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Texas Tax Code - Section 34.01. Sale Of Property

Legal Research Home > Texas Laws > Tax Code > Texas Tax Code - Section 34.01. Sale Of Property

§ 34.01. SALE OF PROPERTY. (a) Real property seized under a tax warrant issued under Subchapter E, Chapter 33, or ordered sold pursuant to foreclosure of a tax lien shall be sold by the officer charged with selling the property, unless otherwise directed by the taxing unit that requested the warrant or order of sale or by an authorized agent or attorney for that unit. The sale shall be conducted in the manner similar property is sold under execution except as otherwise provided by this subtitle. (b) On receipt of an order of sale of real property, the officer charged with selling the property shall endorse on the order the date and exact time when the officer received the order. The endorsement is a levy on the property without necessity for going upon the ground. The officer shall calculate the total amount due under the judgment, including all taxes, penalties, and interest, plus any other amount awarded by the judgment, court costs, and the costs of the sale. The costs of a sale include the costs of advertising, and deed recording fees anticipated to be paid in connection with the sale of the property. To assist the officer in making the calculation, the collector of any taxing unit that is party to the judgment may provide the officer with a certified tax statement showing the amount of the taxes included in the judgment that remain due that taxing unit and all penalties, interest, and attorney's fees provided by the judgment as of the date of the proposed sale. If a certified tax statement is provided to the officer, the officer shall rely on the amount included in the statement and is not responsible or liable for the accuracy of the applicable portion of the calculation. A certified tax statement is not required to be sworn to and is sufficient if the tax collector or the collector's deputy signs the statement. (c) The officer charged with the sale shall give written notice of the sale in the manner prescribed by Rule 21a, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, or that rule's successor to each person who was a defendant to the judgment or that person's attorney. (d) An officer's failure to send the written notice of sale or a defendant's failure to receive that notice is insufficient by itself to invalidate: (1) the sale of the property; or (2) the title conveyed by that sale. (e) A notice of sale under Subsection (c) must substantially comply with this subsection. The notice must include: (1) a statement of the authority under which the sale is to be made; (2) the date, time, and location of the sale; and (3) a brief description of the property to be sold. (f) A notice of sale is not required to include field notes describing the property. A description of the property is sufficient if the notice: (1) states the number of acres and identifies the original survey; (2) as to property located in a platted subdivision or addition, regardless of whether the subdivision or addition is recorded, states the name by which the land is generally known with reference to that subdivision or addition; or (3) by reference adopts the description of the property contained in the judgment. (g) For publishing a notice of sale, a newspaper may charge a rate that does not exceed the greater of: (1) two cents per word; or (2) an amount equal to the published word or line rate of that newspaper for the same class of advertising. (h) If there is not a newspaper published in the county of the sale, or a newspaper that will publish the notice of sale for the rate authorized by Subsection (g), the officer shall post the notice in writing in three public places in the county not later than the 20th day before the date of the sale. One of the notices must be posted at the door of the county courthouse. (i) The owner of real property subject to sale may file with the officer charged with the sale a written request that the property be divided and that only as many portions be sold as necessary to pay the amount due against the property, as calculated under Subsection (b). In the request the owner shall describe the desired portions and shall specify the order in which the portions should be sold. The owner may not specify more than four portions or a portion that divides a building or other contiguous improvement. The request must be delivered to the officer not later than the seventh day before the date of the sale. (j) If a bid sufficient to pay the lesser of the amount calculated under Subsection (b) or the adjudged value is not received, the taxing unit that requested the order of sale may terminate the sale. If the taxing unit does not terminate the sale, the officer making the sale shall bid the property off to the taxing unit that requested the order of sale, unless otherwise agreed by each other taxing unit that is a party to the judgment, for the aggregate amount of the judgment against the property or for the market value of the property as specified in the judgment, whichever is less. The duty of the officer conducting the sale to bid off the property to a taxing unit under this subsection is self-executing. The actual attendance of a representative of the taxing unit at the sale is not a prerequisite to that duty. (k) The taxing unit to which the property is bid off takes title to the property for the use and benefit of itself and all other taxing units that established tax liens in the suit. The taxing unit's title includes all the interest owned by the defendant, including the defendant's right to the use and possession of the property, subject only to the defendant's right of redemption. Payments in satisfaction of the judgment and any costs or expenses of the sale may not be required of the purchasing taxing unit until the property is redeemed or resold by the purchasing taxing unit. (l) Notwithstanding that property is bid off to a taxing unit under this