This outline is provided by the Shawnee County Counselor’s Office for general informational purposes. 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, dependent upon changes in state law and 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.
The law regarding a tax forclosure sale is found in K.S.A. 79-2801 et seq.
You may research the statutes from the State's website:
Shawnee County Counselor
200 SE 7th – Room 100
Topeka, Kansas 66603
Phone: (785) 251-4042
Fax: (785) 251-4902
Shawnee County tax auctions are held one or two times per year to collect unpaid real estate taxes. This outline will help you understand the process and the research you will need to do if you are interested in purchasing property at the tax sale.
Before the Auction
Approximately 30 days before a scheduled tax sale, notice of the sale will be published in The Topeka Capital-Journal for three consecutive weeks. You may contact the newspaper at 616 SE Jefferson Street, Topeka, Kansas 66607, or call (785) 295-1133 for subscription.
- Multiple properties will be offered for sale at the auction.
- YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR RESEARCHING THE PROPERTIES WHICH INTEREST YOU TO DETERMINE IF THEY ARE SUITABLE FOR YOUR USE.Some examples of research: 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 Register of Deeds Office 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).
- You may obtain a list of the properties and maps at the Shawnee County Counselor’s Office or by obtaining the same on our website. Properties are listed by parcel identification number and by legal description.ADDRESSES ARE LISTED WHERE AVAILABLE BUT ARE NOT WARRANTED AS ACCURATE. THE MAPS ARE NOT WARRANTED AS ACCURATE..
- The amount of tax listed for each property in the sale ad is the amount of delinquent taxes owed, plus interest, not the assessed value.
- The current owner(s) may redeem the property at any time prior to the time of sale. A list of properties which have been included in the sale publication but which have been redeemed prior to the sale will be on display at the sale. They will not be offered for sale.
- Properties are sold at public auction to the highest qualified bidder. The county may bid on properties up to the amount of taxes and interest it is owed.
- Some properties may sell for less than the taxes owed; some may sell for more. For any property that sells for more than the amount of the County’s total lien, the excess proceeds will be distributed upon order of the Court and pursuant to K.S.A. 79-2803.
- All bidders must register prior to the auction. No registrations will be accepted by telephone. Registration deadline is 4:30 P.M. the week prior to any scheduled auction. The County reserves the right to refuse bids from anyone registering after this date.
- Registration of bidders is required in order to insure that the bidder is legally qualified to bid/purchase property at the auction. Generally, state law prohibits the following people from bidding/buying at the auction:
- those who owe delinquent taxes in Shawnee County;
- those who have an interest in the property, such as the owners, certain lienholders, relatives, or officers in a corporation which owns the property; and
- those who buy the property with the intent to transfer it to someone who is prohibited from bidding.
- All bidders must execute an affidavit, under oath, that they meet the statutory qualifications for bidding on tax sale property.
- Properties will be sold by legal description and by county parcel identification number. If the property is subject to a federal tax lien or federal judgment lien such lien will be so designated when it is sold.
- PROPERTIES ARE SOLD “AS IS.” THERE ARE NO WARRANTIES. Shawnee County will not guarantee nor make any warranties, express or implied, as to the validity or marketable title, or condition of any of the property, or its fitness for any use or purpose. Any expense involved in perfecting title or obtaining title evidence or title insurance shall be the responsibility of the purchaser.
- All purchases are advised to consult with independent counsel prior to making any bid on any property. The Shawnee County Counselor’s Office cannot give any purchaser legal advice concerning these proceedings.
- All properties must be paid for on the day of the sale. Cash or checks are accepted. Checks should be made payable to the Clerk of the District Court. The buyer will receive a receipt upon payment.
- The buyer must also pay the fee for filing the deed with the Register of Deeds Office. If you purchase more than one parcel, you can record both items on one deed or on separate deeds.
- 2017 FEE SCHEDULE: The recording fee per deed is $32.00 ($18.00 for first page and $14.00 for second page). If your deed is more than two pages, there will be an additional charge of $14.00 per page. Overcharges will be returned to the buyer. Undercharges must be paid prior to recording. (Please note that fees will continue increase each year through January 1, 2018).
- The buyer will receive a receipt for payment on the day of the sale.
After the Auction
- The Shawnee County District Court will hold a hearing approximately 30 days after the auction to determine whether to confirm the sales.
- Some properties sold at the auction are subject to a federal lien. A deed will not be issued for those properties until the expiration of the federal redemption period of 120 days to one year -- if the federal agency chooses not to redeem the property.
- For properties not subject to a federal lien: the Sheriff will issue a Sheriff’s Deed after the court confirms the sale.
- All other liens which were of record will be extinguished upon confirmation of the sale; HOWEVER, COVENANTS, RESTRICTIONS AND EASEMENTS OF RECORD ARE NOT EXTINGUISHED, AND THE BUYER TAKES THE PROPERTY SUBJECT TO THOSE ENCUMBRANCES.
- The buyer is responsible for any taxes and assessments which are not included in the judgment, including the full amount of taxes assessed against the property for the calendar year in which the auction is held.
- Shawnee County makes no assurances that you can obtain title insurance guaranteeing the marketability of the property purchased at the tax sale, nor title insurance for a bank to which you may grant a mortgage, or title insurance to a subsequent buyer from you. You should contact a local title company for information concerning the availability of title insurance.
- Shawnee County will not furnish any abstract of title; any commitments to neither insure from any title insurance company, nor will Shawnee County furnish any title evidence.
