§ 8771 Sale of land; notice; certificate.
(a) For the purpose of collecting the tax of any taxable, and without the necessity of first employing other remedies, the tax collecting authority may sell the lands and tenements of any taxable, or the lands and tenements of any taxable alienated by the taxable subsequent to the levy of such tax, in the manner provided for in this section.
(b) The tax collecting authority shall deposit in the mail in a sealed wrapper sufficiently stamped, an itemized tax bill, together with a notice to the taxable that he or she will proceed to sell the lands and tenements of the taxable for the payment of the tax, addressed to the taxable at the taxable's last known post-office address, if such can be reasonably ascertained.
(c) The tax collecting authority shall file in the office of the prothonotary a certificate under his or her hand and seal, containing:
(1) The name of the taxable;
(2) The assessment of the property of the taxable as it appears upon the tax duplicate;
(3) The year for which the tax was levied;
(4) The rate of tax;
(5) The total amount due;
(6) The date from which the penalty for nonpayment shall commence and the rate of such penalty;
(7) A short description of the lands and tenements proposed to be sold, sufficient to identify the same;
(8) The address of the taxable, if ascertainable as aforesaid;
(9) That a tax bill and notice has been mailed to such taxable, and the date of such mailing.
(d) Upon the filing of such certificate the Prothonotary shall record the same in a properly indexed record to be known as "Tax Sale Record,'' and shall endorse upon the record of said certificate the following: "The certificate filed the........... day of........... A. D............ (giving the day and year), and the tax collecting authority shall therefore proceed to sell the lands and tenements herein mentioned, or a sufficient part thereof, for the payment of the tax due.'' The endorsement shall be signed by the Prothonotary.
§ 8772 Public notice of sale.
(a) The tax collecting authority shall proceed to advertise the lands and tenements of the taxable by posting handbills in at least 10 public places in the county, 1 of which shall be on the lands to be sold, and 1 at the courthouse, and by publishing the notice or advertisement of sale in a newspaper of the county at least 1 issue before the day fixed for the sale. All sales shall be made at the courthouse door and the handbills and advertisement shall contain the day, hour, place of sale, and a short description of the property to be sold.
(b) In case the owner of any lands and tenements against which a tax shall be levied and assessed is unknown, this fact shall be stated in the advertisement of sale, and in addition to the notice herein required, the advertisement shall be published in some newspaper published in the county in at least 2 successive issues thereof before the day fixed for the sale of the property.
(c) The tax collecting authority shall keep a record of the places where the handbills were posted and of the newspaper in which the advertisement was published, and such record shall be presumptive evidence of such advertisement and posting.
§ 8773 Return of sale; deed upon approval of sale.
Every sale of lands and tenements shall be returned by the tax collecting authority to the Superior Court for the county, at the next term thereof, and the Court shall inquire into the circumstances, and either approve the sale, or set it aside. If it be approved, the tax collecting authority making the sale shall make a deed to the purchaser which shall convey the title of the taxable, or of his or her alienee, as the case may be; if it be set aside, the Court may order another sale, and so on until the tax due be collected. The certificate filed, together with the return and deed, shall be presumptive evidence of the regularity of the proceedings.
28 Del. Laws, c. 82, § 20; 30 Del. Laws, c. 82, § 5; 33 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 15; 37 Del. Laws, c. 105, § 5; 38 Del. Laws, c. 76, § 1; Code 1935, §§ 1412, 1445; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 8773; 57 Del. Laws, c. 762, § 24G; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 115.;
§ 8774 Adjustment of tax sale proceedings upon change of office of tax collecting authority.
(a) In the event of the death, resignation or removal from office of the tax collecting authority, before the proceedings for the sale of land shall have been completed, the successor in office shall succeed to all of the officer's powers, rights and duties in respect of the sale.
(b) In case the term of office of any tax collecting authority shall expire before the proceedings for the sale of lands shall have been completed, the tax collecting authority shall continue in the powers, duties and responsibilities in respect of the sale until the same shall have been finally approved by the Court.
(c) If any outgoing tax collecting authority shall die or remove from this State before any sale of lands conducted by such authority shall have been approved by the Court, the Superior Court of the county shall have jurisdiction to direct the tax collecting authority then in office to make and complete returns of sale, and to execute and deliver deeds for the land so sold.
§ 8775 Death of purchaser at tax sale.
In the event of the death of the purchaser before the deed shall have been made and delivered, the person or persons having right under the purchaser by descent, devise, assignment, or otherwise, may prefer to the Superior Court for Kent or Sussex County, as the case may be, at any term thereof, a petition representing the facts, and praying for an order authorizing and requiring the tax collecting authority, who would otherwise execute the deed, to execute and acknowledge a deed conveying to the petitioner or petitioners the premises so sold. Thereupon the Court may make such order touching the conveyance of the premises as shall be according to justice and equity.
§ 8776 Approval or disapproval of sale; redemption.
No sale under this subchapter shall be approved by the Court if the owner be ready at Court to pay the taxes, penalty and costs, and no deed shall be made until the expiration of 1 year from the time of sale, within which time the owner, the owner's heirs, executors or administrators may redeem the lands on payment to the tax collecting authority of the costs, the amount of the purchase money, and 20 percent interest thereon, and expenses of the deeds. Within 3 days from the receipt of redemption moneys as hereinbefore mentioned, the tax collecting authority shall forward the same by mail to the purchaser.
28 Del. Laws, c. 82, § 23; 33 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 18; Code 1915, §§ 1415, 1448; 45 Del. Laws, c. 128, § 3; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 8776; 57 Del. Laws, c. 762, § 24G; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 115.;
§ 8777 Action against personal representative of taxable.
The death of any taxable shall not prevent the recovery under this subchapter of any tax due and owing, but the tax collecting authority shall proceed for the collection thereof against the personal representative of such deceased taxable. If the lands and tenements of a deceased taxable are to be sold, it shall be sufficient for the tax collecting authority to suggest the death upon the record and give notice as described in this subchapter to the heirs at law or devisees of the land, as the case may be, and the executor or administrator of such deceased taxable, if any there be within the county.
§ 8778 Costs upon sale of lands.
(a) In cases of sale of lands, under this subchapter, for the payment of taxes, the following costs shall be allowed to be deducted from the proceeds of sale, or chargeable against the owner:
TO THE PROTHONOTARY:
For filing and recording certificate $1.00
For filing and recording return of sale 1.50
TO THE RECEIVER OF TAXES AND COUNTY TREASURER OR THE DIRECTOR
For preparing certificate $ .25
For making sale of lands 2.00
For preparing and filing return 1.50
For posting handbills 1.00
(b) In addition the costs of printing handbills and publication of advertisements of sale under this subchapter, together with the miles necessarily traveled by the tax collecting authority in posting the handbills shall be chargeable as costs. Mileage shall be computed and chargeable at the rate provided by [former] § 9115 [repealed] of this title.
(c) The cost of the deed shall not be chargeable as costs, but shall be paid by the purchaser.
§ 8779 Payment of excess from proceeds to owner.
After satisfying the tax due and the costs and expenses of sale from the proceeds of sale under this subchapter, the amount remaining shall be paid at once to the owner of the land, or upon the refusal of the owner to accept the same, or if the owner is unknown or cannot be found, the amount remaining shall be deposited in some bank in the county either to the credit of the owner, or in a manner by which the fund may be identified.