Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter IV. Foreclosure.


§ 47–1370. Complaints by purchasers to foreclose the right of redemption; exercise of authority by form of complaint.

(a) At any time after the expiration of a 6-month waiting period following the date of the tax sale, a purchaser may file a complaint to foreclose the right of redemption of the real property to which the certificate of sale corresponds.

(b) In a suit to foreclose the right of redemption, the Superior Court may:

(1) Bar the right of redemption and foreclose (A) all transfers of the real property occurring before the judgment of the court as provided in this chapter and (B) all liens and encumbrances on the real property except as provided in § 47-1382;

(2) Vest title in fee simple in the purchaser; or

(3) Set aside the sale and determine the amount required to redeem the real property.

(c)(1) A complaint filed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall state:

(A) The fact of the issuance of the certificate of sale and the date of the certificate;

(B) A description of the real property in substantially the same form as the description appearing on the certificate along with the street address, if any;

(C) An itemization of the amount paid at tax sale by the purchaser for each year or period of taxes, including costs of sale.

(D) The fact that the real property has not been redeemed by a person having an interest in the real property;

(E) A request for an order of publication directed to all persons having an interest in the real property; and

(F) A request that the court pass a judgment that forecloses the right of redemption of the defendants and any other person having any interest in the real property.

(2) The caption of the complaint filed for relief under subsection (a) of this section shall comply with §§ 47-1373(a) and 47-1374(a).

(3) The certificate of sale issued by the Mayor to the purchaser or a photocopy of the certificate shall be attached to the complaint and shall be made part of the complaint.

(4) Proof of the posting required under § 47-1353.01 shall be attached to and made part of the complaint. The posting shall be held to the same standard as the proof of posting required under § 47-1372(f).

(d) The right of redemption shall continue until a judgment foreclosing the right of redemption becomes final.

(e) The purchaser shall immediately notify the Chief Financial Officer and the Real Property Tax Ombudsman, established by § 47-805, upon the filing of a complaint under this section.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334; Dec. 4, 2014, D.C. Law 20-141, § 101(c)(23), 61 DCR 7763; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, §§ 7102(c)(23), 7104, 61 DCR 9990.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-1336, § 47-1353, and § 47-1354.

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-141, repealed before its effective date, would have substituted “date of the tax sale” for “date of the sale” in (a); and added (c)(4) and (e).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 substituted “date of the tax sale” for “date of sale” in (a); and added (c)(4) and (e).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(oo) of Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-381, June 6, 2002, 49 DCR 5674).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-456, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8107).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-510, October 23, 2002, 49 DCR 10247).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(23) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-342, May 28, 2014, 61 DCR 5691).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7112(c)(23) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(24) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-409, Aug. 1, 2014, 61 DCR 8281).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(23) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-461, November 6, 2014, 61 DCR 11784, 20 STAT 4368).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(23) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-587, January 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1294, 21 STAT 758).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).

Editor's Notes

D.C. Law 20-141 became effective on Dec. 4, 2014, but was repealed prior to its effective date by emergency D.C. Act 20-377, § 7114, eff. July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, by emergency D.C. Act 20-449, § 7104, eff. October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, by emergency D.C. Act 20-566, § 7104, eff. January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, and by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7104, 61 DCR 9990.


§ 47–1371. Parties.

(a) The plaintiff in an action to foreclose the right of redemption shall be the purchaser.

(b)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the defendants in an action to foreclose the right of redemption shall be:

(A) The record title holder of the real property;

(B) The legal title holder, if different from the record title holder;

(C) If the real property is encumbered by a recorded life tenancy, the record life tenant and record remaindermen;

(D) If the real property is subject to an estate for life or a lease or ground rent for a term (with renewals) that is at least 30 years, the record title holder of the fee simple title and the owner of the possessory interest as disclosed by a search performed in accordance with generally accepted standards of title examination of the records of the Recorder of Deeds and the Probate Division of the Superior Court;

(E) Any mortgagee of the real property, or any assignee of the mortgage of record, named as such in an unreleased mortgage recorded in the records of the Recorder of Deeds;

(F) The trustee of record under a deed of trust recorded against the real property and a holder of a beneficial interest in a deed of trust who files notice of the interest, which notice includes identification of the deed of trust, the book and page or roll and frame where the deed of trust is recorded, and the current address at which the holder may be served with a summons; and

(G) The District.

(2) The plaintiff shall certify, under penalties of perjury, to the Superior Court that a search for the defendants has been performed in accordance with generally accepted standards of title examination of the records of the Recorder of Deeds and probate decisions of the Superior Court.

(2A) The plaintiff shall certify to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, under penalties of perjury, that a search was conducted for the record owner in bankruptcy records.

(3) The plaintiff may elect not to include as a defendant any of the persons named in paragraph (1) of this subsection. However, the rights of any person not included as a defendant shall not be affected by the action.

