219 Kenwood Holdings, LLC, (Kenwood) appealed the judgment of the trial court finding that Properties 2006, LLC, (Properties 2006) substantially complied with the requirements of Indiana Code section 6-1.1-25-4.5(e). Subsection (e) requires that the purchaser of property sold at a tax sale notify the owner of record of, among other things, the purchaser’s intent to petition for a tax deed on or after a specified date. Finding that the trial court did not err in its determination that Properties 2006 substantially complied with the requirements of this statute, the Court of Appeals affirmed. Kenwood Holdings vs Properties 2006.
Kenwood was the owner of record of property located at 219 Kenwood Avenue in Hammond (the Property) on April 25, 2013. On that date, the Property was sold in a tax sale to Unexpected Holdings, LLC, as a result of Kenwood’s delinquency in its payment of taxes. Unexpected Holdings, LLC, received a certificate of sale and assigned its rights under this certificate to Properties 2006.
On June 21, 2013, Properties 2006 sent Kenwood notice of its purchase and its intent to petition for a tax deed as required by Indiana Code section 6-1.1-25-4.5. The notice contained the statement: “A petition for a tax deed will be filed on or after August 24, 2013.” Appellee’s Br. p. 1. Kenwood contacted several potential lenders in an attempt to secure a loan to redeem the Property but was eventually unsuccessful. On August 30, 2013, Properties 2006 notified Kenwood that it had petitioned for a tax deed as required by Indiana Code section 6-1.1-25-4.6. 3
On September 25, 2013, Kenwood filed a Verified Objection to Petition for Tax Deed in the trial court, arguing that the first notice sent by Properties 2006 did not meet the requirements of Indiana Code section 6-1.1-25-4.5(e). The trial court held a bench trial on December 9, 2013, and found that Properties 2006 had substantially complied with the statute.
“It is the date of petitioning that the statute is concerned with, not the date of issuance. Properties 2006’s statement informed Kenwood of the date on which it planned to petition for a tax deed. The statement makes clear that Properties 2006 intended to file this petition on August 24, 2013. Therefore, Properties 2006 fully complied with subsection (e),” Judge John Baker wrote.
The judges also rejected Kenwood’s assertion that the requirements of subdivisions (1) and (2) cannot be satisfied by one statement alone but must be broken into two sentences.