Redemption Periods and Sheriff’s Sale

When property has taxes that become delinquent, it becomes owned by the county. However there is a redemption period before the county can actually sell it to someone else. This period is 2 years for most property and 3 years for a homestead.

It appears that once the redemption period is over, the only way to keep the property from going for a tax say is to pay the entire amount that is delinquent. If this is the case, then any homestead property that has ever been three years delinquent should go up for sale.

The relevant law is 79-2401a. In the past, it appears that bourbon county property only went to a sheriff sale if the taxes were more than 3 years outstanding at the point that the properties were submitted to the court.

Here is the first section of the statute:

(a) (1) Except as provided by paragraph (2) and subsection (b), real estate bid off by the county for both delinquent taxes and special assessments, as defined by subsection (c), shall be held by the county until the expiration of two years from the date of the sale, subject only to the right of redemption as provided by this section. Any owner or holder of the record title, the owner’s or holder’s heirs, devisees, executors, administrators, assigns or any mortgagee or the owner’s or holder’s assigns may redeem the real estate sold in the sale at any time within two years after the sale by paying to the county treasurer the amount for which the real estate was sold plus the interest accrued, all delinquent taxes and special assessments and interest thereon that have accrued after the date of such sale which remain unpaid as of the date of redemption and costs and expenses of the sale and redemption, including but not limited to, abstracting costs incurred in anticipation of a tax sale.

Those are the rules, but the time period only applies to non-homestead property. The exceptions that it mentions related to homestead property are:

      (b) (1)   Except as provided by paragraph (2), real estate which is a homestead under section 9 of article 15 of the Kansas Constitution and all real estate not described in subsection (a) shall be held by the county until the expiration of three years from the date of the sale and may be redeemed partially by paying to the county treasurer the amount of taxes for which the real estate was sold for one or more years, beginning with the first year for which the real estate was carried on the tax-sale book of the county plus interest at the rate prescribed by K.S.A. 79-2004, and amendments thereto, on the amount from the date the same was carried on the sale book. Upon payment and partial redemption, the time when a tax foreclosure sale may be commenced shall be extended by the number of years paid in the partial redemption.

Now if (b)(1) provides an exception to the redemption period rules and merely extends it to three years while allowing partial redemption during those three years then once an account is three years delinquent, it must be paid in full to prevent a tax sale. If (b)(1) modifies the entire redemption process, it possibly may allow partial redemption any time up to the sale. That seems unlikely because such an interpretation introduces an oddity with this sentence:

Upon payment and partial redemption, the time when a tax foreclosure sale may be commenced shall be extended by the number of years paid in the partial redemption.

Assuming that (b)(1) is modifying the entire redemption process, then the above sentence would appear to allow an individual whose home was not on the tax sale for a few years to be continually behind 5, 6, 7 or more years and only pay the oldest year without giving the county the ability to ever foreclose on the property.

Also worth noting is that (b)(1) appears to allow for a partial redemption only for non-homestead properties as partial redemption is not mentioned in (a)(1).

If indeed the partial redemption is only available within three years, there are going to be a very large number of properties where people are going to have to pay all of the delinquent taxes or have their real estate sold at the next sheriff’s sale.

3 thoughts on “Redemption Periods and Sheriff’s Sale”

  1. Mark: That is what I have been talking about. It seems that this would keep those with delinquent real property from “milking” the system. Laws do tend to make more sense than not.

    1. The law is pretty clear that you can always be up to three years behind on your homestead taxes. It is less clear what happens if you ever get more than three years behind–which could easily happen if a sale is put off one year or if the sale just occurs later in the year.

  2. I don’t see it as less clear. After the three years, all taxes, fees and interest must be paid in order to redeem the property so it would not matter how long the sale was after the September 1 cut off of the 3 years, interest would continue to accrue until the sale whether it was Jan 2010 or Jan 2012, interest would stack up and ALL would need to be paid. Keep in mind that the County Treasurer had both the County Attorney and the AG’s Office to give her assistance in understanding the Statutes of the State of Kansas and you or I would have used the resource to clarify our questions but we do have those resources or, frankly, commonsense would go a long way in figuring this out. Three years behind is three years behind and any other number beyond that whether it be three years and a day is more than three years. I can just see this question in the old style math books as a “reading” problem.

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