(4) The plaintiff shall not be required to name as defendant any other person that has, or claims to have, any right, title, interest, claim, lien, or equity of redemption in the real property sold by the Mayor. Any of these persons shall be included as defendants by the designation “all persons that have or claim to have any interest in real property... (giving a description of the real property in substantially the same form as the description that appears on the Mayor’s certificate of sale along with the street address, if any).” Any of these persons shall be designated throughout the action by the above designation, may participate as defendants in the action, and the action may proceed against them by publication under order of court as provided in this chapter.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334; Dec. 4, 2014, D.C. Law 20-141, § 101(c)(24), 61 DCR 7763; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, §§ 7102(c)(24), 7104, 61 DCR 9990.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-1372, § 47-1373, § 47-1375, and § 47-1382.

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-141, repealed before its effective date, would have added (b)(24A).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 added (b)(2A).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(oo) of Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-381, June 6, 2002, 49 DCR 5674).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-456, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8107).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-510, October 23, 2002, 49 DCR 10247).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(25) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-342, May 28, 2014, 61 DCR 5691).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7112(c)(24) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(25) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-409, Aug. 1, 2014, 61 DCR 8281).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(24) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-461, November 6, 2014, 61 DCR 11784, 20 STAT 4368).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(24) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-587, January 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1294, 21 STAT 758).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).

Editor's Notes

D.C. Law 20-141 became effective on Dec. 4, 2014, but was repealed prior to its effective date by emergency D.C. Act 20-377, § 7114, eff. July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, by emergency D.C. Act 20-449, § 7104, eff. October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, by emergency D.C. Act 20-566, § 7104, eff. January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, and by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7104, 61 DCR 9990.


§ 47–1372. Notice to certain persons.

(a)(1) The plaintiff shall send written notice of the action to:

(A) Notwithstanding the provisions of § 47-1371(b)(4), all persons having a recorded interest, recorded claim, or recorded lien, including a recorded judgment, who have not been made a defendant in the action and, if the real property is the common areas owned by or legally dedicated to a homeowners association, to the homeowners association governing the real property, at the last reasonably ascertainable address; and

(B) Each commercial tenant of the real property whose identity is known to the plaintiff at the commercial tenant’s last reasonably ascertainable address.

(C)(i) A purchaser of the real property, or an assignee of a certificate of sale, if the purchaser has recorded the certificate of sale and any assignee has recorded the assignment, as prescribed by § 47-1350, within 4 months after the date of the tax sale to the plaintiff; provided, that the purchaser or assignee shall file an attachment with the certificate of sale or assignment indicating his mailing address; provided further, that the assignee shall file the certificate of sale if the certificate was not filed by the purchaser.

(ii) Foreclosure of the right of redemption shall not extinguish the amount to which the purchaser or assignee is entitled under this chapter.

(2) This section shall not apply to residential tenants.

(b) The notice under subsection (a) of this section shall be:

(1) Sent by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, bearing a postmark from the United States Postal Service; and

(2) Accompanied by a copy of the summons and a copy of the complaint.

(c) The plaintiff shall file in the action:

(1) The return receipt from the notice; or

(2) If the return receipt has not been returned, the proof of mailing and an affidavit stating that the notice provisions of subsection (b) of this section have been complied with, or an affidavit stating that the address of the holder of the subordinate interest is not reasonably ascertainable.

(d)(1) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, the plaintiff shall send written notice of the action to any commercial tenant of the real property whose occupancy of the real property is reasonably ascertainable by the plaintiff, whether or not the commercial tenant’s identity is known:

(A) By first-class mail, postage prepaid, bearing a postmark from the United States Postal Service, addressed to the commercial tenant by name if the identity of the commercial tenant is known to the plaintiff, or addressed to “occupant” if the identity of the commercial tenant is not known;

(B) To each separately leased area of the real property that the plaintiff can reasonably ascertain is occupied;

(C) In an envelope prominently marked on the outside with the phrase “Notice of Action to Foreclose”; and

(D) Accompanied by a copy of the complaint.

(2) The notice shall include the following statement in conspicuous, bold-faced print:

“If the unpaid taxes, together with costs and expenses, are not paid, the court may enter a judgment foreclosing the right of redemption that would terminate your lease and right to occupy the real property. You have the right to pay the unpaid taxes, together with costs and expenses, and avoid lease termination and eviction. A judgment foreclosing the right of redemption could be entered within the next 90 days and at that time you could be evicted or required to vacate the real property.”

(e) If the filing under subsection (c) of this section is made before the entry of final judgment, the failure of a person under subsection (a)(1) of this section to receive the notice shall not invalidate the sale.

(f) In addition to the notice required by subsection (a) of this section, the plaintiff shall provide notice of the action by posting a copy of the summons on a place on the premises of the real property where it may be conveniently read.

(g)(1) Subject to § 47-1371(b)(1) and (4), after entry of a judgment foreclosing the right of redemption and at least 30 days before taking possession of the real property, the plaintiff shall give any commercial tenant of the real property written notice of the plaintiff’s intention to obtain possession of the real property and that the commercial tenant shall vacate the real property within 30 days after the notice.

(2) During the 30-day period immediately following entry of the judgment foreclosing the right of redemption, the plaintiff may apply for, process, and obtain, but not execute upon, a writ of possession of the real property.

