What is a Tax Fi Fa?

A property tax fi fa is a lien placed against a piece of property for failure to pay taxes when due. Literally, "fieri facias," means "cause it to be done." Another term is "execution." This is a judicial writ directing the sheriff to satisfy a judgment (such as unpaid delinquent taxes on real or personal property) from the debtor's property. By law, a fi fa may be assessed against the property as early as 30 days after the due date. It may be recorded in the office of the Clerk of Court once the taxpayer has received a 30-day notice of such action.

Because a fi fa indicates a late payment or non-payment of a bill, it may affect the credit standing of the property owner(s). Therefore, prompt payment of property tax bills, like any other bill, should be taken seriously. In addition, the fi fa increases the amount due by $6.50 for bills $100 and under and $10.00 for bills over $100.

If a fi fa has been recorded in the Clerk's office, it is marked "Cancelled and Satisfied" when the tax bill (including accrued late fees) is paid, but it is still left on the books as a matter of public record.