Thank you for bringing your Tax Sale Certificate(s) to me for processing.
My basic terms are:
Per certificate, my attorney fee is a flat rate of $700, plus postage reimbursement, and I take payment for the title search, too, all up front before I commit to do any work. I also require reimbursement of postage expenses. For that fee I will file the Form 137B for reimbursement of your expenses if the property is redeemed. The court's current order only requires a redeeming party to pay up to $600 of the attorney fee, and up to $250 for the title search fee. I use Fidelity National Title Insurance Company for the title searches. Fidelity National charges $250 per certificate for a title search for residential property, and quotes prices for business property searches. If publication of the statutory notices are required, you will be responsible for advancing the newspaper fee, which is also quoted at the time of the order, but can be $400 or more. Newspaper publication is most often required if the property owner is deceased without a probate estate having been opened, or if a notice recipient cannot be located.
Additionally, I will send all notices of the purchase of the certificate and the expiration of the redemption period to all parties having an interest of record by certified mail return receipt requested, and enter my appearance on your behalf in court, file the petition for the deed with a proposed Order for the Court to grant it, and send notices of the filing of the petition to all necessary parties. After the Court grants the petition, the county auditor now sends letters to the purchaser/petitioner, requests checks be returned payable to the auditor and the recorder, along with the original tax sale certificate, and encloses a sales disclosure form to be completed. When all of that is returned to the auditor, he will have the property transferred on the tax rolls into your name, record the tax deed, and then return the deed to you by mail. My $700 fee covers the above basic services. If objections are filed against the petition for the deed, and representation is required to defeat the objections, including court hearings, you agree to pay for the additional attorney hours required for those services at my hourly rate of $250.
Because of the holding in a recent Indiana Court of Appeals case1, I cannot guarantee that you will obtain your deed free of all encumbrances, especially governmental assessments, which include utilities, water, sewer service, demolition orders and lawn mowing liens issued after the October 3, 2022 tax sale. Federal income tax liens may also continue to exist after you obtain the tax deed.
Indiana Code section 6-1. 1-25-4(f) states, in part:
(f) A tax deed executed under this chapter vests in the grantee an estate in fee simple absolute, free and clear of all liens and encumbrances created or suffered before or after the tax sale except those liens granted priority under federal law and the lien of the state or a political subdivision for taxes and special assessments which accrue subsequent to the sale[.] (Emphasis added.) Picket Fence Prop. Co. v. Davis,
First Notices Must be Sent in by:
In order to obtain a title search in time to draft and send statutory notices, your tax sale certificate must be submitted at least 30 days before the notice deadline stated above.