Tax Sale

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Any open bills associated with a property under Maryland code are considered liens against the property.  Any unpaid bills at the end of February could potentially lead the property into tax sale. On March 1, the County will send a delinquent notice to all property owners with delinquent bills. We will also advertise in the local newspaper for four consecutive weeks prior to the sale. Owners have ninety days to redeem the property before the property is sent to public auction.

Cecil County holds an annual Tax Sale online that closes the first Monday in June. Tax lien certificates for properties with delinquent taxes, sewer bills and/or other assessments will be auctioned to the highest bidder.

The sale is held online via Real Auction. For more information you may visit Prospective bidders may pre-register online for the sale by May 22nd at 12pm . You must preregistered on the website in order to be able to bid. All bidders must establish their eligibility for bidding by presenting satisfactory evidence of the legal existence of the bidding entity and identify a single agent to bid for that entity. 

The County will use the Bid Premium method per Section 14-817(b)(2)(i) of the Tax Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

On June 1st the auction will close at 12 pm, successful bidders must pay all taxes and fees then due, including any applicable bid premium by 4 PM via ACH. The Cecil County Finance Office must receive the balance of bid prior to issuance of a deed. The successful bidder will earn interest at the rate of 1% per month (12% per year) from day of tax sale until the property is redeemed. Any property not sold at Tax Sale is, by law, purchased by the County. These properties may be purchased through the Cecil County Finance Office. The County does not publish a list of such properties, nor does it maintain a mailing list.

Effective June 1, 2007, applying to all properties sold at tax sale thereafter, the rate of redemption on properties sold at Cecil County's annual tax sale shall be 12% (1% per month).

Property owners may redeem their property any time prior to the issuance of a court decree foreclosing the right of redemption. All redemption fees must be paid by cash, certified check, money order or certain credit cards. For properties sold after June 1, 2007, if the property is redeemed between the date of tax sale and June 30, the property owner must pay the amount paid by the bidder at tax sale plus 1% interest. Property owners who choose to redeem after June 30, must pay all fees from tax sale, additional interest at the rate of 1% per month and any new taxes and/or sewer bills, including the new tax year bill of July, that have accrued.

If you redeem your property more than four (4) months after the date of tax sale, and before an action to foreclose the right of redemption is filed, the holder of the certificate of sale may be reimbursed for:

  1. Attorney's fees for recording the certificate of sale;
  2. A title search fee, not to exceed $250;
  3. The postage and certified mailing costs for required notices; and
  4. Reasonable attorney's fees, not to exceed $500.

If you redeem your property after an action to foreclose the right of redemption has been filed, the amount that shall be paid to redeem the property is the sum of:

  1. The total lien amount on the property at the time of sale, with interest;
  2. Any taxes, interest, and penalties paid by the holder of the certificate of sale;
  3. Any taxes, interest, and penalties accruing after the date of the tax sale; and
  4. Attorney's fees and expenses to which the holder of the certificate of sale may be entitled under §14-843(A)(4) and (5).

We are further required to advise you of the provisions of §14-843(a) as it appears in the Code.

Purchasers can begin foreclosure proceedings six (6) months and one (1) day from the date of sale and have up to two (2) years to start these proceedings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the date, time and location of your tax sale? How often is it held?

Tax sale is held annually online via the Real Auction website. 

How is it advertised?

It is advertised in a local paper of general circulation for 4 weeks prior to the sale. This year, the sale will be advertised in the Cecil Whig.

When and how do I register for the sale?

Registration is open for prospective bidders online at There is a $100 nonrefundable bidder registration fee. Registration is open from May 6th 2020 at 12 pm until May 22 at 12 pm.

What are the payment requirements? Do you require a deposit?

The amount of taxes, interest and other associated fees are due the day of the sale by 4 pm via ACH plus any applicable bid premium. See below for Bid Premium information. The balance of bid will be required upon foreclosure.

What is the bidding process?

Online bidding begins May 26th 2020 and closes June 1st at 12 pm . Cecil County will use the bid premium method as per section 14-817(b)(2)(i) of the Tax Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

What is “Bid Premium”?

