Super Lien Win in Georgia Supreme Court
Tax sale “pirates” had been taking both the delinquent taxpayer’s property and the equity in the property under the “super lien” of redemption. Unscrupulous tax sale players would take the all the excess funds (tax sale price less taxes owed) to satisfy a tiny debt. For instance, if a property was sold at a tax sale for $100,000 to pay $5,000 in property taxes, the property owner should receive $95,000, the equity in the property. But if there was another debt--say just $1,000 or even less--that debt could be used as the basis to redeem the property and the redeemer would take all the excess funds. The redeemer would then foreclose on the property and buy it at the foreclosure sale. The property owners would have lost their land and the equity in the land, even though the value of their property far exceeded their debts.
In the DLT v. M7VEN case, the redeemer tried to take $105,000 in excess funds—which belonged to the delinquent tax payer—to satisfy a $1,400 debt. Mr. Thompson's successful argument before the Georgia Supreme Court righted this injustice and ended this "legal" piracy. Now, property owners keep the excess funds from a tax sale rather than the tax sale redeemers, or tax pirates, who already had a priority lien on the property. DLT LIST, LLC et al. v. M7VEN Supportive Housing & Development Group, 301 Ga. 131, 800 S.E.2d 362 (2017).
Thompson continues to represent those who are rightfully entitled to excess funds.