(3) The notice under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be sent:

(A) By first-class mail, postage prepaid, bearing a postmark from the United States Postal Service, addressed to the commercial tenant by name if the identity of the commercial tenant is known to the plaintiff, or addressed to “occupant” if the identity of the commercial tenant is not known;

(B) To each separately leased portion of the real property that the plaintiff can reasonably ascertain is occupied; and

(C) In an envelope prominently marked on the outside with the phrase “Notice of taking possession of real property.”


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334; Apr. 4, 2003, D.C. Law 14-282, § 11(kk), 50 DCR 896; Dec. 4, 2014, D.C. Law 20-141, § 101(c)(25), 61 DCR 7763; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c)(25), 7104, 61 DCR 9990.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-282, in subsec. (a)(1), added par. (C).

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-141, repealed before its effective date, would have substituted “date of the tax sale” for “date of the sale” in (a)(1)(C)(i).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 substituted “date of the tax sale” for “date of sale” in (a)(1)(C).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(oo) of Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-381, June 6, 2002, 49 DCR 5674).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-456, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8107).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-510, October 23, 2002, 49 DCR 10247).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(26) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-342, May 28, 2014, 61 DCR 5691).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7112(c)(25) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(26) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-409, Aug. 1, 2014, 61 DCR 8281).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(25) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-461, November 6, 2014, 61 DCR 11784, 20 STAT 4368).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(25) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-587, January 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1294, 21 STAT 758).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Temporary Act of 2002 (D.C. Law 14-191, October 5, 2002, law notification 49 DCR 9549).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Temporary Act of 2003 (D.C. Law 14-228, March 23, 2003, law notification 50 DCR 2741).

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).

Editor's Notes

D.C. Law 20-141 became effective on Dec. 4, 2014, but was repealed prior to its effective date by emergency D.C. Act 20-377, § 7114, eff. July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, by emergency D.C. Act 20-449, § 7104, eff. October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, and by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7104, 61 DCR 9990.


§ 47–1373. How unknown owner made party; affidavit of search.

(a) If the identity of an owner cannot be ascertained as provided in § 47-1371, the unknown owner of the real property may be included as a defendant by the designation: “Unknown owner of real property (insert a description of the real property in substantially the same form as the description that appears on the certificate of sale along with the street address, if any), the unknown owner’s heirs, devisees, and personal representatives and their or any of their heirs, devisees, executors, administrators, grantees, assigns, or successors in right, title and interest.” The unknown owner shall be so designated throughout the action. The action shall proceed against the unknown owner by publication under order of the court as provided in § 47-1375.

(b) A complaint to foreclose the right of redemption filed against an unknown owner as set forth in subsection (a) of this section shall have attached to it an affidavit by the person making the search stating at a minimum that:

(1) The owner of the real property (or a part of the real property) is unknown; and

(2) A complete search of the records for at least 40 years immediately before the filing of the action was performed in accordance with generally accepted standards of title examination.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-1370.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).


§ 47–1374. Service of process.

(a) The plaintiff shall set forth in the caption of the complaint the last address known to the plaintiff or to the attorney filing the complaint of each defendant, as obtained from:

(1) Any records examined as part of the title examination;

(2) The Recorder of Deeds; and

(3) Any other address that is known to the plaintiff or the attorney filing the complaint.

(b) Subsection (a) of this section shall not require the plaintiff or the attorney for the plaintiff to make any investigations or to search any other records or sources of information other than those stated.

(c) This subsection applies only if a last known address for a defendant is obtained as provided under subsections (a) and (b) of this section. The plaintiff shall cause a copy of the order of publication to be mailed by first class, certified mail, postage prepaid, to each defendants address as determined by the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section.

(d) Notice to a defendant may be made in any other manner that results in actual notice of the pendency of the action to the defendant. If notice is given under this subsection, the plaintiff shall file an affidavit that fairly describes the method and time of service.

(e)(1) A final judgment may not be entered earlier than the later of:

(A) One year following the initial scheduling conference in the foreclosure action; or

(B) Four months following the completion of service on the owner and all parties identified as defendants in § 47-1371.

(2) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to any final judgment in which all interested parties have disclaimed any interest in the property subject to the judgment or in a case where a real property was sold under § 47-1353(a)(3) or (b).


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334; Dec. 4, 2014, D.C. Law 20-141, § 101(c)(26), 61 DCR 7763; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, §§ 7102(c)(26), 7104, 61 DCR 9990.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-1370 and § 47-1378.

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-141, repealed before its effective date, would have deleted the third sentence in the introductory language of (c) which read: “If a defendant is not served by summons or as provided by subsection (d) of this section, the plaintiff shall file an affidavit in the action, which affidavit”; and would have rewritten (e).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 rewrote (c) and (e).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(oo) of Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-381, June 6, 2002, 49 DCR 5674).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-456, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8107).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-510, October 23, 2002, 49 DCR 10247).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(27) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-342, May 28, 2014, 61 DCR 5691).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7112(c)(26) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(27) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-409, Aug. 1, 2014, 61 DCR 8281).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(26) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-461, November 6, 2014, 61 DCR 11784, 20 STAT 4368).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(26) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-587, January 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1294, 21 STAT 758).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).

