Pennsylvania (PA) Tax Deed Sales

Sale Type: Tax Deeds
Bid Method: Public Auction
Sale Date(s): Varies by County
State Statute(s): Title 72, Taxation and Fiscal Affairs
Over-the-Counter: Yes
State Website:

Pennsylvania State Overview

Delinquent tax foreclosure properties are typically handled by the Tax Claim Bureau department within each Pennsylvania county. The county will hold two tax sales to try and sell tax delinquent real property. First, at the Upset Sale, then at the Judicial Sale where tax liens are wiped out. If a property goes unsold at both tax sales, it will go onto the ‘Repository’ list and will be available during much of the year for over-the-counter purchase via mail-in offer process. Some counties will also hold a third auction; a repository sale consisting of previously unsold properties.

In Pennsylvania, the tax collector or treasurer will sell tax deeds to the winning bidders at the delinquent property tax sale. The bidder willing to pay the most wins the bidding contest.

  • Tax Sale Type: Tax Deed (see notes).
  • Contact: County Tax Claim Bureau
  • Interest Rate and/or Penalty Rate: Not applicable.
  • Bid Procedure: Premium bid / highest bid.
  • Redemption Period: Not applicable.
  • Law: Pennsylvania “Real Estate Tax Sale Law” Act 542 of 1947, P.L. 1368; 72 P.S. 5860.101

In accordance with the Tax Sale law, the municipal Tax Claim Bureau is able to sell parcels in one of four ways (Article VI. Sale of Property.); (a) Upset Sale (Sec 601 – 609), (b) Judicial Sale (Sec 610 – 612.2), (c) Private Sale (Sec 613 – 615), and (f) Repository for Unsold Property (Sec 625 – 630).

The Upset Sale is scheduled each September and includes those parcels whose taxes, from two years earlier, remain unpaid or other specified conditions exist.

A Private Sale can occur after a property has been exposed but not sold at an Upset Sale. An interested buyer submits a written bid to the Tax Claim Bureau. The Bureau decides whether to accept the bid. If accepted, the bid is advertised in a newspaper. Any one objecting to the sale must petition the court within 45 days to disprove the sale.

A Judicial Sale is held at least once each year and can include only those properties that have been exposed but not sold at an Upset Sale. After advertisement, notice to owners and lien holders, etc., the parcels are presented free and clear of all liens.

A Repository Sale consists of properties that are exposed but not sold at a Judicial Sale. Any bid on a repository property must be approved by all taxing districts where the property is located (i.e. township borough, county, school).

Special sales and redemption provisions apply in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton and in Allegheny County.

State County Contact Info
PA Dauphin
PA Adams|27138|
PA Allegheny
PA Armstrong
PA Beaver
PA Bedford|30318|#30326
PA Berks
PA Blair
PA Bradford
PA Bucks
PA Butler
PA Cambria
PA Carbon
PA Centre
PA Chester
PA Clarion
PA Clearfield
PA Clinton
PA Columbia
PA Crawford
PA Cumberland
PA Delaware
PA Elk
PA Emporium
PA Erie
PA Fayette
PA Forest
PA Franklin
PA Fulton
PA Greene
PA Huntingdon
PA Indiana
PA Jefferson
PA Juniata
PA Lackawanna
PA Lancaster
PA Lawrence
PA Lebanon
PA Lehigh
PA Luzerne
PA Lycoming
PA Mckean
PA Mercer
PA Mifflin
PA Monroe
PA Montgomery
PA Montour
PA Northhampton
PA Northumberland
PA Perry
PA Philadelphia
PA Pike
PA Potter
PA Schuylkill
PA Snyder
PA Somerset
PA Sullivan
PA Susquehanna
PA Tioga
PA Union
PA Venango
PA Warren
PA Washington
PA Wayne
PA Westmoreland
PA Wyoming
PA York


States that offer Over-the-Counter Tax Lien Certificates