Everyone is required by law to pay annual taxes on their land, homes, mobile homes, etc. Usually there are several additions on your yearly tax statement, including school tax. All of those taxes must be paid every year, by the due date required. If the tax is not paid, and arrangements have not been made to pay off those taxes, then the property is in default. That is where the term foreclosure comes in. When the property is in default the county takes over and alerts the home or property owner that the foreclosure proceedings will begin. Once the foreclosure proceedings have begun, normally, unless the taxes are paid before the due and final date, then the property will be auctioned off, hence the name "tax deed sales".
The government tax deed sales are normally held on the courthouse steps, or in another designated spot, normally chosen by the sheriff or the sheriff's office. The main county office is usually the one to hold these tax deed sales, which are normally held once a month, and usually around the first week of the month. Each county varies, and may have other dates set. Some counties and states do not hold a monthly tax deed sale. Each Tax Accessor Collector in each county and state, can give you complete details, as to when the tax deed sale will be held.
Some cities and states require that you fill out a form stating that you have not had any tax deed liens against you in that city or state. If you do, normally you are not allowed to bid in the auction. If you do not have any liens against you, then you are allowed to bid. Each state has different rules concerning the bidding option.
Once you have placed a bid, whether it is a private closed bid, or in an open auction, you are required to pay the amount that you bid on, providing that you win the auction. If you do not, then you could be held in contempt or disqualified from bidding in future auctions.
Most cities and states require a cash deposit or balance at the time that the auction closes. If you do not have the cash, or a cashiers check, then the property is normally returned to inventory, and can then be re-sold at a future auction.
If a homeowner shows up to pay the balance of the taxes owed on the property in question, then the homeowner has to pay you approximately 18% interest, plus any investment that you have made in the property in question.