What does the redemption process involve?
In the event that real property is sold at a tax sale, there is a period for redemption of the property. That is, “[t]he owner, or any persons for him with his consent, or any person interested in the land sold for taxes, may redeem the same, or any part of it, where it is separable by legal subdivisions of not less than forty (40) acres, or any undivided interest in it, at any time within two (2) years after the day of sale.” Miss. Code Ann. § 27-45-3. It is important to consider whether property sold for taxes involves “infants who have or may hereafter inherit or acquire land by will [or] persons of unsound mind.” § 27-45-3. In such instances, a savings clause provides that the property is subject to redemption “within two (2) years after attaining full age or being restored to sanity.” Id.
In general, redemption requires payment of the following sums to the chancery clerk: (1) “the amount of all taxes for which the land was sold,” (2) “all costs incident to the sale,” (3) “five percent (5%) damages on the amount of taxes for which the land was sold,” (4) “interest on all such taxes and costs at the rate of one and one-half percent (1- 1/2%) per month, or any fractional part thereof, from the date of such sale,” and (5) “all costs that have accrued on the land since the sale, with interest thereon from the date such costs shall have accrued, at the rate of one and one-half percent (1- 1/2%) per month, or any fractional part thereof.” Id. Additionally, where a valid redemption under the savings clause for infants and those of unsound mind does not occur “within two (2) years after the day of sale,” payment of “the value of any permanent improvement on the land made after the expiration of two (2) years from the date of the sale of the lands for taxes” is also required. Id.
What are the rights of a purchaser following expiration of the redemption period?
Where property is not redeemed within the aforementioned timeframe, Miss. Code Ann. § 27-45-23 provides that the chancery clerk shall, on demand, execute a deed of conveyance to the tax sale purchaser. § 27-45-23. Further, “[a]ny person holding or claiming under a tax title lands” may elect to file a complaint to confirm and quiet title obtained through the tax sale. Miss. Code Ann. § 11-17-1. Following hearing of the matter, the chancery court has authority to enter a judgment “confirming tax title against all persons claiming to hold the land by title existing at the time of the sale for taxes.” § 11-17-1. A judgment confirming and quieting title under § 11-17-1 is “conclusive evidence that the title to said land was vested in the plaintiff, as against all persons claiming the same under the title existing prior to the sale for taxes.” Id.