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Sullivan County Tax Auction Approaching

Sullivan County NY Real EstateSullivan County NY Tax Auction is Wednesday June 12th at 10 AM at the Ramada Sullivan Hotel in Rock Hill NY. Auction begins at 10 AM. Sullivan County NY Tax Auction  (Properties available for online vewing after May 1.)

It is spring in Sullivan County, with it comes the greening of the tees and lawns, and the different yellows of the daffodils and the forsythia. But there is a different yellow that also comes in May. It is the NYS Tax Auction signs. Every year our county takes possession of a few hundred properties via tax foreclosure. The owners did not pay their property tax for three years, and so the county takes ownership.

Tax liens take precedent over any other lien, and so a bank with a mortgage lien will have no control over the county, unless they pony up the back taxes. (And very often that happens. You will see ninth hour rushing around by banks to pay taxes on a property so they themselves can try to recoup some of their loses.) However once May 1st hits, owners are out of luck. While many states, (and some NY counties) allow owners to recoup their properties right up to auction day, Sullivan County has a cut off of the first of the month. After that the only way to get your property back is to bid at it like everyone else.

That is why the list of tax properties become avallable online on May 1st. A list of all Sullivan County NY tax auction properties can be found here. (As of May 1)

By law, the county can only recoup what is owed on the property, (plus fees and fines.) Anything more than that will go to the previous owner (or the secondary lien holder.). However the county has no vested interest in getting the highest and best for the property. It is a no minimum auction, so you can see some properties going for pennies on the dollar. But more times than not, if something is going for cheap, there is a reason. Many of these properties have sat empty for years. On some the banks have determined they are not worth paying the taxes on. It is very rare to get a property at a tax auction that doesn't have some pretty serious issues.

Tax auction bidding is not for the amateur. More times than not, the properties on the block will have some pretty big drawbacks, and a handful will be downright useless, "landlocked or swampy acreage, condemned houses with environmental issues, etc." A low price tag may come along with a pretty big headache. However you never know. There could be that one diamond in the rough property.

Click here for a list of all the properties that are up for auction here in Sullivan County. Auction day is Wed. June 12th. "Open houses" on the properties are on the 10th and 11th.  This year there are just under 500 properties. That is down from the previous few years.

Click here for a video of a prior auction so you can get a feel for what to expect.


  1. Jane says:

    Hello.  Just discovered your blog.  Lighthearted, helpful and well done.  I have scoured the web but cannot find the definitive answer to the question:  On a tax deed auction in Smallwood, Bethel, Sullivan County, is there a minimum opening bid?  I know that the buyer is only responsible for the current year taxes, but I am curious if there is a minum opening bid.  That is, an owner is delinquent 8-10K in taxes.  Will there be a minimum opening bid, or do would it start with $1?  I am just a person, not a flipper or investor.  Thanks so much for any information you can offer.  Enjoy the beautiful day.  

  2. Richard says:

    Once Sullivan County forcloses and redemtion periods end it owns property outright and gets 100% of the auction sale price. Auction company then gets a percentage, on top.  There is no minimum bid, and the maximum bid wins – irrespective of whether the foreclosed debt has been bid.  There are tremendous bargains to be had – and garbage so bad you wouldn't want it any more than the people who walked away did.

  3. Susan Corcoran says:

    Tne house I live in is going to be auctioned on 1/31/18. The house is being auctioned for failure to pay school and property taxes. The house is in a trust held by my mother and sister. Is there a redemption period or do we need to leave on 1/31?  


    • John Ducey says:

      Hi Susan, I’m sorry you are going through this. The best thing to do is call the tax department at 845.807.0221 or Ā Tax Office.

      There is a redemption period after the intial foreclosure, but I think you may be past that. As far as evictions go, there are resources in place to help. But generally speaking, if the house is set to be auctioned on 1/31, that is the day that a new owner will be entitled to take possession.

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