Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tax Sales: What Happens to the Excess Proceeds?

In the odd world of tax sales, clients (and lawyers) continue to pose the question to us “What happens to the excess in a tax sale?”

If $5,000 back taxes are owed on property and the property sells at tax sale for $5,000, there are no excess proceeds. In that case, the County gets it $5,000 in back taxes. The purchaser gets a “tax deed,” and they both go off into redemption land.
However, what happens if $5,000 in back taxes goes at tax sale action for $85,000 dollars? [The property is bid up to $85,000.] In that case, the County pays itself $5,000 and gives the purchaser a “tax deed.” What happens to the additional $80,000 [the excess proceeds] that the County received at the sale?

Many years ago, the outcome seemed different from county to county in Georgia. After the General Assembly’s 2006 revision of OCGA § 48-4-5, the payment of the excess proceeds is more defined.

Under the 2006 statute, the County gives Notice (that it is holding $80,000 in excess proceeds) to the owner and all secured lenders (and others) on the property. The excess is then made available to the “owner or owners as their interests appear in the order of priority.” If a dispute erupts concerning the payment of excess, the County interpleads the excess into Court and allows the Superior Court to sort the payment out.

Here is the controlling statute.

OCGA § 48-4-5. Payment Of Excess.
(a) If there are any excess funds after paying taxes, costs, and all expenses of a sale made by the tax commissioner, tax collector, or sheriff, or other officer holding excess funds, the officer selling the property shall give written notice of such excess funds to the record owner of the property at the time of the tax sale and to the record owner of each security deed affecting the property and to all other parties having any recorded equity interest or claim in such property at the time of the tax sale. Such notice shall be sent by first-class mail within 30 days after the tax sale. The notice shall contain a description of the land sold, the date sold, the name and address of the tax sale purchaser, the total sale price, and the amount of excess funds collected and held by the tax commissioner, tax collector, sheriff, or other officer. The notice shall state that the excess funds are available for distribution to the owner or owners as their interests appear in the order of priority in which their interests exist.


(b) The tax commissioner, tax collector, sheriff, or other officer may file, when deemed necessary, an interpleader action in superior court for the payment of the amount of such excess funds. Such excess funds shall be distributed by the superior court to the intended parties, including the owner, as their interests appear and in the order of priority in which their interests exist. The cost of litigation such an interpleader action, including reasonable attorney´s fees, shall be paid from the excess funds upon order of the court.

(c) After five years have elapsed from the tax sale date, the tax commissioner, tax collector, sheriff, or other officer holding excess funds shall pay over to the department any excess unclaimed funds and for which no action or proceeding is pending in a claim for payment. Once excess funds are placed in the possession of the department, only a court order from an interpleader action filed in the county where the tax sale occurred, by the claimant for the funds, shall serve as justification for release of the funds.
History. Amended by 2006 Ga. Laws 759, §5, eff. 7/1/2006.
Amended by 2002 Ga. Laws 993, §3, eff. 5/21/2002.

