860.611.

a. Service of the rule is in the manner of a “writ of scire facias," that is, personal service by the sheriff. See Appendix. 4. On the return date, if the rule becomes absolute, the sale date is set by the court. 72 P.S. 5860.501 5. Buyer takes property free and clear of all municipal claims, mortgages, liens and charges and estates of “whatsoever kind ..." 72 P.S. 5860.612-1 Query: what estates can a judicial sale discharge? See, for example, Pike County Tax Claim Bureau v. The Internal Revenue Service, 902 A.2d 603 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2006) (community association by-laws, rules and regulations); Locust Lake Village Property Owners Assoc. v. Wengerd, 899 A.2d 1193 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2006) (Restrictive covenants and easements); Central Executive Comm. of ODWU, Inc. v. Carbon County Tax Claim Bureau, 892 A.2d 868 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2006) (Right of first refusal.) 6. Taxpayer may not repurchase the property.

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