Editor's Notes

D.C. Law 20-141 became effective on Dec. 4, 2014, but was repealed prior to its effective date by emergency D.C. Act 20-377, § 7114, eff. July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, by emergency D.C. Act 20-449, § 7104, eff. October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, by emergency D.C. Act 20-566, § 7104, eff. January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, and by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7104, 61 DCR 9990.


§ 47–1375. Notice by publication.

At the time the summons (or initial summons) is issued, the plaintiff shall obtain an order of publication directed to all defendants, naming them as provided by this chapter. The real property shall be described in the order of publication as the real property is described on the certificate of sale along with the street address, if any. The order of publication shall notify all persons that have, or claim to have, an interest in the real property to answer the complaint or to redeem the real property on or before the date named in the order of publication and, in case of failure to appear, answer, or redeem the real property, that a judgment will be entered that forecloses the right of redemption in the real property. The date named may not be less than 60 days from the date of the order. Subject to § 47-1371(b), when the order of publication is issued and published, any person that has any right, title, interest, claim, lien, or equity of redemption in the real property is bound by the judgment of the court that may be entered in the case as if the person were personally served with process. The order of publication shall be in substantially the following form:

“Order of Publication

“The object of this proceeding is to secure the foreclosure of the right of redemption in the following real property located in the District of Columbia, and sold by the Mayor of the District of Columbia to the plaintiff in this action: (Insert description of real property in substantially the same form as the description appearing on the Mayor’s certificate of sale along with the street address, if any.)

“The complaint states, among other things, that the amounts necessary for redemption have not been paid.

“It is thereupon this ...... day of ........., 20..., by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Ordered, That notice be given by the insertion of a copy of this order in some newspaper having a general circulation in District of Columbia once a week for 3 successive weeks, notifying all persons interested in the real property to appear in this Court by the ...... day of........, 20..., and redeem the real property by payment of $.... or answer the complaint or, thereafter, a final judgment will be entered foreclosing the right of redemption in the real property and vesting in the plaintiff a title in fee simple.”


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-1373.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).


§ 47–1376. Validity of taxes and sale presumed unless attacked in answer.

In an action to foreclose the right of redemption, the plaintiff shall not be required to plead or prove the various steps, procedure, and notices for the assessment and imposition of the taxes for which the real property was sold or the proceedings taken by the Mayor to sell the real property. The validity of the procedure is conclusively presumed unless a defendant in the proceeding shall, by answer, plead as an affirmative defense, the invalidity of the taxes, the invalidity of the proceedings to sell, or the invalidity of the sale.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).


§ 47–1377. Purchaser reimbursed by redeeming party for expenses.

(a)(1) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, upon redemption, a purchaser is entitled to be reimbursed by the redeeming person for the following expenses incurred in an action, or in preparation for an action, to foreclose the right of redemption:

(A) If an action to foreclose the right of redemption has not been filed and the property is redeemed more than 4 months after the applicable tax sale’s tax sale date, the purchaser may be reimbursed for the following pre-complaint legal expenses:

(i) The cost of $50 for any posting required by § 47-1353.01;

(ii) Costs for recording the certificate of sale; and

(iii) The cost of a title search, not to exceed $300.

(B) If an action to foreclose the right of redemption has been filed, the purchaser may also be reimbursed for:

(i) Reasonable attorneys’ fees as follows:

(I) In a case in which the property is redeemed before the 5th status hearing, reasonable attorneys’ fees not to exceed $1,500;

(II) In a case requiring 5 or more status hearings, reasonable attorneys’ fees not to exceed $1,500, plus $75 for the 5th status hearing and each additional status hearing thereafter; and

(III) In a case in which a motion for judgment is filed with the court, additional attorneys’ fees in the amount of $300;

(ii) Notwithstanding sub-subparagraph (i) of this subparagraph, in cases requiring prolonged or complex representation not typically necessary to resolve an action filed under this chapter, including cases in which the purchaser incurs attorneys’ fees and expenses under § 47- 1382.01(a), other reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred and specifically requested by the purchaser and approved by the court, on a case-by-case basis; provided, that additional attorneys’ fees shall not be awarded if a tax sale is cancelled by the Mayor under § 47-1366, or where a purchaser is required to show good cause under subsection (c) of this section; and

(iii) Expenses actually incurred as follows:

(I) Filing fee charged by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia;

(II) Service of process fee, including fees incurred attempting to serve process;

(III) If a 2nd title search is conducted more than 6 months after the initial title search, a title search update fee, not to exceed $75;

(IV) Publication fee charged by a newspaper of general circulation in the District;

(V) Posting fees;

(VI) Postage and certified mail costs;

(VII) Substantial repair order fee, not to exceed the fee charged by the government agency issuing the certificate of substantial repair; and

(VIII) Any court approved expense for stabilization or conversion of, or to make safe and compliant with Chapter 31A of Title 42, the property under § 47-1363 or to comply with an action taken against the property by the Mayor in accordance with the applicable building, fire, health, or safety code.

(2)(A) In calculating the number of hearings in a case for the purposes of paragraph (1)(B)(i) of this subsection, any status hearing held before the redeeming party was served shall be excluded from the calculation.

(B) For purposes of paragraph (1)(B)(i) of this subsection, an initial scheduling conference shall be deemed a status hearing.