Hugh Wood
Atlanta, GA

& & &


655 S.E.2d 586 (Ga. 2008)
282 Ga. 903
DRST HOLDINGS, LTD.
v.
AGIO CORPORATION.
No. S07A1648.
Supreme Court of Georgia.
January 8, 2008
Page 587
C. Terry Blanton , Amelia Terry Phillips , Perrie, Bone & Burr, LLC, Atlanta, for appellant.
Adam C. Caskey , Bradley A. Hutchins , Christopher Michael Porterfield, Proctor Hutchins, Atlanta, for appellee.
CARLEY , Justice.
In May of 2004, the property located at 1096 Hillcrest Drive in DeKalb County was sold to Appellee Agio Corporation at a tax sale conducted by the sheriff of that county. The sale was held for the purpose of satisfying some, but not all, of the tax fi. fas. that had been issued against the property for unpaid state and county taxes. However, the proceeds from this sale were sufficient to satisfy all of the outstanding fi. fas. held by DeKalb County.
In December of 2004, another tax sale of the property was held in connection with the satisfaction of the remaining fi. fas. held by DeKalb County. The purchaser at this sale was Lihua Xiao. Mr. Xiao subsequently transferred his interest in the property to Appellant [282 Ga. 904] DRST Holdings, Ltd. Thereafter, except as against each other, Appellee and Appellant completed statutory proceedings to bar the right to redeem the property.
Appellee then initiated this quiet title action, asserting that the deed from Mr. Xiao to Appellant was a cloud on its title. Appellant answered and counterclaimed, contending that it held good title pursuant to the conveyance from Mr. Xiao. In accordance with OCGA § 23-3-63 , the case was submitted to a special master who, upon concluding that the sale of the property to Mr. Xiao was void, recommended issuance of a decree which vested fee simple title in Appellee. The trial court approved and adopted the special master's report, and entered a decree vesting title in Appellee. Appellant appeals from that order.
The question presented for resolution is whether, after the initial tax sale conducted in May of 2004 for the purpose of satisfying only some of the fi. fas., it was permissible for DeKalb County to attempt to sell the property yet again in December of 2004 in ostensible satisfaction of the additional fi. fas. In National Tax Funding v. Harpagon Co., 277 Ga. 41, 44(3), 586 S.E.2d 235 (2003) , we held that,
following a tax sale, the holder of a competing tax lien has two options-it may either file a claim to collect against any proceeds from the sale, or it may assert its rights following the tax sale via a statutory claim for redemption, in which case it obtains a first priority lien on the property, which it may then enforce by levy and sale. With these two options, the legislature has ensured that holders of competing tax liens can take adequate steps to protect their interest in property sold at a tax sale to another lienholder. What a competing tax lienholder may not do after a tax sale, however, is decline to pursue either of these statutory options....
Prior to the initial sale in May of 2004, DeKalb County was not a competing tax lienholder, since it held all of the fi. fas. However, once DeKalb County chose to sell the property to Appellee for the purpose of satisfying only some of the fi. fas. that it held, it did become a competing tax lienholder as to the remaining unsatisfied fi. fas.
Accordingly, at that point, the two options recognized by Harpagon Co. were available to DeKalb County. Those options do not include the right to conduct another sale for the purpose of satisfying the additional fi. fas. DeKalb County could have redeemed the property from Appellee and then conducted a tax sale in an attempt to satisfy all of its tax fi. fas. In the alternative,
Page 588
OCGA § 48-5-28 (a) establishes that a tax lien has priority over virtually all other claims, so that, after the [282 Ga. 905] first sale, DeKalb County could have used the excess proceeds to satisfy the remaining fi. fas. that it held. See OCGA § 48-4-5 (a).
Appellant correctly urges that there is a presumption that the sheriff properly conducted the second sale in December of 2004. See Livingston v. Hudson, 85 Ga. 835, 838, 12 S.E. 17 (1890) . However, the decisive factor is not the manner in which the sheriff conducted the sale, but rather the underlying validity of the subsequent sale itself. A tax sale is subject to being set aside whenever it is "infected with ... irregularity, or error to the injury of either party...." OCGA § 9-13-172 . Because, under Harpagon Co., conducting the December 2004 sale was not an authorized option for DeKalb County as a competing lienholder, it was an irregularity or error which injured Appellee by creating a cloud on its title in the form of the tax deed to Mr. Xiao.
As Appellant also correctly notes, at the time of the second tax sale, the right of redemption had not yet been foreclosed and, therefore, Appellee held only a defeasible title which was subject to the remaining unsatisfied fi. fas. held by DeKalb County. The right of redemption had not yet been foreclosed in December of 2004, because Appellee could not exercise its foreclosure option until May of 2005. OCGA § 48-4-40 (1). However, the fact that the equity of redemption had not yet been foreclosed is entirely consistent with the recognition in Harpagon Co. that one of the only two options available to the holder of a competing tax lien is assertion of the right to redeem the property from the purchaser at a prior tax sale. That redemption option would be only possible so long as the right to redeem had not yet been foreclosed.
Thus, at the initial tax sale in May of 2004, Appellee acquired a defeasible fee interest in the property, which "title was subject to encumbrance for at least one year after purchase due to the other interested parties' statutory rights of redemption." National Tax Funding v. Harpagon Co., supra at 43(1), 586 S.E.2d 235. However, Appellee's fee interest was not subject to defeasance by virtue of DeKalb County's holding of a second, unauthorized sale of the property before that year had expired. After the May 2004 tax sale, DeKalb County could not "decline to pursue either of [its] statutory options...." National Tax Funding v. Harpagon Co., supra at 44(3), 586 S.E.2d 235.
Were we to conclude otherwise, we would permit tax liens, once they attach to a particular piece of property, to survive in perpetuity until the tax obligations are paid in full. If that were true, and if the taxes remained unpaid, the same piece of property could be sold at numerous sheriff's sales by a long succession of tax lienholders, and none of the purchasers could obtain good title unless, in addition to the tax sale [282 Ga. 906] purchase price, the purchaser also paid off all existing tax liens (including liens for income taxes, sales taxes, municipal taxes, excise taxes, etc.).... While our government obviously has a strong interest in seeing that tax liens are paid, it also has a compelling interest in ensuring that there is a mechanism by which tax deeds may mature into unencumbered and marketable fee simple titles.... [U]nder our statutory scheme, where property is encumbered by competing tax liens and one lienholder levies upon the property and obtains a tax deed to it, holders of competing tax liens may either seek to collect from the tax sale proceeds or may assert their rights to redeem the property from the tax sale purchaser.
National Tax Funding v. Harpagon Co., supra at 45(3), 586 S.E.2d 235.
After the unauthorized tax sale, Mr. Xiao and, subsequently, Appellant stood in the same position as to Appellee's defeasible title that was occupied by their predecessor in interest, DeKalb County. Mr. Xiao, and then Appellant, became holders of competing lienholders as to the property. Where
the tax sale purchaser gives valid notice under the barment statutes and the competing tax lienholder allows the redemption period to mature and pass without taking any action, its lien is divested from the property and no longer encumbers the tax sale purchaser's title interest.
Page 589
National Tax Funding v. Harpagon, supra at 45(3), 586 S.E.2d 235. Here, Appellant did not take any action to redeem the property after Appellee initiated proceedings to foreclose the right of redemption. Instead, Appellant relied on the tax deed acquired at the void sale held in December of 2004. Under these circumstances, Appellant may be entitled to a refund of the purchase price. However, the only issue in this case is that of title and, as to that issue, the trial court did not err in adopting the special master's report, and correctly entered a decree vesting fee simple title in Appellee.
Judgment affirmed.
All the Justices concur.


