What is a Tax Lien?
It must be understood that the sale and purchase of the tax or special assessment lien at a tax lien sale does not, as it might under simple sales and purchase agreements, convey the right of possession, use, improvement, or access to the property. The buyer is issued a tax lien sale certificate of purchase on which he/she is entitled to interest. The lien may be redeemed by the property owner, any person having a legal or equitable claim or by the agent of either party at any time prior to the issuance of a Treasurer’s tax deed. A Treasurer’s tax deed cannot be issued prior to the third anniversary of the tax lien. The certificate holder has the right to pay (endorse) subsequent year’s taxes and lawful charges once they become officially delinquent. If a certificate holder chooses to endorse, the amount will be added to the existing tax lien. Endorsement information will be mailed to all eligible certificate holders in early July.
If the lien remains unredeemed (not cured), the certificate holder may apply for a tax deed. The procedural requirements normally take twelve to fifteen months to accomplish. An extension of the time period may occur when there are complex problems related to the property. Deed applications may be made four calendar months prior to the third anniversary date of the certificate. The deed application fee is currently $550.00. The deed application processing costs are recoverable if the property is redeemed; however, no redemption interest is earned on deed expenses. Prior to receiving a Treasurer’s tax deed, all subsequent taxes, special assessment liens, and current taxes must be paid. El Paso County makes no guarantee for the condition or marketability of any property which is acquired through a Treasurer’s tax deed.
WRONGFULLY SOLD LIEN – If a lien is wrongfully sold and the County must pay the certificate holder the redemption interest, the rate will be calculated as set forth in Section 39-12-111, Colorado Revised Statutes.