The bid premium system was designed to curb the excessive and chaotic bidding that has occurred in several jurisdictions throughout the state. If the successful bid exceeds 40% of the full cash value of a property, the bidder will be required to pay a 20% premium on the amount by which the bid exceeds that 40%. For example if the full cash value is $150,000 and the high bid is $70,000, the buyer would pay a premium of $2,000 calculated as follows: 40% of $150,000 (full cash value) = $60,000. $70,000 (bid) minus $60,000 (40% FCV) = $10,000. 20% of $10,000 = $2,000. The bid premium will be returned without interest to the buyer if the tax sale certificate is redeemed or if foreclosure is executed within 2 years of tax sale. If the property is neither redeemed nor foreclosed, the County retains the bid premium.

What type of document is issued after the sale?

Immediately after the sale, you will be issued a cash receipt showing the amount paid. In a few weeks, you will receive a Certificate of Sale for Unpaid Property Taxes.

What is the foreclosure process? Will the County handle the foreclosure process for a fee?

The successful bidder may begin foreclosure proceedings six months from the date of tax sale if the owner has not redeemed the property. Upon foreclosure, the balance of bid is due to the County. The County will not handle foreclosure proceedings and it is suggested you contact your attorney for additional information.

What happens to liens that are not sold at tax sale? Can they be purchased directly from the County?

If a property is not sold at tax sale, it may be purchased over the counter. However, in recent years all liens have been sold at tax sale and we expect this trend to continue.

Codes referenced above as well as other information on Tax Sale

Properties in Tax Sale Publication week of 05/13/2020

Cecil County, MD Tax Sale - June 1, 2020

Cecil County Tax Sale Procedures and Conditions (available in May online)

2019 Cecil County Delinquent Tax Notices




The State and County taxes levied for the tax year 2019 on the properties hereinafter described and assessed to the respective persons or corporations, hereinafter set forth together with taxes and charges due other Taxing Agencies in Cecil County, including Incorporated Towns being in arrears and all requirements of law in such cases made and provided having been complied with: THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE OF CECIL  COUNTY, State of Maryland HEREBY GIVES NOTICE that unless all taxes and charges in arrears to State, County, Town and other Taxing Agencies be paid before the time of sale hereinafter mentioned, together with interest on said Taxes and proportional cost of advertisement and all fees and penalties:  said Director of Finance, will proceed to sell and will sell via Online Auction to the highest bidder using the high bid premium method as per section 14-817 (b)(2)(i) of the Tax Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland and upon terms hereinafter set forth, each of said parcels of land or properties upon which said taxes and charges, or any of them, still remain due and in arrears on an online auction via the website Bidder registration will be available May 6th 2020 at 12pm, through May 22nd 2020 at 12 pm.  Bids will be accepted as of May 26th 2020, with final winning bids closing on June 1st 2020 at 12pm.




The accompanying is a list by District and Towns, of the properties to be sold as aforesaid, showing in each instance the name of the party to whom the property is assessed, a description of the property, the total of the amount of State, County and Town taxes and charges due other Taxing Agencies thereon levied and in arrears with interest thereon to the day of sale, and costs and expenses.  TERMS OF SALE:  The purchaser of each property will be required to pay the Director of Finance by 4 pm on June1st,, the full amount of all taxes due on the property sold together with interest and penalties thereon, all expenses incurred in making the sale, and any premium due, and the residue of the purchase price shall remain on credit pending the passage of a Decree of Court foreclosing the Right of Redemption.  The purchaser may claim certain legal expenses from the property owner upon redemption as of October 2, 2020.  Each purchaser may at any time after the 2nd day of December 2020 institute proceedings in the Circuit Court for Cecil County in Equity, to foreclose the Right of Redemption of the property sold.  Such proceedings must be instituted by the purchaser within two years from the date of Certificate of Sale, or the certificate will be void and all rights of the purchaser in the property will cease and all money paid on account of the purchase price to the Director of Finance will be forfeited.  Upon the execution of a decree by the Circuit Court of Cecil County in Equity, the payment of the residue of the purchase price to the Director of Finance, together with all taxes and interest and penalties thereon accruing subsequent to the day of sale, a deed to the property, so sold, will be executed by the Director of Finance.  Costs of conveyance (including U.S. internal Revenue Stamps and State Stamps and State Stamps for the Deed) to be paid by the purchaser.  All sales are without any warranty whatsoever, either expressed or implied.  This sale is further subject to the terms and conditions set forth in Cecil County Tax Sale Procedures and Conditions, a supplement promulgated by the Director of Finance pursuant to Section 14-817(a)(4) of the Tax Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.  For terms of Sale visit


Lisa A. Saxton





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