Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals clarified to what address a notice of intent to foreclose a real property tax lien must be sent in its decision dated July 27, 2011 in Advanced Property Tax Liens v. Sherman. Advanced had purchased a property tax certificate on the Shermans’ property and after waiting the statutory period, mailed out a notice of intent to foreclose in accordance with the applicable statute, ARS 42-18202. The statute requires that the notice be mailed to “the property owner of record according to the records of the county recorder . . .” Advanced took this to mean that one determined not only the identity of the owner from the records of the county recorder, but you also use the address of the owner in the records of the county recorder. This resulted in Advanced having sent its notice of intent to foreclose to the address of a property which the Shermans had sold 5 years earlier. The Court noted that there were alternative means of notice all of which “could be reasonably satisfied and objectively proven, while at the same time achieving a high probability that the notice . . . will reach the property owner.” The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Shermans, setting aside the judgment of foreclosure. The moral of the story is leave finding people to the professionals. Advanced is no doubt quite experienced in tax lien foreclosures, but they tried to save money by cutting a corner by sending out the notice to what was, to them, the obvious address. When they hired a process server to serve the foreclosure lawsuit, he told them the old address was no longer good and they still proceeded without correcting their previous error. They should have used the process server to find the Shermans for the first, statutorily required notice. If the Shermans were to redeem, they would have to pay that cost, anyway. Don’t be cheap, especially when the other side must reimburse you.