Tax Lien Sale Information
Arapahoe County Tax Lien Auction
Our Tax Lien Sale will be conducted online again this year. For those of you new to the process, try visiting our practice site. Just click on a parcel to see all the property information from the assessor's office. Compare properties, and ask questions by phone.
During the auction, emails and phone inquiries submitted during business hours are answered immediately. You can place your bids online, watch and re-bid, and have multiple opportunities to bid. We will be making two computers available in our building during office hours for those of you who wish to come in and bid. You can still participate fully, even if you don’t have a computer!
You will register for the sale by submitting some basic information such as your name, address, etc. From the information gathered, an IRS W-9 form will be completed for you and passed along to the county. You will then need to deposit 10 percent of the amount you want to spend on winning bids. Our secure tax sale website will guide you through this process using our step-by-step deposit wizard. The tax sale website will open for the 2020 Tax Lien Sale on October 7, 2020.
To get started, register online. It is very important that the Treasurer’s Office has up-to-date information for all of our tax lien buyers. If you have purchased tax liens in the past and wish to maintain your current tax lien buyer number, you must register, whether or not you plan to participate this year.
If you are not a current tax lien holder and choose not to register, your record may be removed from our system so that our files will be current. If you, family members, or business associates, have historically purchased tax liens under more than one tax lien buyer number, please make sure that all of them are registered. You do not have to make a deposit to register.
Making a Deposit
Next, make your deposit on the website by creating an electronic check. For example, if you wish to invest $8,000 in tax liens, go to the deposit wizard, enter the required bank account information, and type in the amount you wish to be deposited. In this case for $8,000, type in $800 to be deposited into the tax sale. $800 is $8,000 times 10 percent (8000 X .10).
This money will move from your bank to your account in the tax sale via the Automated Clearing House system (ACH - electronic check). If you don't win any bids, the money will be returned approximately two weeks after the auction ends.
Calculating Your Winnings
You will win only those tax liens up to your original amount. For example, if you planned to spend $8,000 and deposited $800, when you have won $8,000 in tax liens, your remaining bids will be automatically withdrawn. At the close of the sale, you will be notified of your winning bids and must pay the remaining amount due. In the example shown, $7,200 must come from your bank account through the same ACH process no later than 4:00 p.m. MST of the payment deadline in order to be awarded the Certificate(s) of Purchase for the tax lien(s) you won.
One advantage of this system is that you can bid more than your bankroll, without going over. This increases the chance of spending every penny, without the risk of going over. If you bid on every tax lien you would like, up to the amount you think it’s worth, you will likely invest every penny of your bankroll. There is no chance of going over if you deposit only 10 percent of your bankroll.
The Winning Bidder
The auction program will calculate the winning bidder of each lien, determined by the highest premium bid. Bids close on different liens throughout the auction period. The closing time for each bid is listed on the auction website. The highest bidder buys the tax lien for $1 more than the second highest bid, but no more than the winning bid. For example, if the highest bid is $1,240 and the second highest bid is $1,100, the highest bidder buys the tax lien for $1,101. Bid the highest amount for which you are willing to spend on the tax lien. This is very useful for those who want to put their bids in early.
Failure to Pay
Any bidder who fails to pay for a winning bid will lose the right to bid and forfeit the winning bid. The next highest bidder will be awarded the tax lien. If an ACH transaction fails for a legitimate reason (mistyped account number, for example), we have been very successful at allowing the bidder to resubmit funds, but they must do so by wire transfer or certified check within 24 hours of the notice of failure.
The interest rate is determined by September 1 of each year, and is nine points above the federal discount rate. The interest rate for the 2020 tax lien sale has not yet been determined.
Tax Lien Buyer Assignment
All tax lien holders must be registered as tax lien buyers. If a tax lien holder wishes to assign his/her tax lien to someone who is not already a registered tax lien buyer, the person to whom the assignment is made must register before the assignment can be processed. When our files have been updated, the assignment will be processed.
Arapahoe County makes no guarantee of the condition or marketability of any property that is ultimately acquired via a Treasurer's Deed.