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Buying Tax Foreclosure
Property On The
Courthouse Steps (PDF)

Document Updated 
June 2014


Jackson County held a delinquent tax sales in August of 2015. The sale at the Eastern Jackson County Courthouse in Independence began Monday, August 17, 2015, and the sale at the Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City began Monday, August 24, 2015.


In order to bid at the sale, a registration form must be submitted not less than 10 days prior to the sale. Download the registration form and related notice. Jackson County employees are ineligible to bid on delinquent tax sale properties.

Taxpayers may contact the Jackson County Collection Department about payment options. Not all properties published will be available on the auction list at the time of the sale.


If a real estate parcel has a delinquent tax that is three years old, that property faces a foreclosure sale to recover back taxes. Jackson County may file a lawsuit seeking a judgment of foreclosure for unpaid delinquent taxes.  If the Court agrees with the County’s action, the Court will issue a judgment granting the foreclosure order. The property owner has several opportunities to redeem their property before it is sold in a tax sale.

First, the property owner could pay the taxes, penalties and associated suit cost in full anytime prior to the sale to remove the property from the tax sale process. This payment must be made in person by cash, certified funds or Discover card over the counter. (Other credit card types over the counter may be allowed in the future.)

In the alternative, the owner of a property pending sale for delinquent taxes may enter into a payment contract to avoid the sale of their property. These contracts may be entered only after the judgment of foreclosure, and will normally require an upfront payment and installment payments thereafter. If this property owner chooses not to enter into a contract, or did enter into a contract and later defaulted on those installment payments, the property will proceed in the sale process.


Notices of the intent to sell properties on the courthouse steps are mailed to the last property owners on record with Jackson County and other interested parties such as escrow companies with deeds of trust. A notice of the sale and a legal description of the properties to be offered are published in a local newspaper for four consecutive weeks prior to sale. A scheduled sale parcel will appear in the paper for four weeks even though a property owner may have paid the delinquent tax after the first week of publication.

The Jackson County Circuit Court Administrator generally conducts two delinquent tax sales each year, one at each of the Courthouses. These sales will be in an auction format and all prospective bidders must pre-register at least 10 days before the scheduled auction. In order to become a bidder, the registration form must be submitted to the Department of Civil Process (1305 Locust, Kansas City, MO 64106, 816-881-3095) 10 days prior to the sale. Download the registration form and related notice.


Any bidder at auction shall be responsible for and shall be presumed to have performed all research necessary for any properties on which they intend to bid. Such research may include but not be limited to, a determination of whether the property contains a building which has been deemed a dangerous building or has other taxes or judgments due. The purchaser is responsible for any additional taxes that are owed against the property that are not included in the judgment, as well as any other taxes owed to a city or other governmental unit which may not have been made a part of the County’s records or other legal proceedings, such as mechanic’s liens & Federal liens. Bidders are advised to bring ample cash or certified funds payable to the Court Administrator to buy their researched property. Personal checks, business checks, and lines of credit will not be accepted. Successful bidders will not receive the deed to the property until the Circuit Court holds a confirmation hearing to make sure that no properties were sold for substantially less than their true value as determined by a professional appraiser.

If the court finds everything in order at the confirmation hearing, the Court Administrator will record the deed at a later date. However, in the event the Court is not satisfied with the sale process or the sale price of a property, the Court may delay the confirmation until any defects of sale are corrected or the bidder increases their bid in order to constitute adequate consideration for sale. In the event adequate consideration is not offered to the satisfaction of the Court or the Court concludes the defects of sale cannot be corrected, the Court may decide to invalidate the sale until a later date.

There is a statutory period of limitation after the sale and confirmation during which a legal challenge could still be raised questioning the procedures the County followed in selling the property. In the event that such a challenge is successful, the property could revert to the original owner and the Court would then order a refund of the purchase price. Though not required, a bidder may wish to consult with their attorney regarding the legal alternatives before purchasing a property at a tax foreclosure sale auction. Neither the courts, the County Counselor’s Office nor the Court Administrator’s Office will provide such legal guidance to a bidder or property owner.



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