Tax Sale - General Information

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The holder of a certificate of sale may at any time after the expiration of six months from the date of sale, file a complaint in the Circuit Court to foreclose all rights of redemption of the property to which such certificate relates. If this action is not taken within a two-year period subsequent to sale, the certificate is void (Section 14-833).

The certificate of sale must be attached and made a part of the complaint (Section 14-835). The plaintiff in any action to foreclose the right of redemption must be the holder of the certificate of sale. The defendants in the proceedings must be (a) record owner(s) of the property, (b) owner of ground rents, if applicable, (c) mortgage holders and trustees under any deed of trust, (d) the State of Maryland, and (e) the County (Section 14-836).

If the court enters a final judgment for the plaintiff, the judgment vests in the plaintiff an absolute and indefeasible title in fee simple. If the property, on which the tax lien sold, was subject to ground rent, the judgment vests a leasehold interest in the plaintiff (Section 14-844).

The final judgment of the Court will direct the Collector to execute a deed upon payment to the Collector, the balance of the purchase price, together with all taxes, interest, penalty and charges accruing subsequent to the sale. The deed is to be prepared by the holder of the certificate of sale or an attorney. The Collector is not obligated to execute the deed until the Clerk of the Court has furnished the Collector with a certified copy of the judgment. If the holder of the certificate does not comply with the terms of the final judgment within 90 days, the judgment may be stricken by the Court upon the motion of an interested party (Section 14-847).

Once a judgment is granted, the plaintiff becomes liable for taxes due after the judgment and for any surplus bid (Section 14-844(d)).

Any person who acquires a deed to property under this subtitle is entitled to issuance of a writ for possession of the property under the Maryland Rules as if the person had obtained a judgment awarding possession of the property (Section 14-850).

Any questions regarding this tax sale information and procedures may be directed to the County Treasurer’s Office by calling 240-313-2110, sending an e-mail to:, or mailing your correspondence to the Washington County Treasurer’s Office, 35 West Washington Street, Suite 102, Hagerstown, MD 21740.

This information is provided as a courtesy to any interested party. Washington County does not warrant the accuracy of the information contained herein. You should refer to State and Local Statutes for more detailed and precise information. Washington County may not provide you with any legal advice.

“Exhibit A” Click Here for a Sample Redemption Release or Clearance Certificate