Pursuant to Revised Missouri Statutes Chapter 140, any real estate that has three years delinquent taxes must be offered for sale to discharge the lien for the delinquent and unpaid taxes. Said properties are duly advertised in the Unterrified Democrat as provided for is RSMo 140.170. The taxpayer has the opportunity to pay the taxes in full prior to the sale; therefore, removing it from the sale. The tax sale is held on one day out of each year – the 4th Monday in August, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Buying property at tax sale is very risky and has restrictions. The tax sale is very different than foreclosure sales conducted on the courthouse steps by trustees for lending institutions. In a foreclosure sale, immediate possession and title to the property is received. The successful bidder at tax sale receives a Certificate of Purchase, which may be sold or assigned. The owner or other person having an interest therein may REDEEM the property at any time within ONE YEAR after the date of sale by paying to the county collector the full sum of the purchase money together with 10% interest on the amount of back taxes plus all costs paid the day of the sale, and 8% on any subsequent taxes paid by the certificate holder. (RSMo 140.340) At the end of the one year, the certificate holder is eligible for a Collector’s Deed after providing a title search on the property. At least 90 days prior to the date when the holder is authorized to acquire the deed, the holder must notify by certified mail with return receipt any person who holds a publicly recorded deed of trust, mortgage, lease, lien, or claim upon that real estate. (RSMo 140.405) Anyone who has a lien or mortgage may pay such taxes. (RSMo 139.070)
The biggest limitation placed on property purchased at tax sale is by the title companies providing title insurance. The insurance underwriters place a restriction on the property for THIRTY YEARS that it was acquired at tax sale. This restriction may limit the ability to obtain a loan on the property or to sell the property. One explanation for this long-term restriction is set out in RSMo 140.350 stating that infants, incapacitated, or disabled persons may redeem their property within one year after expiration of such disability.
The certificate holder may contact the previous owner to sign a quit-claim deed or warranty deed, which would convey clear title and remove this restriction. The purchaser may also file for quiet title in the Circuit Court, which would also remove this restriction. It is strongly recommended by the Collector’s Office to seek legal advice regarding further information on your rights as a tax sale purchaser.
The day of the tax sale, all bidders must register in the Collector’s Office and complete an affidavit stating that they are not delinquent on any tax payments, and that they are a Missouri resident. If not a Missouri resident, prior to the sale, the bidder must appoint a citizen of said County as agent, and consent in writing to the jurisdiction of the Circuit court of the County. (RSMo 140.190)
The sale is conducted in a public auction style with an opening bid of the amount to cover all taxes, interest, and charges thereon. The purchaser shall immediately pay the amount of bid to the Collector, and will receive a Certificate of Purchase. Future tax bills will be mailed in care of the purchaser, but will remain in the previous owner’s name until a Collector’s Deed is issued as previously outlined. Any surplus paid may be claimed by the previous owner of the property; however, in the event the surplus is not called for, at the end of three years, the funds are distributed among the schools in the county. (RSMo 140.230)
The purchaser of any tract of land, homesteads excepted, shall at any time after ONE YEAR from the date of tax sale be entitled to the immediate POSSESSION of the premises; however, any present owner or occupant may make written agreement with the purchaser. (RSMo 140.310) NO COMPENSATION FOR IMPROVEMENTS will be given to the purchaser if this property is redeemed. (RSMo 140.360)
Doris J. Keilholz
Osage County Collector
205 E Main Street – Administration Building
P.O. Box 616
Linn, Missouri 65051
Phone: 573/897-2135 ext 120
Fax : 573/897-3706