All 50 states either A) Seize title to the real estate (called a tax deed) and sell it at public auction, or B) Sell the delinquent tax amount (called a tax lien) to an investor, who, for his or her investment, makes a statutory interest percentage rate on their investment (anywhere from 10-30% depending on the jurisdiction). With tax liens, interest accrues for the tax lien investor until a specified number of years after the sale, and if the homeowner doesn’t pay back the investor his/her costs PLUS all the accrued interest, the investor may foreclose on the real estate and get the title “Source: American Dream Homes, Inc.

Local governments levy property taxes on real property owners in order to fund services it provides to its residents, like water, sewer, schools, etc. State law (in all 50 states) mandate how long a property owner has passed the due date before it takes the most drastic measures to recoup the lost tax revenue.