Collection Division

The responsibility of the Collection staff is to collect all current and delinquent taxes as well as solid waste fess and all fees associated with forced collections. Our staff does this with the goal that each taxpayer is treated in a fair and equitable manner.

Annual property taxes on real and personal property (excluding registered DMV bills) are due September 1st and must be paid by January 5th of the following year. Interest is charged at the rate of 2% January 6th and ¾% each month thereafter.

Past due balances to Ad Valorem property tax bills are subject to the following forced collection methods:

Wage Garnishments
Bank Attachments
Rent Attachments
Sheriff Levy on Personal Property

To pay in person or by mail please remit payment to: 305 W. Cornelius Harnett Blvd Ste 101, Lillington, NC 27546

Prepayments to tax bills are accepted between February and August. This is to help lessen the one time cost to the taxpayer. Once property taxes are billed, usually in August, the taxpayer may wish to divide the bill by the number of months remaining in the year and pay monthly installments.  This may help to have the bill paid in full by January 5th.

Please note that interest begins January 6th and once the tax bill is delinquent, our office DOES NOT make payment arrangements.

The advertisement of tax liens on real property takes place in or after March of each year. An advertisement fee is added to the bill and the property is required to be advertised in the name of the owner as of January 6th.

If the Tax Department receives a NSF check, payment would be immediately voided correcting the tax department records. An amount of 10% of the check or an amount of $25.00, whichever is greater will be applied to the bill.

Harnett County does not offer a discount on Ad Valorem property taxes.  However, there are Exemption and Exclusion programs that may benefit certain citizens.  Please click on the link for more information

Tax Foreclosure Sale Procedures

North Carolina law provides Cities and Counties two different methods to enforce tax liens and sell real property for the collection of delinquent ad valorem taxes. Currently, Harnett County primarily uses the Foreclosure Method although it will occasionally utilize the In Rem Method. Both methods are discussed briefly below. Utilization of these two methods usually only occurs after other collections procedures such as bank attachment, rent attachment, and wage garnishment have proven inadequate to collect the taxes in full.

The Foreclosure Method

G.S. 105 -374 et. seq., provides that tax liens may be enforced by The Foreclosure Method. This is the most commonly used method in Harnett County to sell real property subject to tax liens for delinquent ad valorem taxes. In such cases, a civil action is filed in The General Court of Justice seeking a court order authorizing the City or County to sell the parcel upon which the taxes are owed. The plaintiff will be the County and the defendant(s) will be the owner of record as of the date the taxes became delinquent and spouse (if any), any subsequent owner, all other taxing units (if not already a plaintiff), and all other lienholders of record. Multiple delinquent parcels owned by the same taxpayer may be joined in one foreclosure action. The tax foreclosure compliant seeks an Order of Sale authorizing the county to sell the property to collect the delinquent taxes, fees, and court costs, including reasonable attorney fees incurred by the plaintiff. After all parties have been served with process and upon the expiration of the time for defendants to file a responsive pleading or after a responsive pleading is filed, the matter is ready for hearing by the court. Provided the plaintiff meets its burden of proof, an Order of Sale will be issued authorizing the appointment of a commissioner to conduct the tax foreclosure sale after due notice and public advertisement to the parties entitled thereto. Notices of Sale are posted in the courthouse no less than 20 days prior to the date of sale. Additionally, the Notice of Sale is published in The Daily Record once a week for two weeks prior to sale. The actual tax foreclosure sale is done by the court appointed commissioner at a public auction at the courthouse on the date and time designated in the notice of sale. The minimal bid for each parcel will be determined by the delinquent taxes, fees, and costs (including court costs & attorney fees) owed thereon. A deposit of 10% of the bid will be required at the sale. Each parcel sold is subject to a 10 Day "upset bid" period during which the bid may be raised by a minimum statutory amount of 5% or $750.00, whichever is greater. Once the parcel goes 10 days without being "upset", the sale must be confirmed by the court after which the sale becomes final. At any time prior to confirmation, the taxpayer may redeem their property by payment of all delinquent taxes, fees, and costs (including court costs & attorney fees) owed thereon. Redemption prior to confirmation essentially stops the foreclosure process and any bid deposits made thereon will be returned to the bidder. Buyers at tax foreclosure sales are given a Commissioner’s Deed and no representations, warranties or guarantees of any kind are made by the County or Commissioner with respect to these tax foreclosure sales. Each property is being sold as-is, buyer beware, and it is the duty of any bidder to investigate the property on their own prior to making a bid. All tax foreclosure sales are final sales subject only to upset bids or redemption by the taxpayer prior to confirmation. Sales are not subject to financing or marketable title, etc. and it is the duty of the bidder to investigate the property on their own prior to making a bid. After confirmation, bidders are generally given no more than 20 days to remit the balance of their bid. Bidders who default will forfeit their deposits and may be liable to the County for the costs of resale and for any difference in sale price if the property brings less during a resale than their original bid.

The In Rem Method

G.S. 105 -375 et. seq., provides another means by which Harnett County can collect delinquent taxes on real property. Unlike The Foreclosure Method, the In Rem Method does not involve a civil action being filed. Instead, the tax collector must first send notice of the tax lien foreclosure and potential docketing of a judgment to the taxpayer at their last known address, and to all lienholders of record who have a lien against the taxpayer. This notice can be sent no earlier than 30 days after the tax liens were advertised. After 30 days, the tax collector may then docket a judgment against taxpayer for each parcel on which the taxing unit has a lien for unpaid taxes, together with the amount of taxes, penalties, interest, and costs that are a lien thereon; the year or years for which the taxes are due; and a description of the property sufficient to permit its identification. Immediately upon the docketing, the taxes, penalties, interest, and costs shall constitute a valid judgment against the real property described therein and it shall bear interest at an annual rate of eight percent (8%). At any time after three months and before two years from the indexing of the judgment, execution shall be issued at the request of the tax collector in the same manner as executions are issued upon other judgments of the superior court, and subject to certain statutory exceptions the real property shall be sold by the sheriff in the same manner as other real property is sold under execution.

No Tax Lien Certificates in North Carolina

Contrary to popular opinion, North Carolina does not sell tax lien certificates, therefore, payment of the tax lien by a third party prior to sale at public auction will not transfer ownership of the property.

Other Disclaimers

The information, pictures, maps, or any other data pertaining to properties listed for foreclosure on this website contain no warranties or guarantees. Anyone interested in participating in the bidding process should conduct his or her own research for each individual property prior to bidding.

2023 Advertised Tax Liens

The 2023 unpaid Real Estate Property Tax Liens were advertised in The Daily Record on Tuesday, May 14, 2024.  This is required by N.C. GS 105-369.  Unpaid property taxes and unpaid fees constitute the first lien to real estate.  The property is subject to foreclosure and other forced collection activities at any time.  If there are questions concerning this please contact Harnett County Tax Department at 910-893-7520 or

View the 2023 Unpaid Real Estate Property Tax Liens