Strategic Tax Foreclosures

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What are Strategic Foreclosures?

A Strategic Foreclosure is a tool most cities can use to recover tax dollars and put abandoned properties back on the market. Often, cities will invest tax dollars to clean up abandoned properties. If a property owner fails to pay for the cleanup, the City will add the charges as a lien on the property, just like unpaid taxes.

By foreclosing on abandoned properties, the City can create investment opportunities in a neighborhood and avoid increasing costs with never ending abatement efforts. When properties are owned and maintained, neighborhoods are stronger.

How Do Tax Foreclosures Work?

When a tax delinquent property is facing foreclosure, all parties that may have an ownership interest in the property must be served notice of the foreclosure action. Parties with ownership interest have an opportunity to pay their past due taxes to avoid foreclosure. Most of the abandoned properties that the City identifies for strategic foreclosure require extensive title work to identify the owners. Oftentimes, a Guardian Ad Litem will be appointed on behalf of unknown heirs. On average, it takes 12-18 months from the time the City initiates foreclosure action until the time the property is auctioned.

Foreclosure auctions are held on the steps of the Caldwell County Courthouse, located in Downtown Lenoir. Interested buyers must pay a deposit to the Caldwell County Clerk of Courts immediately upon winning a bid for the property. Following the auction, the highest bid can still be upset – the Clerk’s office will continue to accept bids, with down payments, until the highest bid rests for 10 days without an upset. If you are the highest bidder, and no one upsets your bid, you will then work with the City’s attorneys to transfer your payment.

Stay Informed of New Properties Scheduled for Auction

The City of Lenoir uses Kania Law Firm to process our tax foreclosures. The firm also works with the City to help market properties to interested buyers ahead of the auction date. To be put on the list of interested parties for future auctions, contact:

Kaylyn Emory
828-252-8010, ext. 109
The Kania Law Firm
600A Centre Park Drive
Ahseville, North Carolina 28805

City Owned Properties

Sometimes, the City becomes the owner of property through the tax foreclosure process. Usually the City will end up demolishing any structures on the property, so most of the City-owned properties are vacant lots.

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Anyone interested in making an offer on a City-owned property can contact Jenny Wheelock, Planning Director, at or 828-757-2168.