- THE BUYER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TAKING ANY NECESSARY LEGAL ACTION TO OBTAIN POSSESSION OF THE PROPERTY, SUCH AS BY FILING AN EVICTION PROCEEDING.
- Kansas statutes state that for twelve months after the deed is recorded, a legal challenge may still be made questioning the foreclosure procedures. If a challenge is successful, the property could revert to the original owner, and the court could order the purchase price refunded.
- For ten years, property purchased at tax foreclosure auction may not be transferred to anyone who had a statutory right to redeem. If such a transfer occurs, the person is liable for the amount of the judgment plus interest.
- Properties that do not sell at auction may be offered again at a later auction or may be sold pursuant to K.S.A. 79-2803ba and 79-2803b.
The following tax foreclosure suits, identified by District Court of Shawnee County case name and number, are currently pending: Case No. 2017-CV-781
Date of Sale: No auction date for Case No. 2017-CV-781 has been scheduled. We anticipate to hold the auction most likely in July, 2018. Please check back at a later time.
All bidders must register prior to the auction. A Registration Form will become available closer to the next auction date.
PROPERTY LIST: (Auction list is subject to change.) – There is no property list available at this time. One will be provided closer to the next auction date.
If you would like to be added to our email list to be notified when a list becomes available let us know by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 785-251-4042.
Prior Tax Foreclosure Sales and Sealed Bid Sales
List of Prior Sales: A list of our prior tax foreclosure cases and sale dates that have been held since 2005 to the present can be found HERE.
Prior Sale Results: Official sale results for the last 5 years can be found below:
Case No. 2016-CV-624
Case No. 2015-CV-718
Case No. 2014-CV-751
Case No. 2013-CV-173
Case No. 2012-CV-23
Case No. 2011-CV-591
Case No. 2011-CV-299
Sealed Bid Sales: Shawnee County has acquired, by virtue of its protective bids at judicial tax foreclosure sales, certain tracts of real estate. Pursuant to K.S.A. 79-2804f, the County may offer the real estate for sale by sealed bids. The list of parcels available for purchase can be found HERE.
If you are interested in purchasing property on this list, you must submit a written bid to the County Counselor’s Office, 200 SE 7th Street, Room 100, Topeka, KS 66603. Your bid will then be considered for approval by the Board of County Commissioners at a public meeting.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: What is the date, time, and location of your tax auctions?
- A: Auctions are scheduled when all other tax auction procedures required by law and County policy have been completed. Auction dates, times, and location will be posted on this site as they are set.
- Q: When and how are your tax auctions advertised? How can I obtain a list of properties for upcoming auctions?
- A list of the properties, as well as the date, time and location of the auction and registration requirements will be published prior to the auction in The Topeka Metro News, once a week for three weeks. A list of the properties and maps for the properties are available for viewing on this web site.
- Q: What payment requirements do you have at the auction?
- A: Cash, a cashier's check, money orders and personal checks will be accepted.
- Q: Is payment in full required on the day of the auction?
- A: Yes. All properties must be paid for by the stated time on the day of the auction.
- Q: Does Shawnee County offer a financing program?
- A: No.
- Q: What type of ownership document is issued at the auction?
- A: The buyer will receive a receipt for payment on the day of the auction. The court will hold a hearing approximately 30 days after the auction to determine whether to confirm the auctions. For properties not subject to a federal lien, the Sheriff will issue a Sheriff's Deed after the court confirms the auction. Some properties sold at the auctions are subject to a federal lien. A Sheriff's Deed will be issued for those properties upon the expiration of the applicable federal redemption period--if the federal agency chooses not to redeem the property. If the federal agency redeems the property, no deed will be issued and the person with the winning bid at the auction will receive a refund.
- Q: Once a property is acquired through a tax auction, is there a redemption period before the purchaser may take possession?
- A: No, with these exceptions: 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. All properties are subject to the ServiceMembers Civil Relief Act.
- Q:Does Shawnee County allow investors to purchase at tax auctions without attending the tax auction?
- A: 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. The successful bidders and buyers must execute an affidavit, under oath, that they meet the statutory qualifications for bidding on tax auction property. Generally, Kansas law prohibits the following people from buying at the auction: (1) those who owe delinquent taxes in Shawnee County; (2) those who have an interest in the property, for example, owners, relatives, or officers of a corporation that owns the property; and (3) those who buy the property with the intent to transfer it to someone who is prohibited from buying.
- Q: What happens to properties that do not sell at the auction? May they be purchased directly from Shawnee County?
- A: In the event all the properties are not sold at an auction, Shawnee County will consider all available options and procedures allowed by state law for addressing the unsold properties, including offering those properties again, at the next auction. Offers to purchase properties that did not sell at public auction will be considered and may be accepted upon published notice and court approval.
- Q: Do you have a mailing list?
- A: No, however we do obtain an email list notifying parties of upcoming sales. Please contact the Shawnee County Counselor’s Office if you wish to be placed on this list.
- Q: Does Shawnee County sell tax liens?
- A: No. Kansas law does not provide for the auction of tax liens.
- Q: Will there be a minimum bid?
- A: The County may choose to bid in at an amount up to the amount of its lien, thereby setting a minimum bid. However, the County is not required to do so.
- Q: Will the properties sell for the amount of taxes owed?
- A: They may sell for more; they may sell for less. For any property that sells for more than the amount of the County’s total lien, the excess proceeds will be distributed upon order of the Court and pursuant to K.S.A. 79-2803.
- Q: What types of properties are in the auctions?
- A: All types. Some have buildings or houses; 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.