Delinquent Tax Sales

For additional information contact Jodi Moody at (740) 452-3637 ext. 6126 or by email .

Muskingum County Treasurer's Delinquent Tax Department

This department was developed to collect delinquent taxes in several areas:

1. Real Estate Taxes

2. Manufactured Home Taxes

3. Bankruptcy Cases

4. Private Foreclosure Cases

If you have fallen behind in payment of your property taxes or manufactured home taxes, please contact the Muskingum County Treasurer’s office as soon as possible at (740) 455-7118. We want to help and have payment plan contracts available to assist you. Delinquent contracts help you get caught up more quickly, and inexpensively, because any additional penalties and interest are set aside so long as you keep up with your payments. 


Plaintiff’s agent/attorney must take three (3) copies of the Property Description Approval Form to the Muskingum County GIS Dept., located in the Muskingum County Courthouse, 401 Main Street, Zanesville, to have the full legal description approved.

(The Muskingum County GIS Dept. will not accept any forms by mail, fax or by e-mail, THEY MUST BE DELIVERED IN PERSON.)

The approved Property Description Approval Forms must be submitted along with the Praecipe for Order of Sale to the Muskingum County Common Pleas Court. Common Pleas Court will forward the forms to the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office.

Property will be appraised using the approved legal description. Any discrepancy between the legal description and the appraisers’ observations may cause a delay in the sale.

All appraisals are exterior appraisals only. Appraisers and the Sheriff's Office DO NOT have keys to the properties. Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office is not responsible for the condition of property, ie. mold, mildew, foreign objects, etc. Or any outstanding taxes, liens, mortgages or utility bills.

Tax information can be obtained at

The Plaintiff is responsible for the advertisement of the property.

The sale ad needs to contain the date, time, location of the sale, case number, parcel number, property address, location, township, city, county, and where the full legal description may be obtained.

Complete legal description can be found at

The sale ad must be prepared and pre-paid to the Zanesville Times Recorder.

A deposit is not required for plaintiff.

Purchaser must present the required deposit at the time of the sale. Acceptable formsof payment includes: cashier's check or money order. Cash and credit cards are not accepted.

Foreclosed properties will not be sold for less than 2/3 of the appraised value.

The balance of the purchase price must be paid within 30 days of the receipt of the Confirmation of Sale Entry.

Purchaser must provide the name in which the property is to be deeded to on the day of sale.

Day of Sale – Pay required deposit

30 days – Confirmation of Sale by Court

7 days – From confirmation deed must be received by Sheriff (prepared by Plaintiff)

30 days – From confirmation of sale, balance must be paid by Purchaser

14 days – From receipt of payment deed must be filed

Purchaser must abide by the terms and condition of the sale.

This information is to address questions most often asked regarding Sheriff Sales, and explain general procedures regarding tax foreclosures. If there are specific procedural questions not addressed herein, we would be happy to address them upon further inquiry. The Muskingum County Sheriff's Office does NOT provide legal advice. For specific information regarding a case, please contact the Clerk of Courts Office.

Tax Liens:

Muskingum County does not sell tax liens because it cannot do so. (Under current state law, only a few larger counties are permitted to engage in this practice.) Delinquent real property is sold (once it meets certain criteria) by the Muskingum County Treasurer, through the office of the Muskingum County Prosecutor, in accordance with applicable law regarding tax foreclosures. Simply put, an action is filed in Muskingum County Common Pleas Court to foreclose upon the subject parcel(s). A judgment decree in foreclosure is sought and, once obtained, the property is advertised and sold at a tax foreclosure sale.

Sheriff Sales:

Sheriff Sales for both private (i.e., lender) foreclosures and tax foreclosures are held on Thursday’s at 10:00 a.m. in the Muskingum County Courthouse, lobby, by advance scheduling of the Sheriff’s Office. Parcels are bid competitively, beginning at an advertised minimum bid. These sales are advertised in The Zanesville Times Recorder (Zanesville, Ohio). Such ads are typically run in the Tuesday edition. As the ads run several times, a potential buyer who regularly reads the Tuesday legal notices should see all applicable sales over time. Neither the Sheriff’s Office nor the Treasurer’s Office prepares or maintains a mailing list of all properties scheduled for sale. The information would change weekly and these offices cannot undertake such weekly mailings.

