Real property and mobile home delinquent taxes are enforced through the annual Tax Lien Sale.
It is the buyers’ responsibility to know the quality of the property on which they are paying the taxes and receiving a lien.

Buyers must rely entirely on their own information, judgment, and inspection of the property records.


What is a Tax Lien?

A tax lien is a legal claim that the government has on your property including real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, and other investments. Learn more about tax liens.

Real Auction

Our Annual Tax Lien Sale has been moved online to Real Auction! Read more about Real Auction!

Tax Lien Sale

The Tax Lien Sale is the final step in the effort to collect taxes on real property and mobile homes. The following information is offered to answer your questions regarding the sale. If you have any additional questions please call us at 719-520-7900.

The interest rate for the 2023 tax lien sale is 15%.

The 2023 Tax Lien Sale will be held Tuesday, October 17th on the internet. The sale will be administered by RealAuction, and is conducted with the goal of fairness and efficiency.

The tax sale site will be open for registration in October.

Training sessions are available through Real Auction. Training dates are October 4th and 10th. Anyone interested in training must register at

The list of taxes available to purchase at the tax lien sale is advertised for three consecutive weeks prior to the sale in the Colorado Springs Gazette. The list will also be available on our website in mid-September and will be updated weekly.

The interest rate offered at each year’s tax sale is nine points above the discount rate set on September 1. The interest rate for the 2023 tax lien sale will be 15%, which accrues monthly for the duration of the outstanding tax lien.

You are purchasing the taxes due on a property. This does not give you ownership or legal rights to the property in any way. Most people participate in the sale because the interest rates are much better than those offered in savings accounts or CDs. Fewer than 1% of all tax liens actually end up going to deed. Individuals wishing to obtain property may wish to contact the Public Trustee regarding foreclosure sales.

Any taxes not sold at the sale are held by the county and are, in some cases, available to purchase through the Treasurer’s Office. These generally involve properties of low value such as un-buildable strips of land or open space.

Approximately two weeks later you will receive a copy of your Certificates of Purchase.

If the taxes for the following year become delinquent, you will be given the opportunity in August to endorse the taxes onto the certificates you hold. This enables you to pay the delinquent taxes and add them to your existing tax lien certificate of purchase without attending the tax lien sale. You will receive the same interest rate on the subsequent taxes as you did on the original tax sale purchase. If your certificates are eligible for endorsement, you will be notified by mail in August.

When the taxes are redeemed, you will receive a check for the amount of your certificate plus interest. The Treasurer’s Office prefers to keep all original Certificates of Purchase, however if the Certificate of Purchase is in your possession, you will need to return it to our office. Upon receipt of the Certificate, you will receive a check, which will include the amount of tax you purchased plus the interest that has accrued from the day of sale to the date of redemption. You are not refunded for any premium bids that were paid.

The redemption period is three years from the year of the original tax sale. Certificates sold in 2021 are eligible for application of a Treasurer’s Deed in 2024. It is not required that three consecutive years of taxes be due. It is only required that the original lien remain unpaid for the three year redemption period.

In January, you will receive a 1099 showing the interest you earned for the year on your Certificates of Purchase that were redeemed. We are required to report interest paid to our investors to the Internal Revenue Service on an annual basis. Please be sure to let us know if you have a change of address so that we can get your 1099 form and your redemption checks to the correct address.

Copies of the Colorado State Statutes are available online or at your local library. We are unable to provide copies of the statutes at this time.

Tax Sale Proceedings

The El Paso County tax lien sale will be held Oct. 17, 2023 on the internet at El The sale will be administered by Realauction, and is conducted with the goal of fairness and efficiency. Questions regarding the online sale should be directed to Realauction at 877-361-7325 or emailed to Any questions regarding the tax sale process or the property taxes being sold should be directed to the El Paso County Treasurer’s Office at 719-520-7900.

All tax liens on real property are sold at the online auction with a premium bid, those premium bids are not paid back to the investor, nor do they earn redemption interest. The interest rate for the 2023 tax liens will be 15%. Successful bidders at the online sale pay the total advertised price (which includes the delinquent tax, interest, advertising fee and a $16 certificate fee), as well as a premium bid.

A preliminary list of the tax liens available for sale will be posted in September on

ElPaso – RealTaxLien (, and will be updated routinely through the morning of the tax lien sale.

