As a real estate investor looking to get involved in Pennsylvania upset tax sales, it’s essential to understand the ins and outs of tax deed sales. This knowledge can help you avoid costly mistakes and lead you to profitable investments. But with all the information out there, it can be challenging to know where to begin. That’s why we’ve created this ultimate guide to Pennsylvania Upset Sales, covering everything you need to know to make informed decisions and succeed in this competitive market.

Is Pennsylvania a Tax Lien or Tax Deed State

Pennsylvania is a tax deed sale state–holding Judicial and Upset Sales throughout each county in the state to collect payment for unpaid property taxes.

Understanding Pennsylvania Tax Deed Sales

Pennsylvania tax deed sales occur when property owners fail to pay their real estate taxes for a specific period, usually two years or more. If the taxes remain unpaid, the property is put up for auction at an upset tax sale. At the auction, the property is sold to the highest bidder, who assumes possession of the property and any existing liens or encumbrances that survive the tax sale. The delinquent tax payer losses their interest in the property and the winning bidder assumes all the responsibility to satisfy all liens, encumbrances, and mortgages in the properties chain of title.

Upset Sales vs Judicial Sale in Pennsylvania

Upset Sales in PA are held once per year for properties that have been delinquent on their taxes for two years. These properties first appear within the Upset sale when they go up for auction.  If the properties are not sold during the Upset Sale–they will be put up for bidding at a later scheduled Judicial Sale.

Properties that are sold at the Judicial sale are sold free and clear of most liens and encumbrances, including a mortgage, as long as each owner and lienholder has been properly notified of the sale ahead of time.


When PA Upset Sales Happen

We’ve assembled a list for links that have Upset Sales within the State of Pennsylvania.  Keep in mind, Upset Sales in PA typically happen during the month of September every year. You’ll want to mark your calendars and get ready after your Labor Day celebrations.

Links to counties in PA with Upset Sales:


  1. Wayne county

  2. Delaware county

  3. Erie county

  4. Bucks county

  5. Fayette county

  6. Cambria county

  7. Berks county


Bidding and Winning Pennsylvania Tax Sales

When bidding at an upset tax sale, it’s important to set a budget and stick to it. The highest bidder wins the auction, but they also assume any liens or encumbrances. Be sure to do your due diligence before bidding, as costs can add up quickly. Winning a property at an upset tax sale requires full payment within a specified period, usually 10 days. Failure to do so will result in losing the property and forfeiting your deposit.


After Winning a Pennsylvania Tax Sale

After winning a Pennsylvania upset tax sale, the real work begins. You’ll need to address any liens or encumbrances on the property and secure any necessary permits for improvements. You’ll also want to assess the property’s condition and make any necessary repairs or upgrades to increase its value. Be prepared to invest time and money into the property to make it profitable.


Does a Tax Sale Wipe Out a Mortgage in PA

Properties sold at an Upset Sale will not extinguish a mortgage however a property sold at a Judicial sale in PA will wipe out a mortgage as long as the lien holders were properly notified ahead of time.


Tips for Succeeding in Pennsylvania Tax Deed Sales

To succeed in Pennsylvania tax deed sales, it’s important to educate yourself on the process and stay up to date on any changes in the market. Network with other real estate investors and attend tax sales to gain an understanding of the competition and identify potential investment opportunities. An excellent way to stay informed is by regularly reading industry blogs and publications.



Pennsylvania tax deed sales can be a profitable investment strategy for real estate investors, but it requires due diligence, research, and patience. It’s essential to understand the process, research properties thoroughly, set a budget, and assess the property’s condition after winning the auction. By following these tips and staying informed, you can succeed in Pennsylvania tax deed sales and make profitable investments.