Finality of Sale:

For tax foreclosures, once a property is sold at Sheriff Sale, the sale does not become final until the Confirmation Entry is filed, approximately one month later. In other words, the property owner may still come in and redeem the property by paying the delinquent taxes, assessments and court costs. Once the Confirmation Entry is filed, the property owner’s right of redemption is cut off. Please note, however, that a separate issue involves federal tax liens. A federal tax lien itself will be extinguished by the Confirmation Entry, but there is a separate right of redemption accorded to the Federal Government by statute, which entitles it to come in and claim real property any time within 120 days after the date of sale. If this should occur, the buyer’s payment is returned, however, the Federal Government is not required to pay for any permanent improvements made to such property in the meantime. Once 120 days have passed, the statutory right expires. If there are federal tax liens, the published notice of sale should conspicuously indicate this.

Terms of Sale:

For tax foreclosures, a minimum bid will be set, which is the amount of the delinquent taxes, assessments and court costs. A minimum down payment is also set. The minimum down payment must be paid the day of the sale by certified check or money order. (This check can be obtained immediately after the sale, by permission of the Sheriff’s office, to alleviate the need to bring a check merely on the chance that property will be purchased.) The balance of the purchase price must be paid upon Confirmation of Sale. PLEASE NOTE that failure or refusal to pay for real property after purchase at sheriff’s sale will likely result in the forfeiture of the down payment and subject the buyer to punishment for contempt of court.

For bank foreclosures, the terms of sale vary according to the bank but should be included for review in the publication of sale.

Purchase by Mail:

No procedures currently exist for registration of buyers or submission of bids by mail. Interested parties must attend personally or by representative at the sale.

Possession of Property:

Property purchased at Sheriff Sale does not truly belong to the buyer until the Confirmation Entry has been filed with the court. Therefore, the buyer should NOT exercise any dominion or control over the property, such as demolition, construction, or harassment of tenants. Any such dominion or control is strictly at the buyer’s risk.


Once the confirmation entry has been filed and the purchase price has been paid, the buyer will receive a Sheriff’s Deed.

Condition of Title Following Sale:

Generally speaking, in accordance with applicable law, most liens are released when property is sold at tax foreclosure (with the exceptions of federal tax liens, and taxes and assessments levied but not yet due and payable). Please note that the Muskingum County Treasurer makes no representations of title in specific situations, and is not a source of title information. If you wish to be certain as to the status of title, you are urged to conduct your own title search or consult your own attorney.

Pro-ration of Taxes:

By law, there is NO pro-ration of taxes on a property sold at Sheriff Sale. This seems to be a pitfall for many an unwary buyer. The law requires taxes and assessments to be paid from the proceeds of sale that are "due and payable." Since taxes are paid one year in arrears in Ohio, the taxes for the year in which the property is purchased are not actually "due and payable" until after January 1st of the following year. Whereas, in most private sales there is a pro-ration and a credit is given to the buyer against the taxes to be paid by him the following year, this is not in accordance with the law governing Sheriff Sales. The buyer gets no credit for the calendar year in which the purchase is made. Obviously, early in the year this is of little significance, but as the year progresses the significance becomes greater. Even if, for example, a buyer purchases a property in mid-October and the deed transfers in late December, the buyer WILL owe the real estate taxes and assessments for the entire calendar year in which he purchased the property, when those taxes are billed to him the following year. Please take this point into consideration when determining the amount to bid on the property if it is a concern.

Special Assessments:

Please note that properties sold at sheriff’s sales are not sold "free and clear" of any ongoing or uncertified special assessments. For example, if the parcel is subject to a thirty-year (30 yr.) ongoing sewer assessment, and there are twenty (20) years remaining that have not become due and payable, the buyer WILL be responsible to pay those twenty (20) years of assessments as they continue to come due, just as the buyer is responsible to pay real estate taxes when they come due. Also note that in some cases there may be special assessments not due at the time of sale simply because they have not yet been certified to the auditor by the applicable public entity, but which may later be certified to the auditor in the ordinary course of the entity’s business after the sale occurs. Examples of this would be delinquent sewer and water monthly charges not paid by the previous landowner. By law, the auditor is without authority to refuse to certify such charges against the parcel; therefore, they will show up against the new owner as an unanticipated expense of ownership. It will be entirely up to the buyer to either pay these special assessments or work out any issues in this regard with the applicable public entity. In order to minimize the impact of this potential issue, it is best for an interested buyer to inquire to the applicable public entity, before bidding at a sale, as to whether there are unpaid monthly assessments being carried against the property.