638 S.E.2d 779 (Ga.App. 2006)
282 Ga.App. 392
WESTER
v.
UNITED CAPITAL FINANCIAL OF ATLANTA, L.L.C.
No. A06A2413.
Court of Appeals of Georgia.
November 2, 2006
Reconsideration Denied Nov. 15, 2006.
Certiorari Denied Feb. 26, 2007.
Thomas C. Sanders, for appellant.
Page 780
Mason B. Rountree , William T. Cable, Jr. , Willie C. Carouthers, Vinson, Talley, Richardson & Cable, for appellee.
BLACKBURN , Presiding Judge.
In this interpleader action to distribute excess funds ($73,275.15) received by the county from a tax sale of certain real property, Thomas A. Wester as a judgment lienholder on the property appeals summary judgment granted to a fellow lienholder (United Capital Financial of Atlanta, LLC), who for $97,200 had redeemed the property from the tax sale. Wester argues that because his judgment lien on the property was prior in time to the judgment lien of United Capital, he should be entitled to the excess funds before any are distributed to United Capital. We hold that as the redeemer of the property, United Capital is entitled to the excess funds to the extent of its redemption payment before any other entity or interest. Accordingly, we affirm summary judgment in favor of United Capital.
Summary judgment is only proper when there is no genuine issue of material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.[1] A de novo standard of review applies to an appeal from a grant of summary judgment, and we view the evidence, and all reasonable conclusions and inferences drawn from it, in the light most favorable to the nonmovant. Matjoulis v. Integon Gen. Ins. Corp. [2]
The undisputed facts show that in February 2000 in Paulding County Superior Court, Wester obtained a judgment against a Paulding County real property owner and had a writ of fi. fa. in the amount of $59,508.95 entered on the county general execution docket. Another creditor of the property owner obtained a judgment in May 2000 (a subsequent term of court) and had a writ of fi. fa. in the amount of $5,135.53 entered on the county general execution docket at that time. This later judgment and fi. fa. were subsequently assigned to United Capital.
To collect past due taxes, the Paulding County tax commissioner sold the real property at a tax sale in February 2005 for $81,000 to a tax sale purchaser. United Capital paid $97,200 to the tax sale purchaser to redeem the property, resulting in the tax sale purchaser conveying the property back to the property owner in a properly recorded quitclaim deed. After satisfying the tax debt, the tax commissioner had $73,275.15 left over from the tax sale, which the tax commissioner interpleaded into Paulding County Superior Court, [282 Ga.App. 393] naming the property owner, Wester, and United Capital as defendants. Wester and United Capital both moved for summary judgment.[3] Denying Wester's motion, the court granted United Capital summary judgment and ordered that the funds in the court registry be paid to United Capital, giving rise to this appeal.
OCGA § 48-4-5 governs the distribution of excess funds from a tax sale. Subsection (b) provides that the tax commissioner may file an interpleader action in superior court for the payment of the amount of such excess funds and instructs that "[s]uch excess funds shall be distributed by the superior court to the intended parties, including the owner, as their interests appear and in the order of priority in which their interests exist." If the only interests of Wester and United Capital were as judgment lienholders, then the timing of the obtaining and recording of those liens would be dispositive in determining their relative rights to the funds. Cf. NationsBank, N.A. v. Gibbons [4] ("the relative position of judgment liens is determined by seniority; an older Georgia judgment has priority over a newer judgment" ).
But United Capital's primary interest in this matter is its status as the redeemer of the property. OCGA § 48-4-43 provides:
When property has been redeemed, the effect of the redemption shall be to put the
Page 781
title conveyed by the tax sale back into the defendant in fi. fa., subject to all liens existing at the time of the tax sale. If the redemption has been made by any creditor of the defendant or by any person having any interest in the property, the amount expended by the creditor or person interested shall constitute a first lien on the property and, if the quitclaim deed provided for in Code Section 48-4-44 is recorded as required by law, shall be repaid prior to any other claims upon the property.
Thus, in its status as redeemer of the property, United Capital has a first lien on the property in the amount of the $97,200 it paid to redeem the property (which lien is in addition to its more subordinate judgment lien for $5,135.53), which first lien "shall be repaid prior to any other claims upon the property." Id. As stated by the Supreme Court of Georgia in Nat. Tax Funding v. Harpagon Co., [5] "[i]f a creditor of the original taxpayer redeems the property, the amount paid by the [282 Ga.App. 394] redeeming creditor becomes a first lien on the property. The redeeming creditor then has first priority to repayment-a 'super-lien' for the redemption price." Wester's assertion that United Capital is only entitled to priority on the real property per se and not on the excess funds is without foundation. United Capital's right to repayment, whether from the excess tax sale funds or from any foreclosure it may pursue on the property, takes priority over any other claims on the property.
Accordingly, the trial court properly held that United Capital's interest as the redeeming creditor took priority over Wester's and the property owner's interests and that therefore United Capital should be granted summary judgment. Because the amount of United Capital's interest exceeded the amount held in the registry of the court, the trial court correctly ordered that the entire amount be paid to United Capital.
Judgment affirmed.
MIKELL and ADAMS , JJ., concur.
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Notes:
[1] OCGA § 9-11-56(c) .
[2] Matjoulis v. Integon Gen. Ins. Corp., 226 Ga.App. 459(1), 486 S.E.2d 684 (1997) .
[3] Due to a bankruptcy consent order with the property owner arising out of the property owner's bankruptcy, Wester asked that the first $21,200 be paid to the property owner as an exempt asset and that Wester receive the remainder.
[4] NationsBank, N.A. v. Gibbons, 226 Ga.App. 610, 611, 487 S.E.2d 417 (1997) .
[5] Nat. Tax Funding v. Harpagon Co., 277 Ga. 41, 42(1), 586 S.E.2d 235 (2003) .

