County tax foreclosure auctions are held to collect unpaid real estate taxes. This page explains the auction process and what information may be needed if you are interested in purchasing property at a tax foreclosure auction. Information on mortgage foreclosures is not included here.
This site is provided by the Johnson County Legal Department for general information. It is not intended as legal advice or as a complete statement of the law regarding tax foreclosures. The procedures described in this outline are subject to change at any time, without notice, depending upon changes in state law or County policies. It is your responsibility to determine and verify all information that you may need, or upon which you may rely, with respect to any property.
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Frequent Questions About Tax Foreclosure Auctions
How do I find out what properties will be in the next tax sale auction?
A list of the properties and maps for the properties will become available for viewing approximately 30 days before the auction. The list will also be published in the Kansas City Star once a week for three weeks prior to the auction.
If my property is in the auction, can I remove it?
Any property in the auction may be redeemed and removed from the auction by no later than 5 p.m. the day before the auction. The property may be redeemed by contacting Johnson County Department of Treasury, Taxation and Vehicles to receive the redemption amount to be paid and file an application for redemption pursuant to K.S.A. 79-2803.
When and where will the auction be held?
The date, time and location of the auction and registration requirements will be provided once an auction date and time are set. This information will also be published in the Kansas City Star once a week for three weeks prior to the auction.
What types of property are in the auctions?
Several types of property will be offered for sale at the auction. Some have buildings or houses; some are commercial properties; some are residential; some are vacant; some are very small strips of land. It is the buyer’s responsibility to research the property to determine whether it is suitable for the buyer.
What type of research should I do before bidding on a property?
While the buyer is responsible for researching properties to determine if they are suitable for use, the following are some examples of information that may be useful prior to purchase:
- Determine the location and type of property;
- Check with the city and county for zoning, building restrictions and special assessments;
- Check with the county appraiser for appraised value and current tax rates;
- Check with the Department of Treasury, Taxation and Vehicles for easements and restrictive covenants; and
- View the property. Please note: Ownership of the property remains with the current owner(s) until the sale has been confirmed by the court. THEREFORE, YOU MAY NOT ENTER THE PROPERTY WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF THE OWNER(S).
Will the properties be sold for the amount of taxes owed?
The properties may sell for more or may sell for less. However, the County may choose to bid an amount up to the amount of the taxes owed, thereby setting a minimum bid.
Who can buy properties at the auction?
Generally, state law prohibits people from buying at the auction who:
- Owe delinquent taxes in Johnson County;
- Have an interest in the property, such as the owners, certain lien holders, relatives, or officers in a corporation which owns the property; and
- Buy the property with the intent to transfer it to someone who is prohibited from bidding.
All bidders must execute an affidavit, under oath, stating they meet the statutory qualifications for bidding on tax foreclosure property. Download an affidavit form. Interested bidders may review, print, and complete a copy of the affidavit.
When do I pay for the property I purchase?
All the properties must be paid for in full on the day of the sale. Only cash, cashier’s check, or money order made payable to Johnson County Sheriff will be accepted. Personal checks will not be accepted. The buyer must also pay the fee for filing the deed with Department of Treasury, Taxation and Vehicles. The buyer will receive a receipt for payment on the day of the sale.
When do I receive a deed to the property I purchase?
The Sheriff will issue a Sheriff’s Deed approximately 30 days after the court confirms the sale. A hearing will be held four to six weeks after the auction. If the court does not confirm the sale, the purchase amount will be refunded.
If the property has a federal lien, a deed will not be issued until the expiration of the federal redemption period of 120 days after the sale if the federal agency chooses not to redeem the property. If the property is redeemed the purchase amount will be refunded.
When can a buyer take possession of the property purchased at auction?
Once the buyer receives a signed and recorded Sheriff’s Deed, they can take possession of the property. If the previous owner is still living on the property, a buyer must follow Kansas law in order to take possession.
What happens to properties that do not sell at the auction? May they be purchased directly from Johnson County?
In the event a property is not sold at auction, Johnson County may offer the property again at the next auction. Offers to purchase a property that did not sell at public auction may be accepted in accordance with K.S.A. 79-2803a and 79-2803b.
Does Johnson County allow investors to purchase at tax auctions without attending the tax auction?
Yes, but the investor's agent must register prior to the auction and must attend and bid at the auction. Further, if the investor is the successful bidder, the investor must execute the required affidavit in the allotted time --generally within 48 hours after the auction. All bidders must register prior to the auction. Registration will be held the morning of the auction. The successful bidders and buyers must execute an affidavit, under oath, that they meet the statutory qualifications for bidding on tax auction property.
Once a property is purchased at the tax auction, is there a redemption period before the purchaser may take possession?
No. Some properties are subject to federal lien. The federal agency may redeem the property during the applicable federal redemption period. A deed will not be issued by the Sheriff until expiration of the federal redemption period and only if the federal agency does not redeem the property.
Further, the buyer cannot take possession of the property until they receive a Sheriff’s Deed. If a previous owner still occupies the property, a buyer must follow Kansas law in order to take possession.
What type of ownership document is issued at the auction?
The buyer will receive a receipt for payment on the day of the auction. The court will hold a hearing approximately three weeks after the auction to determine whether to confirm the auction sales.
Does Johnson County offer a financial program?