(C) Nothing in paragraph (1) of his subsection shall be construed as prohibiting the purchaser from settling attorneys’ fees in a lesser amount than the purchaser may be eligible for under this section.

(b) No purchaser of a certificate of sale shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred within 4 months after the date of the tax sale. A purchaser other than the District shall not be reimbursed for any expenses if the certificate becomes void under this chapter.

(c) The purchaser shall not be entitled to be reimbursed for any expenses or attorney’s fees not included in this section. Expenses or attorneys’ fees incurred by a purchaser who appeals the assessment or the vacant status of the property are not reimbursable.

(d) If the purchaser fails to satisfy the requirements for posting under § 47-1353.01 or fails to provide proof of posting required under § 47-1370(c)(4), the purchaser shall not be entitled to collect the legal expenses set forth in subsection (a) of this section; provided, that upon a showing to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia of good cause for the failure to meet the posting requirements of § 47-1353.01 or § 47-1370(c) (4), the purchaser shall be entitled to collect those expenses, not to exceed the amounts set forth in subsection (a) of this section, that the Superior Court of the District of Columbia considers reasonable.

(e) Notwithstanding subsection (d) of this section, if the tax sale is cancelled by the Mayor under § 47-1366, the purchaser shall not be entitled to reimbursement of the expenses permitted under subsection (a)(1)(B) of this section if the purchaser fails to specifically disclose to the Mayor, at least 45 days before the filing of a complaint to foreclose the right of redemption, information that is obtained or should have been obtained from the pre-complaint investigation, including the title examination and review of bankruptcy records under § 47-1371(b)(2) and § 47-1371(b)(2A), that evidences a violation of § 47-1332(c), a violation of a bankruptcy stay, or errors, as prescribed by the Mayor through regulation.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334; Dec. 4, 2014, D.C. Law 20-141, § 101(c)(27), 61 DCR 7763; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, §§ 7102(c)(27), 7104, 61 DCR 9990; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 7037(j), 62 DCR 10905.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-1336, § 47-1361, and § 47-1380.

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-141, repealed before its effective date, would have rewritten (a); in (b), substituted “date of the tax sale” for “date of sale or” in the present first sentence, and inserted “A purchaser other than the District shall not be reimbursed for any expenses” at the beginning of the present second sentence; and would have added (b-1), (c), and (d).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 rewrote this section.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 substituted “cost” for “amount” in (a)(1)(A)(i).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(oo) of Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-381, June 6, 2002, 49 DCR 5674).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-456, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8107).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-510, October 23, 2002, 49 DCR 10247).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(c) of the District Real Property Tax Sale Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-179, October 4, 2013, 60 DCR 14947).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(28) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-342, May 28, 2014, 61 DCR 5691).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7112(c)(27) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(28) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-409, Aug. 1, 2014, 61 DCR 8281).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(27) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-461, November 6, 2014, 61 DCR 11784, 20 STAT 4368).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(27) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-587, January 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1294, 21 STAT 758).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7016(v)(14) and (y)(2) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(c) of the District Real Property Tax Sale Temporary Act of 2013 (D.C. Law 20-55, December 13, 2013, 60 DCR 15163).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(r)(15) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-179, March 7, 2015, 62 DCR 424).

Editor's Notes

D.C. Law 20-141 became effective on Dec. 4, 2014, but was repealed prior to its effective date by emergency D.C. Act 20-377, § 7114, eff. July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, by emergency D.C. Act 20-449, § 7104, eff. October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, by emergency D.C. Act 20-566, § 7104, eff. January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, and by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7104, 61 DCR 9990.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-36: Section 7048(b) of D.C. Law 21-36 provided that §§ 7027, 7031, 7036, and 7037 of the act shall apply as of October 1, 2014.


§ 47–1378. Final order.

Upon the occurrence of the last event specified in § 47-1374(e), a plaintiff may be entitled to judgment foreclosing the right of redemption. An interlocutory order shall not be required. The judgment shall be final and conclusive on the defendants, their heirs, devisees, and personal representatives and they, or any of their heirs, devisees, executors, administrators, assigns, or successors in right, title, or interest, shall be bound by the judgment as if they had been named in the action and personally served with process.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).


§ 47–1379. Reopening judgments.

The Superior Court shall not open a judgment rendered in an action for foreclosure of the right of redemption, except on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction or fraud in the conduct of the action to foreclose; provided, that the reopening of a judgment on the ground of constructive fraud in the conduct of the action to foreclose shall not be entertained by the court unless an application to reopen a judgment rendered is filed within 90 days from the date of the judgment.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).


§ 47–1380. Judgment setting aside sale.

(a) If the Superior Court shall set aside a sale, the amount required to redeem is: (A) the amount required by this chapter, as may be adjusted by the court, and (B) the reasonable value, on the date the judgment is set aside, of all reasonable improvements made on the real property by the purchaser and the purchaser’s successors in interest subject to § 47-1363.

(b) A sale shall not be set aside unless the real property is redeemed.