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620 S.E.2d 447 (Ga.App. 2005)
275 Ga.App. 196
SCOTT
v.
VESTA HOLDINGS I, LLC et al.
Vesta Holdings I, LLC
v.
Scott.
Nos. A05A1226, A05A1227.
Court of Appeals of Georgia
August 23, 2005
Page 448
William J. Linkous, IIII, Chief Asst. County Atty., Atlanta, Sam L. Brannen, Sr. Asst. County Atty., Statesboro, for appellant.
Proctor, Chambers & Hutchins, Robert J. Proctor, Bradley A. Hutchins, Adam C. Caseky, Atlanta, for appellees.
Barnes, Judge.
In Appeal No. A05A1226, Tom Scott, the Tax Commissioner of DeKalb County ("the Commissioner"), appeals the trial court's judgment granting the money rule petition of Vesta Holdings I, LLC [275 Ga.App. 197] ("Vesta Holdings"). [1] The Commissioner contends the trial court erred because Georgia law requires that tax fieri facias, or fi. fa. [2] ("tax executions"), be satisfied by levy and sale and requires tax commissioners to hold excess proceeds from the sales as a fiduciary of the property owners of record at the time of the sale. He also contends that a money rule is not a proper remedy for collection of tax executions from him. We disagree and affirm the grant of the money rule to Vesta Holdings.
In its cross-appeal, Appeal No. A05A1227, Vesta Holdings contends the trial court erred by denying its petition for the 20 percent interest authorized by OCGA § 15-13-3 and the interest on its tax executions authorized by OCGA § §48-3-20 and 48-2-40. Because the trial court's order does not find that good cause was shown by the Commissioner sufficient to deny Vesta Holdings's request for 20 percent interest, we must vacate that part of the judgment and remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings.
The record shows that Vesta Holdings filed a Petition for a Money Rule requiring the Commissioner [3] to remit the sums Vesta Holdings previously demanded on its tax executions plus 20 percent per annum interest. The petition alleged that Vesta Holdings was the nominee of Heartwood 11, LLC ("Heartwood"), that Heartwood is regularly engaged in purchasing and collecting on tax executions, and that, as Heartwood's nominee, Vesta Holdings held certain tax executions.
Page 449
The petition further alleged that the Commissioner had conducted a number of tax sales of properties subject to the tax executions held by Vesta Holdings that produced proceeds in excess of the amounts necessary to satisfy the tax executions for which the sales were held, and that the Commissioner was holding those excess amounts in his registry account.
According to the petition, Vesta Holdings made demand on the Commissioner to satisfy Vesta Holdings's tax executions on those properties from these excess proceeds, but the Commissioner refused the demand. As a result, Vesta Holdings sought a money rule under OCGA § 15-13-1, [4] twenty percent interest under OCGA § 15-13-3, [5] costs, and issuance of a writ of [275 Ga.App. 198] mandamus absolute or a permanent injunction prohibiting the Commissioner from proceeding with levies and sales for delinquent tax executions when prior tax sales proceeds could be applied.
The Commissioner answered denying liability and subsequently filed an amended answer adding a counterclaim and cross-claim for interpleader and declaratory relief. The petition for declaratory judgment sought a ruling on whether the Commissioner was "required and entitled to hold excess tax sale proceeds as a fiduciary for the record property owners . . . or whether those funds may properly be paid to a tax execution transferee." [6] The interpleader sought permission to pay into the registry of the court the excess tax sale proceeds on all of the properties involved in the case. The defendants in interpleader were the 18 individuals or entities who were property owners of record when the properties were sold by the Commissioner in the tax sales.
Subsequently, the Commissioner filed a brief contending that Vesta Holdings purchased the tax executions from him under OCGA § 48-3-19 [7] and then held them until the Commissioner conducted tax sales on the property covered by Vesta Holdings's tax executions for tax liabilities for years after those covered by Vesta Holdings's tax executions. He further alleged that Vesta Holdings's plan was to purchase a tax execution, to sit on its rights to levy and sell the property to collect the tax execution, to allow interest to accrue at the statutory rate of twelve (12) percent per year, and then to demand the excess proceeds when the property was sold at a later tax sale. He also contended that Georgia law prohibited him from satisfying Vesta Holdings's tax executions in that manner and that Vesta Holdings's remedy was to levy and sell the property to which its tax executions related.
Relying on National Tax Funding, LP v. Harpagon Co., LLC, 277 Ga. 41 (586 S.E.2d 235) (2003), the trial court granted Vesta Holdings's petition for the money rule. This ruling authorized Vesta Holdings to satisfy its tax executions from the excess proceeds the Commissioner collected from subsequent tax sales on the same parcels of property.
Case No. A05A1226
1. As the trial court found, this case is controlled by our Supreme Court's decision in National Tax Funding :
All owners of non-exempt real and tangible personal property are subject to taxation
Page 450
on the property's fair market value as of January first of each year. [OCGA §§ 48-5-1; 48-5-3; 48-5-9; 48-5-10.] In order to secure payment of these taxes when they fall delinquent, the law creates a lien which extends not only to the property giving rise to the tax obligation, but also to all other property owned by the taxpayer. [OCGA § 48-2-56 (a).] Generally, a lien for delinquent ad valorem taxes arises at the time the taxes become due and unpaid, and "covers all property in which the taxpayer has any interest from the date the lien arises until such taxes are paid." [Id.] When taxes are not paid, the Tax Commissioner is authorized to issue a writ of fieri facias (or tax execution), which is a directive to the appropriate officer (often the sheriff) to levy upon the property, sell it and collect the unpaid taxes. [OCGA §§ 48-3-3; 48-5-127 (a)(6); 48-5-161.] Following a tax sale, after the payment of taxes, costs, and other expenses, any excess proceeds may be claimed by the parties entitled to receive them, including those who hold other liens against the property. [OCGA § 48-4-5. If the tax sale proceeds are insufficient to fully pay an outstanding tax lien, the tax lienholder may levy upon and collect from the taxpayer's other property. See OCGA § 48-2-56 (a).]
(Punctuation omitted, and emphasis supplied.) Id. at 42 (1). See Annual Survey of Georgia Law, 56 Mercer L. Rev. 395 (2004), at 411. The Supreme Court reiterated its interpretation of OCGA § 48-4-5 later in the opinion:
[F]ollowing a tax sale, the holder of a competing tax lien has two options -- it may either file a claim to collect against any proceeds from the sale, or it may assert its rights following the tax sale via a statutory claim for redemption, in which case it obtains a first priority lien on the property, which it [275 Ga.App. 200] may then enforce by levy and sale. With these two options, the legislature has ensured that holders of competing tax liens can take adequate steps to protect their interest in property sold at a tax sale to another lienholder.
National Tax Funding, supra, 277 Ga. at 44 (3), 586 S.E.2d 235.
The rationale for this interpretation flows from former OCGA § 48-3-19 (a) (1) and OCGA § 48-4-5 and OCGA § 48-2-56. Before it was repealed, OCGA § 48-3-19 (a) (1) provided:
Whenever any person other than the person against whom an execution has been issued pays an execution issued for state, county, or municipal taxes . . ., the officer whose duty it is to enforce the execution, upon the request of the party paying the execution, shall transfer the execution to the party so paying. The person to whom the execution is transferred shall have the same rights as to enforcing the execution and priority of payment as might have been exercised or claimed before the transfer.
Therefore, "Vesta [Holdings] stood in the same shoes as [a county seeking funds from an excess tax sale]. Alexander Investment Group, Inc. v. Jarvis, [supra, 263 Ga. at 490 n. 3]." Vesta Holdings I, LLC v. Tax Commissioner of Fulton County, 259 Ga.App. 717, 718 (1) (578 S.E.2d 293) (2003). The significance of this footing is that Vesta Holdings's tax executions had higher priority than any other claims or liens except those for State taxes and for county taxes, if any, which were older than those held by Vesta Holdings. Id. at 718-720 (2).
