HONESDALE – In order to comply with a newly enacted state law, the Wayne County Tax Claim Office established new procedures for the pre-registration of bidders for upcoming tax sales. The new rules take effect for the Upset Tax Sale, scheduled for Sept. 17.
Wayne County Director of Tax Services Cheryl Davies said the Judicial Sale this Friday and the Repository Sale in August will not be impacted by the new rules.
PA Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 33 on June 30, which requires all bidders to pre-register for tax sales at least 10 days before the sale. It also requires businesses and limited liability corporations to list their officers and investors.
In addition, a Certification Form must be filled out stating the applicant is not delinquent in paying real estate taxes; is not bidding for or acting as an agent for a person who is barred from participating in the sale; and has not engaged in or permitted an uncorrected housing code violation, failed to maintain property in a reasonable manner, or permitted the use of the property in an unsafe, illegal or unsanitary manner.
To register, the following forms must be filed with the Tax Claim Office:
- Certification Form (filled out, signed by anyone who is being put on the deed, and Notarized)
- Bidder Registration Form (for the appropriate sale)
- Copy of Driver’s License or Real ID
- $25 Pre-Registration Non-Refundable Fee (fee may be mailed in)
All the forms required for registration can be obtained online on the County website, the documents can be filed in person at the Tax Claim Office in the Wayne County Courthouse, 925 Court Street, Honesdale or through the US Mail with as a $25 non-refundable fee. Pre-registration, with fee, is required for each sale in which a bidder wants to participate.
Once the pre-registered list of bidders has been established, the Tax Claim office must provide the list to the townships and boroughs, who can then petition the Court of Common Pleas to prevent the transfer of a deed if they object to the sale.
According to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon), the legislation has been designed to help municipalities battle blight in their communities. “One of the biggest problems for our municipalities in dealing with blighted properties is the ability of negligent owners to hide behind the corporate veil. Many times, the same person will buy properties using numerous corporate names. Municipal code officials struggle to locate a responsible party as a result.”
Davies noted those who do not pre-register by the deadline for a specific sale will not be able to participate in that sale. She also said a letter was sent July 22, 2021 to previous bidders and representatives of planned communities that explains the new rules and when they take effect.
For more information, visit www.WayneCountyPA.gov, call the Wayne County Tax Claim Office at 570-253-5970 ext. 4000 or email LBorthwick@waynecountypa.gov.