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Real Estate Tax Lien Questions

1. How often are tax lien sales held? Once a year. 

 2. How many real estate parcels were taxed in El Paso County for the 2016 taxes payable in 2017? 240,406
 3.  How many tax liens did you advertise for sale in 2017? 3,022
 4. How many tax liens were sold in 2017? 2018 (1,437 were sold in Category 2-Automatic Rotation)
 5. What was the total dollar amount of tax liens sold in 2017? $2,815,572.44

How many buyers participated in the 2017 tax sale?

417  (400 in the Automatic Rotation)
 7. How many tax liens were not purchased? 45
 8. What happens to unsold tax liens? Unsold tax liens are struck to the County and are available for assignment.


Is a list of unsold tax liens available? Yes.  The list of County Held Tax Liens is available on our website: or a hardcopy may be requested from our office for a $5.00 fee made payable to the El Paso County Treasurer.
10.  What will be the interest rate for liens sold in 2017?

11%.  The annual rate of interest is set nine percentage points above the discount rate effective October 1st each year per 39-12-103 (3) C.R.S.

11. When will your next tax sale be held? October 23 and 24, 2018.
12. When and where are the tax liens to be sold advertised? The list of unpaid real estate taxes is published in the El Paso County Advertiser and News.  The publication dates for the 2017 sale were September 20, September 27, and October 4, 2017.
13. When I purchase a tax lien what type of documentation do I receive? 

 A report which shows the reference number of the lien purchased, the book and certificate number of each lien purchased, the amount of the lien, the amount of any bonus bid, and the schedule number of the property..

14. Do I have to be present at the sale to buy tax liens? Only for the Open Bidding.  Buyers cannot be present for the Automatic Rotation Selling. 
15. May I send a representative to purchase tax liens for me in the Open Bidding portion of your sale? Yes.
16. What do I have to do to be able to buy tax liens at your tax sale?

You must be a registered tax sale buyer with our office, have money on deposit, and complete an Automatic Rotation Authorization & Allocation form.  Forms are available on our website. Automatic Rotation Selling Authorization and Allocation of Tax Sale Deposit Form.   W-9; Buyer Registration Form. 

17. When does your office accept tax sale deposits and new buyer registrations? Beginning two weeks prior to the sale date.
18. May I write a personal or business check for my tax sale deposit? NO. Deposits MUST be in the form of certified funds, i.e. cashier's check, cash, money order, or wire transfer.  Contact our office for wiring instructions: (719) 520-7900 or
19. How much do I have to put on deposit? The amount you are willing to invest in tax liens.
20. How are the tax liens offered at your sale? Tax liens are sold in four (4) categories. Sale procedure information is available on our website under "Tax Lien Sale".
21. May I endorse subsequent year taxes onto my existing tax liens? Yes.  A report will be mailed to you with the endorsement (sub-tax) amounts the first week of July.
22. What is the redemption period of a tax lien? Three (3) years from the original sale date.
23. If the tax lien isn't redeemed within the three (3) year period what do I do? You may apply for a tax deed to the property.  Application may be made four (4) months prior to the third anniversary of the sale date.
24. Is there a fee to apply for a tax deed? Yes.  The deed application fee is $400.00 per tax lien sale certificate of purchase. 
25. Do tax liens expire? Yes.  Unredeemed tax liens will expire on the 15th anniversary of the sale date. 
26. What do I receive from a tax deed? The issuance of a valid tax deed creates new title to the property.  The recipient should establish their interest in the property through a suit to quiet title.
27. Can a tax deed be challenged? Yes.  Action may be brought within five (5) years of the date of issuance, or within nine (9) years if a person is under legal disability, to set aside a tax deed.
28. What governs tax sales in your County?  Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS), Title 39, Articles 10, 11 & 12.
29 What happens to tax lien sale overbids? Per 39-11-115 CRS, the excess amount is credited to the county general fund and is not recovered by the investor.