With a few exceptions, not relevant here, OCGA § 48-2-56 (a) and (b) allow holders of unpaid liens for State, county or municipal taxes to recover from all property in which the delinquent taxpayer had any interest until the taxes are paid, and give the holder of the tax liens the right to be paid "before any other debt, lien, or claim of any kind." See also OCGA § 48-5-28 (a) ("taxes shall be paid before any other debt, lien, or claim of any kinds.") The version of OCGA § 48-4-5 [8] relevant to this appeal provided that "[i]f there is any excess after paying taxes, costs, and all expenses of a shall, it shall be immediately
Page 451
paid to the person authorized to receive the excess." [9]
[275 Ga.App. 201] In this appeal, Vesta Holdings, as the transferee of the tax executions, stood "in the shoes of the State, county, or city by whose authority the tax fi. fa. was issued. [It had] the same rights and priorities that the State, county, or city would have had. Taxes, under our law, are the highest lien." Ferris v. Van Ingen & Co., 110 Ga. 102, 119 (35 S.E.2d 347) (1900). Therefore, Vesta Holdings was entitled to recover from the Commissioner the amounts necessary to pay its tax executions from the excess proceeds of the tax sales before any payments to the owners of record at the time of the tax sale.
The Commissioner's position in this litigation has consistently overlooked or rejected the fact that Vesta Holdings was entitled to collect from all property in which the delinquent taxpayer had any interest, that these excess sale proceeds were such a property interest, and that, as the holder of the tax liens, Vesta Holdings had the right to be paid "before any other debt, lien, or claim of any kind" may be claimed by the parties entitled to receive them, including those who hold other liens against the property. OCGA § 48-2-56 (a) and (b); Vesta Holdings I, LLC v. Tax Commissioner of Fulton County, supra, 259 Ga.App. at 720 (2) (b).
Further, the Commissioner's reliance on Alexander Investment Group v. Jarvis, supra, 263 Ga. 489, 435 S.E.2d 609, is misplaced. That case merely held that the holder of a tax execution was only entitled to recover the amount of tax debt evidenced by the execution. Once that debt was paid, it had no further entitlement to collect from the excess proceeds. Id. at 491(2), n. 4, 435 S.E.2d 609. The case does not stand for the proposition that a tax execution may only be satisfied by levy and sale.
2. The Commissioner's allegation that a money rule petition is not authorized in cases of this nature is without merit. Pretermitting whether the Commissioner would be subject to a money rule on any other basis, the Commission is subject to a money rule as an ex-officio sheriff under OCGA § 48-5-137. OCGA § 15-13-2 (4) [10] ; Barrett v. Marathon Investment Corp., 268 Ga.App. 196, 199 (4) (601 S.E.2d 516) (2004).
Case No. A05A1227
3. The trial court's order on interest, attorney fees, and costs merely states that Vesta Holdings is entitled to recover "legal interest from the date of this order only. The court denies plaintiff's request for attorney's fees and costs." Collection of interest in money rule cases [275 Ga.App. 202] is controlled by OCGA § 15-13-3 (a), which states that for neglecting or refusing to pay what is owed "the officer shall be compelled to pay interest at the rate of 20 percent per annum upon the sum he has in his hands from the date of the demand, unless good cause is shown to the contrary." As the trial court made no finding that good cause was shown for the Tax Commissioner's refusal to honor Vesta Holdings's demands, we must vacate this part of the trial court's judgment and remand the case for further proceedings to determine whether the 20 percent interest required by OCGA § 15-13-3 (a) must be made part of the trial court's judgment. See MacDougald v. Phillips, 262 Ga. 778 (425 S.E.2d 652) (1993); Bill Parker & Assoc. v. Rahr, 216 Ga.App. 838, 842 (5) (456 S.E.2d 221) (1995).
Further, the trial court's final order requiring the Tax Commissioner "to remit the sums previously demanded by plaintiff for its tax executions" does not explicitly grant or deny Vesta Holdings the interest of one percent per month authorized by OCGA § § 48-3-20 and 48-2-40 which Vesta Holdings included in its previous demands. Therefore, the trial
Page 452
court should clarify this part of its order when it considers whether good cause was shown by the Commissioner sufficient to justify the denial of interest under OCGA § 15-13-3 (a).
Judgment affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded with direction.
Ruffin, C. J., and Johnson, P. J., concur.
---------------
Notes
[1] Although Scott filed this appeal in the Supreme Court of Georgia, the appeal and cross-appeal were transferred to this court because money rule cases are not within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court even when mandamus is sought.
[2] "The terms tax execution and tax fieri facias or tax fi. fa. have over the years been used interchangeably and refer to one and the same type of writ." Alexander Investment Group v. Jarvis, 263 Ga. 489, n1 (435 S.E.2d 609) (1993).
[3] The Commissioner is an ex-officio sheriff. See OCGA § 48-5-137.
[4] "All sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, coroners, jailers, constables, and other officers of court shall be liable to all actions and disabilities which they incur in respect of any matter or thing relating to or concerning their respective offices."
[5] "(a) If any sheriff, coroner, magistrate, constable, clerk of the superior court, or attorney at law fails, upon application, to pay to the proper person or his attorney any money he may have in his hands which he may have collected by virtue of his office, the party entitled thereto or his attorney may serve such officer with a written demand for the same. If not then paid, for such neglect or refusal the officer shall be compelled to pay interest at the rate of 20 percent per annum upon the sum he has in his hands from the date of the demand, unless good cause is shown to the contrary.
(b) A copy of the demand produced in court, verified by affidavit stating when and where the original was served upon the officer, shall be prima-facie evidence of the date and service thereof."
[6] We note that the Commissioner's petition for a declaratory judgment came over a year after Vesta Holdings's earliest demand for payment and after he had paid the full amount of the excess proceeds from some sales to other claimants.
[7] This code section was by repealed by Ga. L. 2002, p. 1481, § 1, effective May 21, 2002.
[8] The Commissioner agrees that the now repealed OCGA § 48-3-19 (a) and the prior version of OCGA § 48-4-5 apply in this appeal.
[9] The current OCGA § 48-4-5 authorizes the Commissioner to distribute any excess tax sale proceeds, after payment of taxes, costs, and expenses, "to intended parties, including the owner as their interest appears and in the order of priority in which their interest exists" through an interpleader action in superior court.
[10] "Any sheriff shall be liable to an action for damages or an attachment for contempt of court, at the option of the party, whenever it appears that the sheriff has injured the party by: . . . (4) Neglecting to pay over to the plaintiff or his attorney any moneys collected by the sheriff by virtue of any fi. fa. or other legal process."
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601 S.E.2d 516 (Ga.App. 2004)
268 Ga.App. 196
BARRETT
v.
MARATHON INVESTMENT CORPORATION.
No. A04A0120.
Court of Appeals of Georgia.
June 29, 2004
Overtis Brantley, Vernitia Shannon, Office of the County Attorney, John Ayoub, Atlanta, for Appellant.
C. Blanton, C. Terry Blanton Associates, Decatur, for Appellee.
Page 517
[268 Ga.App. 196] PHIPPS, Judge.
Jacquelyn H. Barrett, as sheriff of Fulton County, appeals an order requiring her to pay to Marathon Investment Corporation certain funds, interest thereon, attorney fees, and costs. [1] She contends that the trial court erred by ruling that Marathon was entitled to the funds and in awarding interest and attorney fees. Because Barrett has failed to demonstrate error, we affirm.
