O.C.G.A. 48-4-5 Payment of excess
(a) If there are any excess funds after paying taxes, costs, and all expenses of a sale made by the tax commissioner, tax collector, or sheriff, or other officer holding excess funds, the officer selling the property shall give written notice of such excess funds to the record owner of the property at the time of the tax sale and to the record owner of each security deed affecting the property and to all other parties having any recorded equity interest or claim in such property at the time of the tax sale. Such notice shall be sent by first-class mail within 30 days after the tax sale. The notice shall contain a description of the land sold, the date sold, the name and address of the tax sale purchaser, the total sale price, and the amount of excess funds collected and held by the tax commissioner, tax collector, sheriff, or other officer. The notice shall state that the excess funds are available for distribution to the owner or owners as their interests appear in the order of priority in which their interests exist.
(b) The tax commissioner, tax collector, sheriff, or other officer may file, when deemed necessary, an interpleader action in superior court for the payment of the amount of such excess funds. Such excess funds shall be distributed by the superior court to the intended parties, including the owner, as their interests appear and in the order of priority in which their interests exist. The cost of litigation of such an interpleader action, including reasonable attorney’s fees, shall be paid from the excess funds upon order of the court.
(c) After five years have elapsed from the tax sale date, the tax commissioner, tax collector, sheriff, or other officer holding excess funds shall pay over to the department any excess unclaimed funds and for which no action or proceeding is pending in a claim for payment. Once excess funds are placed in the possession of the department, only a court order from an interpleader action filed in the county where the tax sale occurred, by the claimant for the funds, shall serve as justification for release of the funds.