Actions to Foreclose

Certificate Holders

The holder of a certificate of sale may at any time after the expiration of 9 months from the date of sale, file a complaint in the Circuit Court to foreclose all rights of redemption of the property to which such certificate relates. The certificate holder may file 6 months after the sale on non-principal residence accounts. If such action is not taken within a 2-year period subsequent to the sale, the certificate is null and void (Section 14-833). The plaintiff must forward a copy of the complaint to the County Treasury Division.


  • The certificate of sale must be attached and made a part of the complaint (Section 14-835).
  • The plaintiff, in any action to foreclose the right of redemption, must be the holder of the certificate of sale.
  • The certificate holder or their attorney must notify the Tax Sale Unit of representation.  If notification is not given, properties may be redeemed without obtaining a release from the attorney.

The defendants in the proceedings must be:

  • Record owner(s) of the property
  • Owner of ground rents, if applicable
  • Mortgage holders and trustees under any deed of trust
  • The State of Maryland, if appropriate
  • The County (Section 14-836)

Final Judgments

If the court enters a final judgment for the plaintiff, the judgment must vest in the plaintiff an absolute and indefeasible title in fee simple. If the property sold was subject to ground rent, the judgment must vest a leasehold interest in the plaintiff (Section 14-844).

The final judgment of the Court will direct the Collector to execute a deed upon payment to the Collector of the balance of the purchaser price, together with all taxes, interest, penalty and charges accruing subsequent to the sale. The deed is to be prepared by the holder of the certificate of sale or an attorney. The Collector is not obligated to execute the deed until the clerk of the court has furnished the Collector with a certified copy of the judgment. If the holder of the certificate does not comply with the terms of the final judgment within 90 days, the judgment may be stricken by the Court upon the motion of an interested party (Section 14-847).

Once a judgment is granted, the plaintiff becomes liable for all taxes due before and after the judgment and for bid amount. (Section 14-844).

Any person who acquired a deed to property under this subtitle is entitled to issuance of a writ for possession of the property under the Maryland Rules as if the person had obtained a judgment awarding possession of the property (Section 14-850).