Marathon filed a money rule [2] petition against the sheriff in the superior court, seeking to recover excess funds she had collected and [268 Ga.App. 197] retained as a result of a March 2, 1999 sale of certain real property pursuant to a levy for unpaid taxes. Marathon alleged that it had been the highest bidder at that sale, that the sheriff subsequently issued a tax sale deed to it, that it had later obtained "all the right, title and interest of the Defendant in tax fi. fa., as shown on the tax sale deed, through a quit-claim deed ... dated December 15, 2000," that on June 28, 2001, "as the successor in right, title and interest to the owner-defendant in fi. fa.," it had demanded from the sheriff the excess funds, and that she had refused to comply with its demand. In addition to the excess proceeds and interest thereon, Marathon sought attorney fees and costs, claiming that the sheriff's holding of the funds was without any legal basis, was wilfully and stubbornly litigious, was in bad faith, and was causing unnecessary delay and expense. Among other defenses, the sheriff answered that Marathon's claim for the excess funds was barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity and that Marathon had failed to establish entitlement to the excess funds.
After a hearing where all parties and counsel were present, the court found that Marathon had "obtained all the right, title and interest of the Defendant in tax fi. fa., as shown on the tax sale deed, through a quit-claim deed as dated December 15, 2000," that "[Marathon], as the successor in right, title and interest to the owner-defendant in fi. fa., provided all documentation to [the sheriff]," that the sheriff's refusal to disburse the demanded funds to Marathon was without legal basis, was wilful and stubbornly litigious, was in bad faith, and had caused Marathon unnecessary delay and expense. The court therefore ordered the sheriff to pay to Marathon the excess funds plus interest calculated "at the rate of 20% per annum from the date of [Marathon's] initial application, June 28, 2001, there being no good cause for the Sheriff's failure to pay out such excess funds." Further, the court awarded Marathon attorney fees.
1. Barrett contends that the court erred as a matter of law in ruling that Marathon was entitled to the funds. OCGA § 48-4-5, which directly addresses the disposition of excess proceeds from a tax sale of returned property, provides, "If there is any excess after paying taxes, costs, and all expenses of a sale, it shall be immediately paid to the person authorized to receive the excess." [3]
In the absence of an express definition of "the person authorized to receive the excess," [4] Barrett argues that Marathon could not have been entitled to the funds because, as sheriff, she retains the excess funds for "the party owning the property and his lien holders as of the [268 Ga.App. 198] date of the tax sale," and it is undisputed that Marathon was neither. Marathon claims that, while it was not entitled to receive the excess funds on the date of the tax sale, it later became entitled to the funds through a quitclaim deed.
The policy of the law is to encourage free alienability of property, and attempts to remove either land or chattel from circulation in trade are discouraged. [5] Accordingly, we decline to hold that a defendant in fi. fa. may not effect a transfer of an interest in excess funds generated by a sale of real property
Page 518
pursuant to a tax execution. [6] The trial court did not err, as a matter of law, in recognizing a transfer of such an interest in this case.
2. Barrett contends that the trial court's conclusion that Marathon was entitled to the excess funds lacks evidentiary support. She asserts that Marathon failed to introduce any evidence of a quitclaim deed at the hearing. Alternatively, she asserts that the quitclaim deed cited by the trial court could not have transferred an interest in the excess funds because the deed did not "even mention the words 'excess funds' or 'proceeds from tax sale' or in any way refer to the transfer of an interest in excess funds." Barrett argues, "a party may not transfer [its] interest in excess funds via a quitclaim deed of the underlying property sold at [a] tax sale after the tax sale when such quitclaim deed fails to transfer an interest in the excess funds." [7]
Consideration of whether there was evidence supporting the trial court's finding that the defendant in fi. fa. conveyed his right to receive excess funds requires a review of the evidence presented at the hearing. But Barrett reports that "[t]here was no transcript kept of the hearing," and the appellate record contains no stipulation of evidence in lieu of a transcript. [8] Consequently, in accordance with the presumption of the regularity of court proceedings, we must assume that, in the absence of a transcript, the trial court's findings were supported by sufficient competent evidence. [9]
3. Barrett contends that the trial court erred in awarding interest and determining that interest accrued from June 28, 2001.
OCGA § 15-13-3(a) provides,
If any sheriff ... fails, upon application, to pay to the proper person or his attorney any money he may have in his hands which he may have collected by virtue of his office, the party entitled thereto or his attorney may serve such officer with a [268 Ga.App. 199] written demand for the same. If not then paid, for such neglect or refusal the officer shall be compelled to pay interest at the rate of 20 percent per annum upon the sum he has in his hands from the date of the demand, unless good cause is shown to the contrary.
Barrett asserts that there was no evidence that Marathon was entitled to the funds or that she was neglectful in refusing to disburse the funds to Marathon. She also asserts that there was no evidence to support the court's determination that the interest accrued from June 28, 2001. She claims, "the record clearly shows that [Marathon] filed its application on March 11, 2002."
These challenges to the interest award require review of the evidence presented at the hearing. As Barrett has failed to provide this court with a transcript of the hearing, we must assume that the trial court's findings were supported by sufficient competent evidence. [10] Barrett's reliance on Morrison v. Slaton [11] is unavailing.
4. Barrett contends that the trial court erred by failing to rule that Marathon's claim to recover the excess funds was barred by the defense of sovereign immunity. But the General Assembly waived such immunity in OCGA § 15-13-2(4), which provides that "[a]ny sheriff shall be liable to an action for damages ... whenever it appears that the sheriff has injured the party by ... [n]eglecting to pay over to the plaintiff or his attorney any moneys collected by the sheriff by virtue of any fi. fa. or other legal process." As Marathon's claim was premised upon the sheriff's failure to disburse to it such money, sovereign immunity did not bar the claim. Barrett's reliance on Seay v. Cleveland [12] is misplaced.
Page 519
5. Barrett contends that the trial court abused its discretion in awarding attorney fees, asserting that she had not been overly litigious but had merely performed her duty as a fiduciary to disburse excess funds generated from a tax sale only to the correct entity. Without a transcript, we must assume the trial court was authorized to award the fees. [13]
Judgment affirmed.
SMITH, C.J., and JOHNSON, P.J., concur.
---------
Notes:
[1] The Supreme Court of Georgia transferred Barrett's case to this court.
[2] See OCGA §§ 15-13-3; 15-13-4.
[3] See Alexander Investment Group v. Jarvis, 263 Ga. 489, 490(1), 435 S.E.2d 609 (1993).
[4] OCGA § 48-4-5.
[5] See Dyer v. Dyer, 275 Ga. 339, 341(1), 566 S.E.2d 665 (2002).
[6] See id.
[7] (Emphasis in original.)
[8] See OCGA § 5-6-41(i).
[9] See Kirkendall v. Decker, 271 Ga. 189, 191, 516 S.E.2d 73 (1999).
[10] See id.
[11] 148 Ga. 294, 96 S.E. 422 (1918) (no interest was chargeable to the sheriff until the party entitled to the funds could be identified).
[12] 270 Ga. 64, 65-66(1), 508 S.E.2d 159 (1998) (sheriff sued in official capacity and asserting defense of sovereign immunity could not be held liable on claims of negligence where immunity had not been waived by law or by the county).
[13] See Kirkendall, supra.