All potential bidders must register before the sale date, which is the official start of the sale. Registration will include the completion of an IRS required W-9 form, as well as acceptance of a User Agreement. To begin bidding you will be required to make a deposit of at least 10% of what you plan to spend at the tax lien sale. Deposits and final payments can be made by ACH (electronic check). We encourage you to register as soon as the delinquent property list is available, so you have time to do research and make a determination of your bid.

Realauction will provide several webinar training sessions to introduce investors to our online tax lien sale. The webinars will give step-by-step instructions about participating in the tax lien sale online.

Please join us online on one of the following dates:

  • Wednesday, October 4, 2023 at 8:00 a.m. Mountain Time
  • Tuesday, October 10, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. Mountain Time

To register, please call Realauction at 1-877-361-7325 or visit You must register with Realauction to attend the webinar.

Following the tax lien sale, final payment will be initiated via ACH using the banking information used for the bidder’s most current settled deposit. Successful bidders will receive a copy of the tax lien certificate of purchase for each property. All original certificates are held in safekeeping by the El Paso County Treasurer’s Office.

The tax lien sale Certificate of Purchase is only a lien on the property and does not change ownership of the property. The Certificate of Purchase is valid for 15 years from the date of the sale. Interest is earned at the rate stated on the certificate with portions of calendar months considered as whole months. Premiums do not earn interest.

After obtaining a certificate of purchase at the tax sale, if you wish to assign it to a different investor, you can do so by contacting our office at 719-520-7900 Please note that if the person you are assigning your certificate(s) to is not already an investor with El Paso County, they will need to complete a W-9 form and submit it to our office.

Subsequent Year’s Taxes After August 1 of each year, all tax lien sale certificate holders have first option to purchase any subsequent year’s taxes that remain unpaid. These tax liens will be endorsed onto the original certificate at the same rate of return.

The process of acquiring property through the Treasurer’s Deed process is being reviewed by the Colorado Legislature due to a recent Supreme Court decision. For this reason, the El Paso County Treasurer’s office will not be accepting applications for Treasurer’s Deeds until further notice. Notwithstanding this position, the following process is currently indicated in Colorado Law:

(The redemption period is three years from the year of the original tax sale. Certificates sold in 2022 for the 2021 property taxes are eligible for application of a Treasurer’s Deed in 2025. It is not required that three consecutive years of taxes be due, it is only required that the original lien remain unpaid three years after the date it was purchased at tax sale. There is a $300 to $500 deposit required to start the Treasurer’s Deed process, which is handled through the Treasurer’s Office. If you are interested in applying for a Treasurer’s Deed please contact our office at 719-520-7900.

(There are different requirements for the redemption of certificates of purchase issued on Mobile Homes. If no redemption is made, a Certificate of Ownership is issued instead of a Treasurer’s Deed, and on most mobile homes the investor can apply for the Certificate of Ownership after one year from the date of sale.)

Each year unpaid taxes on real estate, mobile homes and special assessment properties are sold to investors who attend the sale at the time determined by the Treasurer. Investing in tax liens through purchase at the tax lien sale is just that, an investment. You purchase the tax lien, NOT the property. Very few deed transfers occur as a result of a tax lien sale.

Tax sales are established by state statute and held to enable the various authorities and county government to continue to operate though some taxes are unpaid.

The tax sale date is subject to state statute and is held after the delinquent tax listing is published in a local paper for three weeks

Investors should check with individual counties for information on when and where their sales will be held.

Any person who has monies to invest and is not an employee of the county or a relative of any county employee. Monies can be tied up for an indefinite period of time.

Each year the Colorado Banking Commission determines the rate of return. The annual percentage rate is set at nine points above the federal discount rate for September 1 of that year.

A current property list will be available for real estate and special assessment parcels. Special assessment liens will be sold with corresponding real estate liens, if both are delinquent. The real estate parcels will be listed in the exact order of the sale and will include tax schedule number, owner’s name, legal description and the total amount due.

It is important to remember the element of risk involved in the purchase of tax liens. The purchase of tax sale liens of properties under the control of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) and those affected by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) could possibly result in the loss of interest. Identifying any potential problems in this area is impossible for the Treasurer’s Office. Please conduct your own investigation to reduce the possibility of loss of interest to you.

Parcels are subject to federal, state and local government regulations including, but not limited to, land use and environmental regulations.

Delinquent Tax List

The list of delinquent taxes that are available to purchase at the Tax Lien Sale are advertised for three consecutive weeks prior to the sale in the Colorado Springs Gazette (September 13th, 20th and 27th) .

These lists are provided for informational purposes only, if you have any questions please contact the El Paso County Treasurer’s Office at 719-520-7900.


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