Karl James Thanks for your input, Karl. I should clarify the situation a bit. The county does allow online tax payments in most situations. However, the property I'm looking at has already gone into foreclosure, and is nearing the end of the two year redemption period. In this case, according to the assessor's website, "During the redemption period, payments may only be accepted from parties with a recorded interest in the property at the date of the judgment. Payment by Certified funds (cash or cashier's check) is required..." and online payment is not accepted at this point. This complicates things, but also presents a nice opportunity. The seller is literally about to lose their property completely, and have nothing to show for it (except a negative recording on their credit report). I'm happy to pay the delinquent taxes, and put some money in the seller's pocket, but I'm trying to figure out how to do this in a way that ensures the taxes do get paid (since the seller has to make the payment) and ownership is transferred. I'd like to be sure that when I send the money to pay the delinquent taxes, the seller doesn't just put the money in their pocket and break contact. The money I'm offering for the property is quite a bit more than the delinquent tax amount, but that's doesn't guarantee that they'll do the sensible and honorable thing.
By the way, Karl, I just wanted to say that I've read several of your posts and watched an interview you did with Seth Williams, and I'd like to thank you for all the great information you've shared!