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586 S.E.2d 235 (Ga. 2003)
277 Ga. 41
NATIONAL TAX FUNDING, L.P.
v.
HARPAGON COMPANY, LLC., et al. (four cases).
Nos. S03A0617, S03A0823, S03A0802, S03A0803.
Supreme Court of Georgia
September 15, 2003.
Page 236
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Page 237
[277 Ga. 46] Miller & Martin, Geoffrey H. Cederholm, Donna J. Nance, Kerry A. Lunz, Atlanta, for appellant.
Proctor & Chambers, Robert J. Proctor, Bradley A. Hutchins, Janet S. Todd, Thurbert E. Baker, Atty. Gen., Daniel M. Formby, Deputy Atty. Gen., Vernitia A. Shannon, Jo Avery, Atlanta, for appellees.
[277 Ga. 41] SEARS, Presiding Justice.
Appellant National Tax Funding, L.P., ("NTF") appeals the trial court's ruling that as transferee of the purchaser of real property at a sale for delinquent ad valorem taxes, appellee the Harpagon Company, LLC, ("Harpagon") holds fee simple title to the property unencumbered by any competing tax liens, including those of NTF. We conclude that NTF's interest in the subject property was terminated when it failed to exercise its right of redemption following the tax sale, despite having received notice under statute that its redemption rights would soon end. Therefore, applying the "right for any reason rule," we affirm.
Along with other entities, both NTF and third-party Heartwood 11, Inc., held tax liens against certain property located in Fulton County. [1] Heartwood 11 obtained writs of fieri facias from the Tax Commissioner, levied upon its liens and acquired tax deeds to the property. Heartwood 11 then quitclaimed the property to Harpagon. Thereafter, Harpagon served notice on the delinquent taxpayer and all others claiming an interest in the property, including NTF, asserting the statutory bar to the right of redemption. Harpagon then filed a petition to quiet title, and sought a declaration that it holds title to the property free and clear of NTF's tax liens. NTF [277 Ga. 42] responded and argued that its tax liens had never been paid and therefore remained valid.
A hearing was held before the special master, who concluded that a tax sale divests all liens except the one levied upon from the property sold, so as to give the tax sale purchaser marketable title. Accordingly, the special master found that by virtue of its transferor's tax sale purchase of the subject property, Harpagon held title to the property free and clear of NTF's tax liens. The trial court adopted the special master's findings and conclusions, entered judgment in Harpagon's favor, and these appeals follow.
1. All owners of non-exempt real and tangible personal property are subject to taxation on the property's fair market value as of January first of each year. [2] In order to secure payment of these taxes when they fall delinquent, the law creates a lien which extends not only to the property giving rise to the tax obligation, but also to all other property owned by the taxpayer. [3] Generally, a lien for delinquent ad valorem taxes arises at the time the taxes become due and unpaid, and "cover[s] all property in which the taxpayer has any interest from the date the lien arises until such taxes are paid." [4] When taxes are not paid, the Tax Commissioner is authorized to issue a writ of fieri facias (or tax execution), which is a directive to the appropriate officer (often the sheriff) to levy upon the property, sell it and collect the unpaid taxes. [5] Following a tax sale, after the payment of taxes, costs, and other expenses, any excess proceeds may be claimed by the parties entitled to receive them, including
Page 238
those who hold other liens against the property. [6]
After the tax sale, the delinquent taxpayer or any other party holding an interest in or lien on the property may redeem the property by paying to the tax sale purchaser the purchase price plus any taxes paid and interest. [7] If the property is redeemed, the tax sale is essentially rescinded and a quitclaim deed is executed by the tax sale purchaser back to the owner of the property at the time of levy and sale. [8] If a creditor of the original taxpayer redeems the property, the amount paid by the redeeming creditor becomes a first lien on the property. The redeeming creditor then has first priority to repayment--a "super-lien" for the redemption price--and may proceed to foreclose [277 Ga. 43] against the property based upon that lien. [9] This right of redemption, however, may be terminated by the tax sale purchaser anytime after one year following the tax sale. After that year has run, the tax sale purchaser may "terminate, foreclose, divest, and forever bar" all rights to redeem the property by giving notice under OCGA § 48-4-40, et seq., ("the barment statutes") to all parties with redemption rights. [10] The barment statutes apply to "all persons having ... any right, title or interest in, or lien upon" the subject property. [11] However, until such time as the barment statutes are invoked once the one year redemption period has run, the tax sale purchaser's interest in the property is not exclusive, as the taxpayer and other lienholders retain their rights of redemption. A tax deed vests the purchaser with a defeasible (and, incidentally, taxable) fee interest in the property, but it does not entitle a purchaser to exclusive possession until the right of redemption is terminated. [12] the trial court erred by concluding that the tax sale of the property held to satisfy Harpagon's predecessor's tax lien divested NTF's tax lien interest from the property sold. By obtaining a tax sale deed to the property, Harpagon may have obtained a defeasible fee interest in the property, but its title was subject to encumbrance for at least one year after purchase due to the other interested parties' statutory rights of redemption.
2. The nature of Harpagon's title changed, however, once it gave notice under the barment statutes to all interested parties that their rights of redemption would expire and be barred as of one year after the tax sale purchase of the property, and all interested parties elected not to redeem the property within the redemption period. "The effect of expiration [of the redemption period] and bar of the right of redemption is to vest the purchaser with an absolute and unconditional title to the land, provided such title was owned by the [original owner], and the tax sale was valid." [13] Hence, after expiration of the redemption period, Harpagon held indefeasible fee simple title to the property.
3. The question remains, however, whether Harpagon's title to the property remained encumbered by NTF's tax lien after NTF's failure to redeem the property during the redemption period even though it received notice under the barment statutes. NTF argues [277 Ga. 44] that its tax lien remains in place and is enforceable until the tax obligation is paid. In making this argument, NTF relies upon OCGA § 48-2-56(a), which states that except as otherwise provided, liens for all taxes arise at the time the taxes become due, and "shall cover all property in which the
Page 239