(c) If the Superior Court sets aside a sale in the absence of fraud on the part of the purchaser, the Mayor shall repay to the purchaser:

(1) The amount paid to the Mayor on account of the purchase price of the property sold, with interest thereon except surplus;

(2) All taxes accrued after the date of sale that were paid by the purchaser under this chapter, with interest as would have been required to be paid by a redeemer;

(3) The expenses collected by the Mayor and properly incurred under § 47-1377; and

(4) The amount, as collected by the Mayor, of the value of all reasonable improvements made on the real property by the purchaser and the purchaser’s successors in interest.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, if the Superior Court finds fraud on the part of the purchaser, the Superior Court shall set aside the sale and the purchaser shall not receive any amounts otherwise due under this chapter.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334; Apr. 4, 2003, D.C. Law 14-282, § 11(ll), 50 DCR 896; Dec. 4, 2014, D.C. Law 20-141, § 101(c)(28), 61 DCR 7763; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, §§ 7102(c)(28), 7104, 61 DCR 9990.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-282 added subsec. (d).

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-141, repealed before its effective date, would have substituted “the sale and the purchaser shall not receive any amounts otherwise due under this chapter” for “the sale” in (d).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 added “and the purchaser shall not receive any amounts otherwise due under this chapter” in (d).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(oo) of Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-381, June 6, 2002, 49 DCR 5674).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-456, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8107).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-510, October 23, 2002, 49 DCR 10247).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-381, June 6, 2002, 49 DCR 5674).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(qq) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-456, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8107).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(qq) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-510, October 23, 2002, 49 DCR 10247).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(29) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-342, May 28, 2014, 61 DCR 5691).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7112(c)(28) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(29) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-409, Aug. 1, 2014, 61 DCR 8281).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(28) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-461, November 6, 2014, 61 DCR 11784, 20 STAT 4368).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(28) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-587, January 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1294, 21 STAT 758).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 12(qq) of Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Temporary Act of 2002 (D.C. Law 14-191, October 5, 2002, law notification 49 DCR 9549).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 12(qq) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Temporary Act of 2003 (D.C. Law 14-228, March 23, 2003, law notification 50 DCR 2741).

Editor's Notes

D.C. Law 20-141 became effective on Dec. 4, 2014, but was repealed prior to its effective date by emergency D.C. Act 20-377, § 7114, eff. July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, by emergency D.C. Act 20-449, § 7104, eff. October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, by emergency D.C. Act 20-566, § 7104, eff. January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, and by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7104, 61 DCR 9990.


§ 47–1381. Judgment bars redemption only in real property described therein.

If a plaintiff who files a complaint to foreclose the right of redemption describes the real property in the complaint in a manner other than that contained in the certificate of sale or states an incorrect street address, and the description in the judgment, the description in the complaint, and the description in the certificate of sale are intended to describe the same real property, the judgment entered barring the defendant’s right to redeem bars the defendant’s interest only in the real property described in the judgment.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).


§ 47–1382. Purchaser’s deed; payment; compliance with terms of judgment as to payments.

(a) Except as provided in § 47-1382.01, a final judgment foreclosing the right of redemption shall direct the Mayor to execute and deliver a deed to the purchaser in fee simple on payment to the Mayor of the amount required under this section. No deed shall be executed before such payment is received. The final judgment shall direct the Mayor to enroll the purchaser in fee simple as the owner of the real property. The fee simple interest shall be conveyed subject to:

(1) A taxing agency lien that is recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds;

(2) The tenancy of a residential tenant (other than a tenant described in § 47-1371(b)(1)(C) and (D));

(3) Easements of record and any other easement that may be observed by an inspection of the real property;

(4) An instrument securing payment of a promissory note executed under § 47-1353(a)(3);

(5) An energy efficiency loan agreement under subchapter IX of Chapter 8 of Title 47, and related documents or instruments and the obligation to pay the special assessment; and

(6) A ground lease described in § 47-1345(b), any recorded covenant, agreement, or other instrument, and any other document incorporated by reference into a recorded covenant, agreement, or other instrument, to which a ground lessor as described in § 47-1345(b) is a party or beneficiary.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a)(1) of this section, upon issuance of a tax deed concerning a real property sold under § 47-1353(a)(3) or (b), the real property shall be free and clear of all prior taxes and liabilities owed by the real property to a taxing agency. The purchaser shall not be required to pay such prior taxes and liabilities to receive the tax deed.

(c) The purchaser shall pay all amounts that would be required of a person redeeming under § 47-1361; provided, that the purchaser shall not make payment for taxes and periods for which the purchaser purchased the certificate of sale, was assigned a certificate of sale under § 47-1349, and made payment under § 47-1354.

(c-1) Notwithstanding subsection (c) of this section, a purchaser under § 47-1336 shall not pay an amount that is a Special Assessment under subchapter IX of Chapter 8 of Title 47, unless otherwise agreed.

(d) The deed shall be prepared by the purchaser or the attorney for the purchaser and all expenses incident to the preparation, execution, delivery, and recordation of the deed shall be paid by the purchaser.

(e) The plaintiff shall provide a certified copy of the final judgment to the Mayor.

