Frequently Asked Questions

QMay I purchase tax lien certificates from the Tax Collector's Office?
ANorth Carolina State law prohibits the selling of property tax liens.Top
QHow do I acquire a list of properties and sale dates?
AThe Tax Office does not maintain or provide a mailing list of these properties.
When foreclosure properties are ready, the sale dates are posted on the Foreclosures Page on the 2nd floor bulletin board in the Hall of Justice (Second & Main Streets, Winston-Salem and in the Winston-Salem Journal for three weeks prior to sale.

Foreclosure Sale Residual Parcels, awaiting or assigned an auction date, will be listed on the Foreclosure Sale Residual Parcels Page. Prior to the auction, a sale notice will be published in the Winston-Salem Journal, legal classifieds section.

Surplus properties may be viewed on the Surplus Properties Page.Top
QWhere are sales conducted?
AForeclosure Sales are held on the 2nd floor of the Hall of Justice, Second and Main Streets, Winston-Salem, N.C.
QOn what days are the sales held?
ASale dates for foreclosure sales are randomly selected and occur at 12:00 noon.Top
QHow much is required as a deposit on the day of the sale?
AForeclosure Sales require a 5% - 20% of the highest bid (as set out in the Notice of Sale).
QWill Forsyth County accept written or telephone bids?
AOnly bids from auction attendees at the foreclosure sale will be accepted.Top
QWhat type of payment is accepted for the deposit?
ACash, money orders or certified funds are accepted for deposits.Top
QDoes Forsyth County offer financing?
AForsyth County does not offer financing.Top
QWill I be paid interest on my deposit if I am not the highest bidder?
ANo earned interest is paid for funds on deposit.Top
QWhat is the difference between Foreclosure Sales, Foreclosure Sale Residual Parcels, & Surplus Property?
APhase 1: Foreclosure Sales are properties sold due to delinquent tax liens.  The County opens bidding at the amount equal to taxes plus legal costs.  Anyone may offer an amount over the County's bid and obtain ownership upon completion of a 10 day upset bid period.

Phase 2: Foreclosure Sale Residual Parcels  have already completed the tax foreclosure phase and did not sell at the initial foreclosure auction. These parcels may be resold at a later time.

Phase 3: Surplus Properties are parcels that are owned by the County.  The County acquired these properties by becoming the last and highest bidder at their foreclosure sales. These parcels may be purchased directly from the County by submitting a written offer, or by completing the "form for bid" located on the Surplus Properties Page.

 These properties are not to be confused with properties held by the County for its own use.Top
QAre these properties involved in mortgage company, city, or Sheriff's Office foreclosures?
AThese sales are generated from delinquent tax liens ONLY.  They are NOT related to any mortgage company, city, or sheriff's office foreclosures.  The Tax Administration Office has no knowledge of foreclosure proceedings being conducted by a mortgage company, city or sheriff's office.Top
QWhat happens to property when no one places an opening bid at a foreclosure sale?
AIf no initial or upset bid is submitted on a foreclosure property, foreclosure sale properties move into Foreclosure Sale Residual Parcel status and may be made available for purchase at a later auction.  Sale dates will be chosen randomly but advertised on the website and in the Winston-Salem Journal.Top
QWhat happens to property acquired by the County at a foreclosure sale??
AThe property moves into surplus property status, and may be purchased directly from the County by completing and submitting the “offer to purchase” form—available on the Surplus Property Page.

The offer must be mailed to ATTN: Kirby Robinson, Forsyth County , 201 N. Chestnut Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101.

Offers may also be deposited in the Tax Collector’s Office drop box (to the right of the entrance to the parking deck), or dropped off with a cashier.

The offer will be reviewed by the County Board of Commissioners; and, if accepted, is subject to a 10-day upset bid.

You will receive notification of the status of your offer by either the County Manager’s or the County Attorney’s Office. (See question: How do I find out if the 10-day upset period has closed out?)Top
QWhere do I go to place an upset bid?
AForeclosure sale upset bids must be submitted in person at the Clerk of Court’s Office, Room #245, Hall of Justice, Second and Main Streets, Winston-Salem, N.C. The court case number must be provided to the Clerk's Office in order for the clerk to access the record. That number is available on the Property Tax Foreclosure Sales site.

Surplus property offers must be submitted to and agreed upon by the Board of Commissioners, and will then be subject to a 10-day upset bid period. Accepted offers will be advertised in the Winston-Salem Journal and subject to a 10-day upset bid. To submit an upset bid on Surplus Properties ONLY, contact the County Manager’s Office at (336)703-2020.Top
QWhat is the required minimum for an upset bid?
AForeclosure upset bids require a 5% increase over the last bid, with a minimum increase of $750.

Surplus property upset bids must be increased by 10% of first $1,000 and 5% of the balance of the most current bid. Top
QDoes the 10-day upset bid period include weekends?
AThe day after the foreclosure sale is recorded counts as Day 1. Saturday and Sunday are also counted; however, if Day 10 falls on the weekend or a holiday, the next working day shall be counted as Day 10.Top
QHow do I find out if the 10-day upset period has closed out?
AInquiries regarding "close out" status of foreclosure sales ONLY, must be made in person at the Clerk of Court's Office, Room 245, Hall of Justice, Second and Main Streets, Winston-Salem, N.C.
For Surplus properties ONLY, contact the County Manager’s office at (336)703-2020 to inquire if the upset bid period has closed. Top
QWhen is full / final payment expected?
AFinal payment on a foreclosure sale shall be due in the foreclosure attorney’s office upon delivery of the Commissioner’s deed and no later than 30 days after completion of the 10-day upset bid period.

Final payment on County surplus properties must be made within 10 days of completion of the 10-day upset bid period and are contingent upon approval of the bid by the Board of Commissioners. Top
QWhat kind of deed will I receive if I am the final bidder at tax sale?
AFor foreclosure sales, a Commissioner's Deed will be issued.
Unless otherwise stated in the Notice of Sale, all other liens with the exception of current year taxes, if applicable, will be eliminated when the Commissioner's Deed has been issued and recorded.

A quitclaim deed will be issued for County surplus properties.Top