section, a taxing unit that established a tax lien in the suit may continue to enforce collection of any amount for which a former owner of the property is liable to the taxing unit, including any post-judgment taxes, penalties, and interest, in any other manner provided by law. (m) The officer making the sale shall prepare a deed to the purchaser of real property at the sale, to any other person whom the purchaser may specify, or to the taxing unit to which the property was bid off. The taxing unit that requested the order of sale may elect to prepare a deed for execution by the officer. If the taxing unit prepares the deed, the officer shall execute that deed. An officer who executes a deed prepared by the taxing unit is not responsible or liable for any inconsistency, error, or other defect in the form of the deed. As soon as practicable after a deed is executed by the officer, the officer shall either file the deed for recording with the county clerk or deliver the executed deed to the taxing unit that requested the order of sale, which shall file the deed for recording with the county clerk. The county clerk shall file and record each deed filed under this subsection and after recording shall return the deed to the grantee. (n) The deed vests good and perfect title in the purchaser or the purchaser's assigns to the interest owned by the defendant in the property subject to the foreclosure, including the defendant's right to the use and possession of the property, subject only to the defendant's right of redemption, the terms of a recorded restrictive covenant running with the land that was recorded before January 1 of the year in which the tax lien on the property arose, a recorded lien that arose under that restrictive covenant that was not extinguished in the judgment foreclosing the tax lien, and each valid easement of record as of the date of the sale that was recorded before January 1 of the year the tax lien arose. The deed may be impeached only for fraud. (o) If a bid sufficient to pay the amount specified by Subsection (p) is not received, the officer making the sale, with the consent of the collector who applied for the tax warrant, may offer property seized under Subchapter E, Chapter 33, to a person described by Section 11.181 or 11.20 for less than that amount. If the property is offered to a person described by Section 11.181 or 11.20, the officer making the sale shall reopen the bidding at the amount of that person's bid and bid off the property to the highest bidder. Consent to the sale by the taxing units entitled to receive proceeds of the sale is not required. The acceptance of a bid by the officer under this subsection is conclusive and binding on the question of its sufficiency. An action to set aside the sale on the grounds that a bid is insufficient may not be sustained, except that a taxing unit that participates in distribution of proceeds of the sale may file an action before the first anniversary of the date of the sale to set aside the sale on the grounds of fraud or collusion between the officer making the sale and the purchaser. (p) Except as provided by Subsection (o), property seized under Subchapter E, Chapter 33, may not be sold for an amount that is less than the lesser of the market value of the property as specified in the warrant or the total amount of taxes, penalties, interest, costs, and other claims for which the warrant was issued. If a sufficient bid is not received by the officer making the sale, the officer shall bid off the property to a taxing unit in the manner specified by Subsection (j) and subject to the other provisions of that subsection. A taxing unit that takes title to property under this subsection takes title for the use and benefit of that taxing unit and all other taxing units that established tax liens in the suit or that, on the date of the seizure, were owed delinquent taxes on the property. (q) A sale of property under this section to a purchaser other than a taxing unit: (1) extinguishes each lien securing payment of the delinquent taxes, penalties, and interest against that property and included in the judgment; and (2) does not affect the personal liability of any person for those taxes, penalties, and interest included in the judgment that are not satisfied from the proceeds of the sale. (r) Except as provided by this subsection, a sale of real property under this section must take place at the county courthouse in the county in which the land is located. The commissioners court of the county may designate an area in the county courthouse or another location in the county where sales under this section must take place and shall record any designated area or other location in the real property records of the county. If the commissioners court designates an area in the courthouse or another location in the county for sales, a sale must occur in that area or at that location. If the commissioners court does not designate an area in the courthouse or another location in the county for sales, a sale must occur in the same area in the courthouse that is designated by the commissioners court for the sale of real property under Section 51.002, Property Code. (s) To the extent of a conflict between this section and a provision of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure that relates to an execution, this section controls. Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2297, ch. 841, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 796, § 32, eff. June 15, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 854, § 2, eff. June 16, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 1017, § 2, eff. Aug. 28, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 914, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 817, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1481, § 24, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1430, § 26, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 319, § 8, eff. June 18, 2003.

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