Be sure a title search is done before any money is exchanged. A search of records in the Chancery Clerk's Office will determine any outstanding mortgages, taxes or other liens and whether or not the seller has legal title to the property. Any attorney or title company can do a title search and prepare your deed. It is illegal for the Chancery Clerk's Office to search these records or prepare your deed.
Before recording your deed it must contain the following:
- Signature of seller or sellers - notarized.
- Legal description with indexing instructions.
- Names, addresses and telephone numbers of the sellers, buyers and deed preparer.
Property taxes must be paid each year. Statements are mailed from the Tax Collector's Office each December for that year's taxes. Be sure the Tax Collector has your current mailing address. You may pay current taxes in three (3) installments. If your property taxes are not paid by the last Monday in August, then it is auctioned off to the highest bidder which is called a Tax Sale, or if no one bids then it is stricken off to the State. It then becomes the duty of The Chancery Clerk to collect all delinquent years taxes before the current year can be paid. (No installments on delinquent taxes - cash or money order - NO PERSONAL CHECKS ACCEPTED AFTER JUNE 30TH.)
An individual has two years from the date of this sale to redeem their property. If it is not redeemed before that two years is up, then it matures to the State or if an individual purchased it at the Tax Sale, that individual is given a Tax Deed. Which means you no longer own your property.