No copy of the county or state statutes or rules regarding tax or private foreclosures is available for purchase through the Muskingum County Treasurer or Muskingum County Prosecutor.

Unsold Properties:

In the Tax Foreclosure Process, a parcel is scheduled for a public sale, and is also scheduled for a second public sale between two (2) and six (6) weeks after the date of the first sale. Except for the date, the terms of the second sale are identical to the first sale. This second sale is only conducted if there were no acceptable bids at the first public sale. If there is no bid after the second sale, then this is reported to the Clerk of Courts, which issues Notices of Right to Petition the Court to receive the an unsold parcel or parcels, to Muskingum County, the School District in which the parcel is situated, and either the Municipality or Township of the parcel. Any or all of these public entities may petition the Court to receive a parcel within ten (10) days of its receipt of the notice, or so long thereafter as the Court may allow. In the event that none of the public entities petition the Court to receive the parcel, or the Court decides not to award the parcel to any of the petitioning entities, the parcel will be forfeited to the State. The annual Auditor’s Sale of these forfeited properties is generally held in early September. A few weeks before the forfeited land sale, properties will be listed on the county’s website and advertised in the paper once a week for two weeks.

***PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this memorandum is not intended to constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. The Muskingum County Treasurer is not an attorney and cannot give legal advice. The Muskingum County Prosecutor is not permitted to give legal advice to the general public. The information contained in this memorandum is in general, procedural terms only, is not directed to any specific parcel(s) or situation(s), and any information contained herein may or may not be applicable in specific situations. If you have questions regarding a specific situation, you are urged to contact your own attorney. If you have questions seeking specific information about a specific case, please review the case file at the Clerk’s Office in the courthouse.

This information has been prepared by the office of the Muskingum County Prosecutor in conjunction with the Muskingum County Treasurer. We hope this information will prove beneficial. A copy of this information, and the scheduled tax foreclosure sales, is available on the county’s website at

Delinquent Manufactured Homes:

This information has been prepared by the office of the Muskingum County Prosecutor in conjunction with the Muskingum County Treasurer. We hope this information will prove beneficial. A copy of this information, and the scheduled tax foreclosure sales, is available on the county’s website at

The Muskingum County Treasurer monitors and forecloses upon delinquent manufactured homes in Muskingum County, especially those with delinquencies near the top of the list. Typically, a collection letter is first sent, giving the owner a chance to take action. If the letter is ignored, a foreclosure action is filed in court to enforce collection of the tax.

Many people seem unaware that all manufactured homes in Ohio are subject to the manufactured home tax, which is similar to real estate tax. This is NOT the sales tax that may be paid when the home is purchased. This is an annual tax paid to the county treasurer and is based upon the value of the home. The tax becomes a lien on the manufactured home on January 1 of each year, and is due from the person whose name appears on the title. If the owner does not pay the tax, the tax is a lien against the home itself, together with penalties and interest, until paid in full. By law, the Treasurer has a first priority lien, even ahead of the purchase-money lender, for this tax.

When a manufactured home is transferred, all delinquent taxes must be paid before the title can be transferred. Further, it is illegal to move a manufactured home from its current location without proof that the manufactured home taxes are paid current.

If you are a manufactured home owner who is delinquent in your manufactured home taxes, please be aware that you can be subject to action by the Muskingum County Treasurer to collect the tax by the forced sale of your home. The Treasurer's Office will make an effort to work with you, and will provide payment plan options to assist you in bringing the taxes current. If a foreclosure action is filed, you may stop the foreclosure action by paying the delinquency plus court costs. It is cheaper, however, to pay the taxes or enter into a payment plan with the Treasurer before the delinquency gets large enough to warrant the filing of a foreclosure.

If you wish to enter a payment plan or have questions about this procedure, please call the Muskingum County Treasurer’s Office at (740) 455-7118. Please consult your own attorney for legal advice in regard to any specific situation.