Wednesday, September 09, 2009

DC Tax Sale Canceled

Washington DC's property sale for unpaid real estate taxes was canceled today. The annual sale was scheduled to begin today, but bidders occupying seats at 941 North Capitol Street were reportedly put on hold several times, only to be told in the afternoon that the tax sale was canceled "indefinitely." DC government officials confirmed that the sale was "postponed," and would be "rescheduled," but gave no timeline for the process.

Registration for the District's tax auction for property in tax arrears began August 31, and the auction was to have started today, lasting until all properties had been disposed of. While District officials would not comment further than to say that a challenge had been filed "to the District's right to set a threshold for the sale of delinquent real property taxes", sources said that the an investor and auction participant had filed a challenge to the process by which the District conducts auctions, seeking an injunction against the auction.

The District had delayed the previous tax sale due to the scandal in the Office of Tax and Revenue.


angry at DC and title companies said...

this is f*cked. DC titled/deeded my property improperly, and i've been trying to rectify it for two years. they filed the wrong paperwork for the sale in 2007 but had it up for me being liable for taxes that were paid by the seller prior to the purchase. DC said that i owed taxes since 2004. so... i tried paying taxes that were duly owed by me since 2007, but they went to offset taxes that were already paid by the seller for all years due prior to 2007!

the title company was trying to fix it, DC was slow in rectifying it, and it's still not settled.

i went to OTR today to make sure that the taxes i paid were all kosher, but they state that everything i paid went to offset the seller's unpaid taxes - WHICH the title company had settled at closing. oh, the title company is BRENNAN, in case you're interested.

so.. now i hear this.

it's nuts. AND on top of this, i have to pay counsel to help rectify the whole thing, and for nearly a year, ZERO PROGRESS.

DC needs to get their sh*t in order before going through with these auctions. i paid cash for the house in 2007, did everything by the friggin book, and am being strung along and penalized thanks to DC gov/closing company malperformance.

when i read this post, i almost fainted. all this crap and they just drop the sale that i've been paying to resolve through private counsel??????

my blood pressure is out of control!

just tired of this crap said...

actually, i'm not sure DC titled/deeded it improperly, or if the closing company was remiss.

i'm so confused!

when you come to the table with all cash for a property, why would you have to deal with "improper filings"????

any ideas?

Anonymous said...

Sue everybody!

Wow, what a mess. Sorry man.

Seth on Sep 10, 2009, 11:47:00 AM said...

I was at the sale and at the court hearing and represent buyers at the auction during the foreclosure process. The sale will most likely be rescheduled for the end of October. Here is an article about the injunction:

Anonymous said...

Based only on the article I don't see how there's any irreparable harm to Aon. If their position is correct--that the city has to auction all tax liens--then it's easy enough to correct by auctioning the remaining liens at a later date.

Let's be clear about one thing Aon is suing for one reason: they want to be able to buy loads of small liens that no one else will bother with and make the 18% statutory interest rate on them. That's fine as a business model, but to stall the entire sale seems totally misguided.

Seth on Sep 10, 2009, 12:18:00 PM said...

Well it isn't that simple unfortunately. D.C. must follow the statute as written. The statute requires that once the sale is started, it must continue every day except weekends/holidays until all properties are sold. They are not allowed by law to sell some now and then sell the under $1,200 properties at a later date. I doubt the goal was to stop the sale; it was to force them to sell everything as advertised to the public. The sale was postponed because the District couldn't comply with the Court order to sell them on 1 day's notice because they have awful computer systems and are understaffed.

I agree that they want the lower properties sold because they can purchase more certificates, but there is harm to every buyer, not just to them, and more so for the small investor. If there are more properties available to bid on the competition will be somewhat less, larger investors will not be able to buy everything up, and the properties won't bid up to as high a dollar amount, which in turn means higher interest returns for everyone involved and the ability for more people to participate.

As an issue of fairness, everyone who lives in the city should be under the same rules. The way the District wants to run it, some people have to pay their taxes while others do not. For some people who have low assessments on their properties and certain tax rate reductions, they could go a decade without paying taxes before their properties would be sold to collect the payments.

Thomas Steed said...

I only wish that Aeon would have filed earlier so that folks that traveled from other states (Like myself from Texas) wouldn't have wasted time, money and effort getting there and getting disappointed.

I just finished a great online course at and was looking forward to my first auction.

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