taxpayer has an interest from the date the lien arises until such taxes are paid." What NTF overlooks, however, is that after the barment statutes were invoked and the redemption period expired, the taxpayer no longer had any interest in the subject property. As explained above, the delinquent taxpayer, as well as all lienholders, could redeem the property from Harpagon until it gave notice under the barment statutes and the redemption period expired. Harpagon's valid notice and invocation of the barment statutes, however, "terminated, foreclosed, divested, and forever barred" all parties from redeeming the property. At that point, the taxpayer no longer had an interest in the property. [14] Because NTF's tax lien covers only "property in which the taxpayer has [an] interest," [15] once the taxpayer's right of redemption terminated, NTF's lien was divested from and could no longer be enforced against the property. [16]
As explained above, following a tax sale, the holder of a competing tax lien has two options--it may either file a claim to collect against any proceeds from the sale, or it may assert its rights following the tax sale via a statutory claim for redemption, in which case it obtains a first priority lien on the property, which it may then enforce by levy and sale. With these two options, the legislature has ensured that holders of competing tax liens can take adequate steps to protect their interest in property sold at a tax sale to another lienholder. What a competing tax lienholder may not do after a tax sale, however, is decline to pursue either of these statutory options, receive notice under the barment statutes that its rights of redemption will soon terminate, allow the redemption period to mature and pass, and then continue to assert its lien against the property. When read as a whole, our statutory scheme simply does not provide for such a course of action.
While Code section 48-2-56(a) does state (in part) that tax liens cover property in which the taxpayer has an interest from the time [277 Ga. 45] the lien arises until the taxes are paid, [17] it does not state that tax liens are immune from divestment under the barment statutes. By their terms, the statutes divest the redemption rights of "all persons having ... any right, title, or interest in, or lien upon" property. [18] When such divestment occurs, the tax lienholder's interest in the property is foreclosed and it can no longer seek to redeem or levy against that property in order to collect the taxes owed.
Were we to conclude otherwise, we would permit tax liens, once they attach to a particular piece of property, to survive in perpetuity until the tax obligations are paid in full. If that were true, and if the taxes remained unpaid, the same piece of property could be sold at numerous sheriff's sales by a long succession of tax lienholders, and none of the purchasers could obtain good title unless, in addition to the tax sale purchase price, the purchaser also paid off all existing tax liens (including liens for income taxes, sales taxes, municipal taxes, excise taxes, etc.). Furthermore, if all tax liens survive in perpetuity until paid, and if the total amount of such liens exceeds the property's fair market value, then the property would become essentially unmarketable. While our government obviously has a strong interest in seeing that tax liens are paid, it also has a compelling interest in ensuring that there is a mechanism by which tax deeds may mature
Page 240
into unencumbered and marketable fee simple titles. Accordingly, in addition to the statutory analysis discussed above, there are compelling public policy considerations that support our decision as well.
In summation, under our statutory scheme, where property is encumbered by competing tax liens and one lienholder levies upon the property and obtains a tax deed to it, holders of competing tax liens may either seek to collect from the tax sale proceeds or may assert their rights to redeem the property from the tax sale purchaser. If, however, the tax sale purchaser gives valid notice under the barment statutes and the competing tax lienholder allows the redemption period to mature and pass without taking any action, its lien is divested from the property and no longer encumbers the tax sale purchaser's title interest.
4. This Court may affirm the judgment of a lower court so long as it is right for any reason, even if it is based on erroneous reasoning. [19] As explained in Division 2 above, the trial court erred by accepting the special master's conclusion that the tax sale, standing alone, divested NTF's lien from the property. As explained in Division 3 above, the special master's analysis was incomplete--it was the tax sale combined with the giving of notice under the barment statutes and the running of the redemption period that divested NTF's lien. However, even though the trial court's ruling was based upon an insufficient analysis, it was nonetheless correct and is hereby affirmed under the "right for any reason" rule.
Judgment affirmed.
All the Justices concur.
---------
Notes:
[1] Both Heartwood and NTF acquired their tax liens from the Fulton County Tax Commissioner.
[2] OCGA §§ 48-5-1; 48-5-3; 48-5-9; 48-5-10.
[3] OCGA § 48-2-56(a).
[4] Id.
[5] OCGA §§ 48-3-3; 48-5-127(a)(6); 48-5-161.
[6] OCGA § 48-4-5. If the tax sale proceeds are insufficient to fully pay an outstanding tax lien, the tax lienholder may levy upon and collect from the taxpayer's other property. See OCGA § 48-2-56(a).
[7] OCGA § 48-4-42.
[8] OCGA § 48-4-44.
[9] OCGA § 48-4-43.
[10] OCGA § 48-4-45.
[11] OCGA § 48-4-45(a)(1)(C).
[12] Hinkel, Pindar's Georgia Real Estate Law, § 4-49 (5th ed.); McDonald v. Wimpy, 206 Ga. 270, 273, 56 S.E.2d 524 (1949). See OCGA§ 48-2-57 (a sale of property under legal process shall not divest the state of its tax liens).
[13] Pindar's Georgia Real Estate Law, § 4-51; see Forrester v. Lowe, 192 Ga. 469, 476, 15 S.E.2d 719 (1941).
[14] See Hill v. Mayor &c. of Savannah, 233 Ga.App. 742, 743, 505 S.E.2d 35 (1998).
[15] OCGA § 48-2-56(a).
[16] Forrester v. Lowe, 192 Ga. at 476, 15 S.E.2d 719 (after expiration of the redemption period and proper notice under the barment statutes "the [original] owner and all other parties authorized by law to redeem [the property] lost their redemption rights and ceased to have any interest in the land.") As noted above, though, tax liens extend not only to the property giving rise to the tax obligation, but also to all other property owned by the taxpayer. OCGA § 48-2-56(a). Hence, NTF may seek to recover by levying upon the delinquent taxpayer's other property. (We note that our ruling today concerning the divestment of tax liens does not apply to situations where there has been no tax sale of the property at issue.)
[17] See notes 14-16, supra, and accompanying text.
[18] OCGA § 48-4-45(a)(1)(C) (emphasis supplied).
[19] Shadix v. Carroll County, 274 Ga. 560, 565, 554 S.E.2d 465 (2001). City of Gainesville v. Dodd, 275 Ga. 834, 573 S.E.2d 369 (2002), is inapplicable to this appeal as, this being an equity case, the trial court sat as the trier of fact. Id., 275 Ga. at 838, n. 3, 573 S.E.2d 369.

& & &

Hugh Wood, Esq.
Wood & Meredith, LLP
3756 LaVista Road
Suite 250
Atlanta (Tucker), GA 30084

www.woodandmeredith.com
hwood@woodandmeredith.com
www.hughwood.blogspot.com
Phone: 404-633-4100
Fax: 404-633-0068

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

test

Anonymous said...

Hugh,

so if I bid 85,000 dollars, then 5000 is used to pay taxes. Then 80,000 is made available to who exactly? The owner or owners as their interests appear in order of priority? Can you translate that? Thanks...love the site.

genefury said...

the excess proceeds would go to the previous owner the one who held the mortgage who was foreclosed upon.I know i'm in the business.

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