•  Buying property at tax sale is very risky and has several restrictions.  The tax sale is very different from foreclosure sales conducted on the courthouse steps by trustees for lending institutions.
  • It is strongly recommended by the Collector’s Office to seek legal advice regarding further information on your rights as a tax sale purchaser.
  • Real estate that has three years  delinquent taxes must be offered for sale to discharge the lien for the delinquent and unpaid taxes.  (RSMo 140.160) Crawford County is a Third Class County and this statute defines the Collector can start collections on delinquent properties within three years but cannot exceed past three years to begin collections on delinquent property.   In the past Crawford County has always allowed the real estate taxes to be delinquent three years before offering the property for sale at the yearly County Tax Sale.   However, on October 2, 2012 the Crawford County Commissioners unanimously adopted an Ordinance reducing the period a taxpayer could be delinquent on their real estate taxes from three to two year with the effective date being August 25, 2014.  ADDITIONALLY,  The Crawford County Commissioners unanimously adopted an Ordinance on September 23, 2014 reducing the period a taxpayer could be delinquent on their real estate taxes is now going from a two year to a one year delinquency effective August 22, 2016.  This actually means if you do not have all your real estate taxes paid in full by December 31, 2015 you will have until August 22, 2016 to bring your account current before the property is subject to be sold on the Courthouse steps for delinquent taxes.
  • Tax sale is held on the front steps of the courthouse on the 4th Monday in August, beginning at 10:00 a.m.  (RSMo 140.170)
  • Properties subject to sale are advertised in the Steelville Star newspaper for three consecutive weeks prior to the tax sale, with the last advertisement being 15 days prior to sale date.  (RSMo 140.170)
  • The taxpayer has the opportunity to pay the taxes in full prior to the sale and a very high percentage is paid after advertising and before the sale.
  • Buyers must be present to bid.  Bidders must register in the Collector’s Office and complete an affidavit stating they are not delinquent on any tax payment on any property.  (RSMo 140.190)  Registration will begin at 9:00 a.m. on the morning of sale.
  •  If bidder is not a Missouri resident, they must appoint a citizen of Crawford County as their agent and they must consent in writing to the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court of the county.  (RSMo 140.190)
  • The sale is conducted in a public auction style, with an opening bid of the amount to cover all taxes, interest, and charges thereon.
  • At the conclusion of the sale, the purchaser shall IMMEDIATELY pay the amount of bid to the Collector, and will receive a Certificate of Purchase.  Purchaser is also responsible for all subsequent taxes.  (RSMo 140.280 & .290)
  • Any surplus paid over the opening bid shall be deposited with the County Treasurer and may be claimed by the owner.  If not claimed within three years, the surplus is distributed among the schools.  (RSMo 140.230)
  • Purchaser shall not be entitled to possession during the one-year redemption period.  Homesteads also have special restrictions.  (RSMo 140.310)
  • No compensation shall be allowed for improvements made before the expiration of one year from the date of sale for taxes.  (RSMo 140.360)

Redemption Period

  •     The owner or other person having an interst therein may REDEEM the property at any time within ONE YEAR after the date of sale by paying to the Collector the sum of the purchase money, plus 10 percent interest, as well as all subsequent taxes paid plus 8 percent interest. (RSMo 140.070 and 140.340)
  • Infants, incapacitated, or disabled owners may redeem thier property one year after expiration of such disability. (RSMo 140.250) For this reason, most title companies place a restriction on the property for THIRTY YEARS indicating it was acquired at tax sale. This restriction may limit the ability to obtain a loan or sell the property.


  • At the end of the one-year redemption period, the certificate holder is eligable for a Collector’s Deed after meeting the following requirements and after signing an affidavit that proper notification has been given: (RSMo 140.405)
  1. Proof that a title search has been done on the property.
  2. Proof that Purchaser has sent by certified mail notice to the publicly recorded owner at the last known available address and anyone with a publicly recorded deed of trust, mortgage, lease, lien, or claim upon the property, that they have ninety days to redeem said property or be forever barred from redeeming said property.
  • Purchaser must cause the Collector’s Deed to be executed and placed on record in the proper county within TWO YEARS from the date of sale. (RSMo 140.410)
  • If Purchaser fails to take a deed within six months after the expiration of the one year next following the date of sale, no interest shall be charged or collected from the redcemptioner. This would apply if 90-day notice was not sent until after the one-year redemption period. (RSMo 140.340)
  • Any person holding a Collector’s Deed may commence a suit in the Circuit Court to quiet title. The Collector’s Office strongly suggests that interested parties seek legal advice regarding a quiet title suit. (RSMo 140.330)