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Frequently Asked Questions - Tax Lien Sale  

How the Online Sale Lien Sale Works

Mesa County 2017 Tax Lien Auction

(for 2016 tax year)  https://mesa.coloradotaxsale.com

  • What is a tax lien?
  • Where can I find more information about tax liens and certificate auctions?
  • What equipment and software will I need?
  • Is training available for the auction software and how do I get it?
  • How much does it cost to participate?
  • How do I pay for my deposit and liens purchased?
  • What is a Batch?
  • When does the auction start and end?
  • How does the auction work?
  • How does the bidding work?
  • What is proxy bidding?
  • What happens if I exhaust my deposit while I still have active bids?
  • Can other participants see my bids?
  • What happens in case of a tie bid?
  • What happens if I don’t pay for successful bids?
  • What happens to left-over deposit money?
  • When the auction is over, what happens next? 
  • When will I get my refund?
  • How do I get started?
  • How do I contact Customer Service?

What is a Tax lien?

A tax lien represents a lien of unpaid real estate taxes, assessments, penalties, advertising costs and fees.  If the property owner fails to pay the delinquent taxes during a specified period of time, the county government can sell what is called a tax certificate to investors to collect the delinquent taxes.

Where can I find more information about tax liens and certificate auctions?

Delinquent taxes, tax liens and the sale of tax certificates at public auction for unpaid taxes are administered by the County Treasurer and provided for in Title 39, Article 11 of the Colorado Revised Statutes.

It is the bidder’s responsibility to know the law governing these sales prior to participating in a tax lien auction.

What equipment and software will I need?

There is no special software or hardware needed for the sale.  In order to participate, bidders must have a computer with access to the Internet.

Please visit the Bidding Rules page for information regarding public access to Mesa County.

Is training available for the auction software and how do I get it?

Live webinar bidder training classes will be held via the Internet once a week for several weeks prior to the close of the auction.  The classes generally last about 2 hours and cover use of the website only. 

In-person bidder training sessions will be available upon request.  Please call (970) 244-1825, for further information. 

How much does it cost to participate?

There is no fee to participate, however, most counties require a good faith deposit equal to a percentage of the total dollar amount of liens they anticipate winning.

For example:  If a bidder anticipates winning $100,000 in tax lien certificates and IF that county  requires a 10% deposit, then he/she must deposit $10,000 with the Treasurer.

Mesa County requires a 10% deposit to participate in its Tax Lien Sale.  Please visit the Bidding Rules page for deposit/payment methods permitted in Mesa County.

How do I pay for my deposit and liens purchased?

Payment methods vary for each county.  Generally, deposits and payments may be made via ACH (electronic check), cash or certified funds.

If the county accepts ACH as a deposit or payment method, funds transfers can be made electronically, on this website, using the ACH deposit/payment wizard.  ACH deposits should be made early so keypunch errors can be corrected prior to the due date (November 3, 2017, by 4:00 p.m.).

Cash or certified funds may also be accepted, however, these forms of payments must be delivered to the Mesa County Treasurer’s office in the time allotted (November 6, 2017, by 4:00 p.m.).

The sale of a tax lien certificate is considered complete when funds have been received by the Treasurer and credited to the bidder.  Until the sale is complete, no certificates will be awarded or issued. 

ACH transactions generated are “one-time” only authorizations.  If you are a successful bidder and owe money to the Treasurer, you must initiate a separate transaction to make your final payment in the time allotted.

It is the bidder’s responsibility to make all deposits and payments in the time specified using the payment method(s) permitted.  There are NO exceptions.

Please visit the Bidding Rules page for the deposit/payment methods permitted in Mesa County.

What is a Batch?

The liens being advertised are sold individually.  In order to make the bidding process more manageable, liens are divided into groups called “batches.”

When does the auction start and end?  How does the auction work?

The auction website generally opens for registration, deposits, research and preliminary bidding approximately three (3) weeks prior to the official auction date.  The day of the auction, as each batch closes, preliminary bids are submitted and made official.

The auction officially begins when the items in Batch 1 close.  Each subsequent batch will close every 60 minutes until the last batch closes when the auction officially ends.

If you are “live” on your computer the day of the sale, you will be able to view the unofficial auction results a few minutes after the close of each batch.  You may adjust your bids on any batches that have not closed.

Please visit the Bidding Rules page for auction dates and time in Mesa County.

How does the bidding work?

Auction participants enter the maximum dollar amount equal to or over the face amount of the lien that they are willing to pay to win the lien.  Bids must be entered in whole dollars (no cents).  To enter a bid at face value, you would enter a $0 premium amount. 

At the close of each batch, the auction software evaluates the bids with a valid deposit and the lien is awarded to the highest bidder.

The premium bid amount is not part of the lien face value and therefore does not earn interest and premiums are not refundable when a certificate redeems.

The premium DOES NOT earn interest and is NOT REFUNDABLE when a certificate redeems.

It is the bidder’s responsibility to research properties prior to placing bids.

What is proxy bidding?

Proxy Bidding – Auction participants enter the “maximum” premium amount they are willing to pay over the face value of the lien.  At the close of a batch when winners are determined, the system will automatically enter bids on your behalf in the minimum bid increment ($1.00) until you are either the highest bidder OR until you reach the maximum dollar amount that you entered.  If you are the winning bidder, the premium amount that you owe will be $1.00 greater than the next highest bidder (provided there are no ties).

Example:  If a lien face amount is $500.00 and Bidder A enters a premium amount of $20 and Bidder B enters a premium amount of $40, then at the closing of that batch the lien will be awarded to Bidder B for $1 more than Bidder A’s highest bid.  The total amount due will be $521.00 (face amount of $500 plus $21 of premium).

What happens if I exhaust my deposit while I still have active bids?

Any bids remaining will NOT be placed.  Deposits must be authorized on the website no later than the deposit due date and time.

Can other participants see my bids?

No.

What happens in case of a tie bid?

In the case of a tie, the winner will be selected at random by the auction software.

What happens if I don’t pay for successful bids?

If the successful bidder fails to pay for liens purchased, the Treasurer may recover the amount due by civil action and may revoke future bidding privileges for up to five (5) years per Colorado Revised Statute 39-11-116.

What happens to left-over deposit money?

Deposit money is used to pay for liens won.

Any deposit monies not credited toward winning bids will be returned to the bidder approximately two (2) weeks after the close of the auction.

When the auction is over, what happens next?  When will I get my refund?

Refunds will be sent by the county approximately two (2) weeks after the end of the auction.

Deposits made via ACH will be refunded electronically and will appear in the first account used to make a successful deposit.

For all other forms of deposit, the county will issue a paper refund check.  Checks will be mailed approximately two (2) weeks after the close of the auction, to the address associated with the bidder’s auction account.

Certificates issued for tax liens that were not sold during the auction are struck to the county and will become available for purchase at the Treasurer’s office once the auction is closed and balanced.

How do I contact Customer Service?

Call realauction.com at 1-877-361-7325, or (970-244-1824).

 How the Online Sale Lien Sale Works


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