(f)(1) If the purchaser fails to pay to the Mayor the amount required under this section within 30 days of the final judgment, the final judgment may be vacated as void by the Superior Court on the motion of any party. If the purchaser fails to pay to the Mayor the amount required under this section within one year from the date of the final judgment or by October 1, 2019, whichever is later, the final judgment shall become vacated as void without need for a motion to the Superior Court.

(2) If the purchaser does not record the deed in the Recorder of Deeds within 30 days of the execution of the deed, the final judgment may be vacated as void by the Superior Court on the motion of any party.

(3) If a final judgment is vacated as void as provided under this subsection, any deed and the certificate of sale are void and all money paid by the purchaser to the Mayor is forfeited, except as provided in § 47-1354(c).

(g) Any surplus paid for a real property by a purchaser shall be applied against other taxes, interest thereon, and expenses owing on the real property for which a deed is sought if the application and timely balance payment shall result in the full payment required to obtain the deed.

(h) Any overpayment, including expenses, shall be paid by the Mayor to the person who made the overpayment. If there is a dispute regarding payment of the overpayment, the Mayor shall hold the overpayment until a court of competent jurisdiction determines the proper distribution of the overpayment.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334; Apr. 4, 2003, D.C. Law 14-282, § 11(mm), 50 DCR 896; Apr. 20, 2013, D.C. Law 19-262, § 103(e), 60 DCR 1300; Dec. 4, 2014, D.C. Law 20-141, § 101(c)(29), 61 DCR 7763; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, §§ 7102(c)(29), 7104, 61 DCR 9990; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 7112(c), 63 DCR 10775; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 7093(c)(4), 65 DCR 9388.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-1355, § 47-1370, and § 47-1383.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-282, in subsec. (a), made nonsubstantive changes in pars. (2) and (3), and added par. (4); and in subsec. (b), substituted “§ 47-1353(a)(3) or (b)” for “§ 47-1353(b)”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-262 added (a)(5) and made related changes; and added (c-1).

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-141, repealed before its effective date, would have substituted “Except as provided in § 47-1382.01, a final” for “a final” at the beginning of the introductory language of (a); rewritten (a)(1); and would have added (a)(6) and made related changes.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 added “Except as provided in Section 47-1382.01” in the introductory language e of (a); rewrote (a)(1); and added (a)(6) and made related changes.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7093(c)(4) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7093(c)(4) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(c) of Tax Sale Resource Center Clarifying Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-373, Apr. 27, 2016, 63 DCR 6854).

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(oo) of Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-381, June 6, 2002, 49 DCR 5674).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-456, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8107).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-510, October 23, 2002, 49 DCR 10247).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(30) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-342, May 28, 2014, 61 DCR 5691).

For temporary (90 days) addition of § 47-1382.01, concerning post-judgment equity distribution for owner-occupant properties, see § 101(c)(31) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-342, May 28, 2014, 61 DCR 5691).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7112(c)(29) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) addition of §  47–1382.01, see §  101(c)(31) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-409, Aug. 1, 2014, 61 DCR 8281).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(29) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-461, November 6, 2014, 61 DCR 11784, 20 STAT 4368).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(29) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-587, January 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1294, 21 STAT 758).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(c) of Tax Sale Resource Center Clarifying Temporary Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Law 21-130, July 1, 2016, 63 DCR 7108).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 12(rr) of Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Temporary Act of 2002 (D.C. Law 14-191, October 5, 2002, law notification 49 DCR 9549).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 12(rr) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Temporary Act of 2003 (D.C. Law 14-228, March 23, 2003, law notification 50 DCR 2741).

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).

Editor's Notes

D.C. Law 20-141 became effective on Dec. 4, 2014, but was repealed prior to its effective date by emergency D.C. Act 20-377, § 7114, eff. July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, by emergency D.C. Act 20-449, § 7104, eff. October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, by emergency D.C. Act 20-566, § 7104, eff. January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, and by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7104, 61 DCR 9990.


§ 47–1382.01. Equity distribution post-judgment — owner-occupant properties.

(a) This section shall apply to any Class 1 property with 5 or fewer units in which a record owner (or a person with an interest in the property as heir or beneficiary of the record owner, if deceased), was occupying as his or her principal residence when the complaint to foreclose the right of redemption was filed. The purchaser shall bear the burden of establishing that this section is not applicable to the real property.

(b) Upon issuing a final judgment foreclosing the right of redemption, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia shall appoint a trustee and shall order that the trustee sell the property pursuant to Rule 308 of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia Rules of Civil Procedure, or its equivalent.

(c) The trustee shall sell a fee simple interest in the property, subject to the encumbrances set forth in § 47-1382(a).

(d) The court shall order the trustee to distribute the proceeds of the sale in priority order as follows:

(1) Reasonable compensation and reasonable expenses due to the trustee or to any other person (including an auctioneer) who provided services relating to the sale of the property, and all other payments the court deems to have been necessary to effect the sale of the real property, including recordation and transfer taxes;

(2) Payment to the Mayor of:

(A) All amounts payable to the Mayor for deposit into the General Fund of the District of Columbia under § 47-1361 as of the date of the court’s order regarding distribution;

(B) Any promissory note executed pursuant to § 47-1353(a)(3); and

(C) Any lien certified under § 47-1340;

(3) Payment to the purchaser of all amounts provided for in § 47-1377, as fixed by the court; and

(4) Any remaining amounts as follows:

(A) Ten percent or $20,000, whichever is less, to the purchaser; and

(B) The remainder to the person or persons (including, when appropriate, a decedent’s estate) entitled to the balance, in proper proportion as determined by the trustee, or, when necessary, a court.

