Each August, Missouri County Collectors offer for sale parcels of real estate for which real estate taxes have gone unpaid.  Many buyers look at these sales as a chance to buy real estate for amounts far below market value.  However, before a purchaser is entitled to receive an actual deed to the property, he or she must comply with numerous technical statutory requirements.  In addition, problematic liens, probate and other court proceedings may make complying with state tax sale laws difficult for even the most experienced real estate professional.

It is advisable to seek advice from an experienced tax sale attorney before making the decision to bid on tax sale property.  Your attorney can help explain the statutory requirements you will be expected to meet if you are a successful bidder.  Your attorney can also assist you with reviewing the land records and/or court records prior to the tax sale to determine whether liens or court proceedings exist which might create additional problems above and beyond meeting the basic statutory requirements.  Understanding the process, and identifying any special circumstances, can help you prepare to meet the statutory requirements if you are a successful bidder, or it may help you to decide whether to even bid on a particular parcel of real estate.

If you are a successful bidder at a tax sale, then you should speak with an experienced tax sale attorney to make sure that you follow all of the numerous, technical statutory requirements in the tax sale laws.  Among other things, the statutes require you to obtain a title report to the property, and to give notice to those persons entitled to redeem an interest in the property.

Tax sales can sometimes offer some real bargains yet, in many ways, the tax sale statutes are extremely complicated. But, one principle remains very clear - if you fail to follow any applicable provision of the statutes, you will lose your entire interest in the property.  Accordingly, it is best to work with the experienced tax sale attorney of your choice both before and after you bid on property at a Missouri tax sale.


By: Cary L. Hansen


DID YOU KNOW?  is presented by Williams, Robinson, Rigler & Buschjost, PC as a public information service only.  None of the information contained herein is intended to be taken as legal advice.  Each matter depends on unique facts which attorneys must consider in forming an opinion, and may depend on laws unique to a particular jurisdiction.  No two cases are the same.  If you want to know more about this subject, contact Williams, Robinson, Rigler & Buschjost, PC, or the attorney of your choice, and seek a formal opinion about your particular case.

Williams, Robinson, Rigler & Buschjost, PC provides legal services in South-Central Missouri, serving Maries County (including Belle, Vienna & Vichy), Crawford County (including Cuba, Steelville, Bourbon), Dent County (including Salem, Lecoma, Bunker), Phelps County (including Rolla, St. James, Newburg, Doolittle, Edgar Springs), Texas County (including Licking, Houston, Raymondville, Summersville, Cabool), Pulaski County (Waynesville, St. Robert, Richland, Dixon, Crocker) and may provide legal service in other locations on request.

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