“Missouri state statutes require that properties with three or more years of delinquent real estate taxes are offered at the Collector of Revenue’s tax sale each year, which begins on the fourth Monday in August every year”.


TAX SALE OVERAGES  –  A tax sale “SURPLUS” or “OVERAGE” is created when a tax sale occurs to collect delinquent real estate taxes and the amount bid in for purchase of the property is in excess of the amount of the delinquent taxes owed and other claims against the property as reflected in Court Claims filed after the sale is concluded and during the redemption period.  In these cases, there is created what is called a TAX SALE OVERAGE or SURPLUS that can be claimed by the owner of the property, or a lien holder, if certain procedures and claims are carefully followed.


Here are some details about tax sale overages in Missouri:


  • In Missouri, any overdue property taxes act as a lien on your home automatically, without the necessity of recording, or any additional paperwork.
  • If you do not pay the amount due, the sheriff will eventually (after 3 years of missed payments) hold a tax sale and sell the home to a new owner.  Different rules apply for first-time/second-time sales, and third-time sales (90 days not 1 year on 3rd sales) as far as the timing or existence of owner redemption rights.
  • At the sale, the winning bidder bids on the property and gets a Certificate of Purchase.
  • All lands and lots on which taxes are delinquent and unpaid for 3 full years (whether continuous or not – can be cumulative over many years of payments that are short of the full amount owed, or intermittent years that were unpaid) are subject to a Tax Certificate Sale at Public Auction.  A Tax Certificate Sale is an amount bid for purchase of the property which covers the taxes owed to the County.  Occasionally the bidding results in competitive bidding and the amount bid in may be in excess of the taxes owed and even mortgages owed against the property.
  • Only people or entities that file claims with the Court may have an opportunity to participate in the distribution of Surplus Funds.
  • To receive official information concerning the lien, you can contact the Circuit Clerk or the Recorder of Deeds in the county in which the lien was filed.  In most cases, there is a list of tax sale properties that may be obtained either online or in person at the Assessors Office for the county in which the property is located.


“In Missouri, after the Auction, the County will give you a Certificate of Purchase, which you can exchange for a deed one year later (after the redemption period if applicable) if you follow certain procedures”.




140.230.  Foreclosure sale surplus — deposited in treasury — escheats, when — proof of claims. — 1.  When real estate has been sold for taxes or other debt by the sheriff or collector of any county within the state of Missouri, and the same sells for a greater amount than the debt or taxes and all costs in the case it shall be the duty of the sheriff or collector of the county, when such sale has been or may hereafter be made, to make a written statement describing each parcel or tract of land sold by him for a greater amount than the debt or taxes and all costs in the case together with the amount of surplus money in each case.  The statement shall be subscribed and sworn to by the sheriff or collector making it before some officer competent to administer oaths within this state, and then presented to the county commission of the county where the sale has been or may be made; and on the approval of the statement by the commission, the sheriff or collector making the same shall pay the surplus money into the county treasury, take the receipt in duplicate of the treasurer for the surplus of money and retain one of the duplicate receipts and file the other with the county commission, and thereupon the commission shall charge the treasurer with the amount.

2.  The treasurer shall place such money in the county treasury to be held for the use and benefit of the person entitled to such money or to the credit of the school fund of the county, to be held in trust for the lesser of a term of three years or ninety days following the expiration of the redemption period for the lienholders of record or for the publicly recorded owner or owners of the property sold at the time of the delinquent land tax auction or their legal representatives.  The surplus shall be first distributed to the former lienholders of record, by priority of the former liens, if any, then to the former owner or owners of the property.  Lien priority shall be set as of the date of the tax sale.  No surplus funds shall be distributed to any party claiming entitlement to such funds, other than as part of the redemption process until ninety days have passed after the period of redemption has expired.  At the end of three years, if any funds have not been distributed or called for as part of a redemption or collector’s deed issuance, then such funds shall become a permanent school fund of the county.

3.  County commissions shall compel owners, lienholders of record, or agents to make satisfactory proof of their claims before receiving their money; provided that no county shall pay interest to the claimant of any such fund.  Any such claim shall be filed with the county commission within ninety days after the expiration of the redemption period, be made in writing, and include reference to the lien of record upon which the claim is made.  The reference shall include the county recorder’s recording reference information such as book and page number, document number, or other reference information if the lien is not referenced either by book or page number or document number.  Should more than one party make a claim to any surplus funds and those parties are unable to reach an agreement satisfactory to the county commission, the county commission shall petition the circuit court within the county where the county commission sits for interpleader.  The county commission shall only be required to name as defendants those parties who have made a claim to the funds.  Upon judgment sustaining the petition for interpleader and the subsequent tender of the surplus funds to the court registry, the county commission so tendering such funds shall be entitled to seek discharge from the case.



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July 2023