Welcome to Tax Claims, The Pennsylvania Real Estate Tax Sale Law was created by Legislative Act 542 of 1947. The Act provides for a uniform, state wide, procedure for the collections of delinquent real estate taxes.
The Cumberland County Tax Claim Bureau is responsible for the collection of unpaid real estate taxes returned by all Cumberland County tax collectors. These taxes consist of County, Township, Borough, Library, and School District Real Estate Taxes.
Property Owners who do not pay their taxes to the Township or Borough Tax Collector by December will then be notified by Certified Mail and will be required to make payments to the Tax Claim Bureau in order to satisfy their account.
Procedure and Timeline for Collection of Delinquent Taxes
Real estate tax notices are mailed out in March and July by each municipality’s tax collector. If the taxes are not paid by December 31st, of the year the bill is sent out, each local collector turns all delinquent and uncollectible balances to the Tax Claim Bureau for further collection.
The Bureau will send out a “Notice of Claim” which notifies each property owner of the delinquent taxes owed on the property. These notices are generally mailed by certified mail in February of the year after the tax was due. The tax claim becomes “absolute” if it is not paid by December 31st of the year it was turned over to the Tax Claim Bureau, and no exceptions are filed.
On the 1st of July, of the 2nd year after the original tax bill was issued by the local tax collector, if still not paid, the property will become eligible for Upset Sale. The owner will receive notice, and the property will be advertised, posted and offered at public auction for sale. The advertising will be done in July and will appear in The Sentinel, The Patriot-News, and the Cumberland Law Journal. Payment after July 1st, but prior to actual sale date will stop the sale, however the property will be subject to the above mentioned proceedings and charged with sale fees.
The Yearly Upset Sale is normally held the 3rd Thursday in September. If the property is not sold at the Upset Sale, it will be listed to be sold at a Judicial Sale.
The last opportunity for the taxpayer to pay the taxes due to avoid the property being exposed at the Upset sale would be prior to the close of business the day before the sale.
Monies collected by the bureau are distributed on a quarterly basis to the municipality or school district to which the tax is owed.