(e)(1) The trustee shall notify the purchaser once payment is made to the Mayor pursuant to subsection (d)(2) of this section, at which time the purchaser shall surrender the certificate of sale and receive from the Mayor the amount to which the purchaser would have been entitled had redemption occurred in accordance with § 47-1361.

(2) For purposes of calculating the refund due to the purchaser, the date of the court’s order providing for distribution or the sale proceeds in accordance with subsection (d) of this section shall be deemed the date of redemption.

(f)(1) If the trustee in the trustee’s best judgment determines that a sale of the real property will not generate proceeds sufficient to fund the distributions required under subsection (d)(1) and (2) of this section, the trustee shall timely inform the court of that determination.

(2) Upon receipt of the trustee’s determination as described in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the court shall:

(A) Rescind the trustee’s appointment and the order to sell the real property;

(B) Issue a final judgment foreclosing the right of redemption in accordance with the provisions of § 47-1382; and

(C) Require the purchaser to pay such fees and expenses of the trustee as the court determines appropriate.


(Dec. 4, 2014, D.C. Law 20-141, § 101(c)(30), 61 DCR 7763; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c)(30), 7104, 61 DCR 9990.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 7112(c)(30) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 7102(c)(30) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as enacted by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102, see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-461, November 6, 2014, 61 DCR 11784, 20 STAT 4368).

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 7102(c)(30) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-587, January 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1294, 21 STAT 758).


§ 47–1383. Obtaining possession.

Subject to the rights of tenants under residential leases described in § 47-1382(a), a person who acquires a deed to real property under this chapter is entitled to issuance of a writ of possession of the real property as if the person had obtained a judgment awarding possession of the real property.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).


§ 47–1384. Construction of chapter.

Notwithstanding any other law, if a court determines that any provision of this chapter is ambiguous, the provision shall be liberally construed as remedial legislation to encourage the foreclosure of the right of redemption by suits in the Superior Court and for the decreeing of marketable titles to real property sold by the Mayor.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334; Dec. 4, 2014, D.C. Law 20-141, § 101(c)(31), 61 DCR 7763; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, §§ 7102(c), 7104, 61 DCR 9990.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-141, repealed before its effective date, would have added “Notwithstanding any other law, if a court determines that any provision of this chapter is ambiguous.”

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 substituted “if a court determines that any provision of this chapter is ambiguous, the provision” for “the provisions of this chapter.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(oo) of Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-381, June 6, 2002, 49 DCR 5674).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-456, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8107).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(pp) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-510, October 23, 2002, 49 DCR 10247).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(32) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-342, May 28, 2014, 61 DCR 5691).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7112(c)(31) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(c)(32) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-409, Aug. 1, 2014, 61 DCR 8281).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(31) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102, see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-461, November 6, 2014, 61 DCR 11784, 20 STAT 4368).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7102(c)(31) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(c), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-587, January 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1294, 21 STAT 758).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).

Editor's Notes

D.C. Law 20-141 became effective on Dec. 4, 2014, but was repealed prior to its effective date by emergency D.C. Act 20-377, § 7114, eff. July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, by emergency D.C. Act 20-449, § 7104, eff. October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, by emergency D.C. Act 20-566, § 7104, eff. January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, and by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7104, 61 DCR 9990.


§ 47–1385. Transition provisions; applicability of chapter.

Chapter 13 [of this title] shall apply to any tax sale made or instituted, and any agreement executed between the District and any third party with respect to such sale, before January 1, 2001. This chapter shall apply to any tax sale made or instituted (or which could have been made or instituted), and any agreement executed between the District and any third party with respect to such sale, after December 31, 2000.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 507(a)(2), 48 DCR 334.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-22, March 16, 2001, 48 DCR 2706).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 7 of Real Property Tax Clarity and Litter Control Administration Temporary Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-8, June 13, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 5916).

Editor's Notes

D.C. Law 20-141 became effective on Dec. 4, 2014, but was repealed prior to its effective date by emergency D.C. Act 20-377, § 7114, eff. July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, by emergency D.C. Act 20-449, § 7104, eff. October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, by emergency D.C. Act 20-566, § 7104, eff. January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, and by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7104, 61 DCR 9990.

D.C. Law 20-141, effective Dec. 4, 2014, would have added § 47-1390, concerning the Office of Real Property Tax Sale Review; however, D.C. Law 20-141 was repealed prior to its effective date by emergency D.C. Act 20-377, § 7114, eff. July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, by emergency D.C. Act 20-449, § 7104, eff. October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, by emergency D.C. Act 20-566, § 7104, eff. January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, and by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7104, 61 DCR 9990.

§ 47-1390 Office of Real Property Sale Review. [Repealed].

[Repealed.]

(Dec. 4, 2014, D.C. Law 20-141, § 101(c)(32)(A), 61 DCR 7763; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7104, 61 DCR 9990.)