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Prior to referring properties to the Staff Attorney’s Office, the Wayne County Tax Collector exhausts all collection remedies. If these efforts are unsuccessful, the Tax Collector will assign a property to the Staff Attorney’s Office to initiate foreclosure proceedings. The attorney will complete a title search to determine, as a matter of public record, all of the owners, mortgage holders, judgment and lien holders who have an interest in the property. The attorney will then file a complaint in Wayne County District Court. The summons and complaint will be delivered to each defendant and defendant lienholder. Each party that is served is clearly informed by the summons that written answer, if any, must be filed with the Court within 30 days from the date the papers were served on the party.
When a property is sold a tax foreclosure sale, the interests of all named defendants and defendant lienholders are extinguished.
Defendants have 30 days to file a written answer to the complaint if they wish. Depending on the answers filed by the defendant, the attorney will move for a judgment of sale. Once a judgment of sale is entered, the property is scheduled for sale at the Wayne County Courthouse in Goldsboro.
Sales are generally scheduled on the fourth Wednesday of each month, however, additional sales are scheduled on a case-by-case basis.
Notices of sale are published in the Goldsboro News-Argus once a week for two weeks and posted at the Wayne County Courthouse located at 224 E. Walnut Street, Goldsboro, NC 27530 for at least 20 days. Additionally, tax foreclosure sales are posted online at www.waynegov.com/784/Tax-Foreclosure-Sales.
Opening bids consist of all delinquent taxes, attorney fees, filing fees, service fees, and the costs of the auction.
The sale is conducted by the Wayne County Staff Attorney. At the sale, the highest successful bidder is required to make a deposit of 5% of the final sale price, or $750.00 (whichever is greater). The sale is reported to the Clerk of Court and stands open for 10 days for possible increased upset bids. If no upset bids are received, the attorney confirms the sale with the clerk of court and notifies the successful bidder. The successful bidder must deliver the balance of the purchase price within 10 days from sale confirmation.
Upset bids are calculated and received by the Civil Division of the Clerk of Court. In order to file an upset bid, the upset bidder must raise the bid by 5% of the last bid or $750.00 (whichever is greater). The bidder must also provide a deposit in the form of cash/certified funds to the Clerk of Court of 5% of the new bid or $750.00 (whichever is greater). Each time an upset bid is filed, a new 10-day period begins. After all upset bid periods are completed, the highest successful bidder is notified and will need to deliver the balance of the purchase price to complete the sale. The Civil Division of the Clerk of Court is located on the 2nd Floor of the Wayne County Courthouse and may be contacted by phone at (919) 722-6100.
State law provides that any owner, mortgage holder, or defendant in a filed tax foreclosure proceeding can stop the foreclosure process at any time by redeeming the property. The redemption price is equal to the taxes, interest, legal fees, and costs of the foreclosure proceeding to the date of the redemption. Anyone can contact the Staff Attorney’s Office for a payoff. Once paid in full, the action will be dismissed.
Bankruptcy proceedings filed by the property owner under federal law can also halt tax foreclosure actions. All the taxes, interest, fees, and costs to the date of the bankruptcy filing must be paid as a priority or secured claim in the bankruptcy proceeding.
Any successful bidder who does not deliver the purchase price upon demand by the Staff Attorney will be subject to the immediate loss of all deposits.
The County does not make any warranties or guarantees with respect to properties sold at tax foreclosure auctions. All properties are sold “as is, where is” and the successful bidder receives a Quitclaim Deed. Bidders are encouraged to research the properties and conduct their own title search prior to bidding.