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Most tax-forfeited parcels are appraised and offered at public auction and sold to the highest bidder. The minimum bid accepted is the appraised value.
Type of Tax Forfeiture Sales:
- Public Auction Sales - Parcels are initially offered for sale to the general public at a public auction and are sold to the highest bidder.
- Parcels Available for Immediate Purchase Sales - Parcels not sold at an auction may be offered for sale the day following the auction, at the discretion of the Tax Forfeited Lands Section, and purchased by anyone offering to pay the appraised price. The price cannot be changed unless a parcel is re-appraised, advertised and again offered at public auction.
- Adjoining Land Owner (Private) Sales - Parcels are offered for sale to the adjoining land owner, if the sale meets certain requirements or conditions.
Terms of Sale: See Terms and Conditions for the most recent information. (pdf)
- A purchaser can choose to finance the outstanding balance with our office.
- Financing options available depend on the type of property being sold: Unimproved (vacant land) or Improved (With Structure). Inquire with staff on Financing Options.
- Monthly contract installments are due and payable each month by the last day of the month. (Interest + Principal = Installment)
- There is no penalty for paying off a contract early.
Interest: Is charged and becomes due with the monthly or yearly installment, whichever is applicable. The current interest rate for 2012 contracts is 10%.
The rate of interest, as prescribed by Minnesota Statutes, section 279.03, subd. 1a, is charged at the adjusted prime rate, but not less than 10% or more than 14%. Any or all installment(s) may be paid in advance.
Assurance Fee: The Tax Forfeited Lands section collects a fee in the amount of 3% of the total sale price, which is in addition to the purchase price of the parcel. The 3% fee is deposited in the state treasury and credited to the general fund.
- Sales are subject to existing leases, to building restrictions appearing of record at the time of forfeiture and to easements in effect at the time of forfeiture.
- The County makes no warranty that the land is buildable. All property is sold "as is" and may not conform to local building and zoning ordinances. You may wish to contact the city where the land is located for details of building codes or zoning laws.
- Ramsey County is not responsible for locating or determining property lines or boundaries.
- All sales are final and no refunds or exchanges are permitted.
- The appraised value does not represent a basis for future taxes.
Taxes: Forfeited property that is sold at a public or private sale, on or before December 31st of an assessment year shall be placed on the assessment rolls for that year’s assessment, per Minnesota Statutes, section 272.02, subd. 38(c).
Assessment or Reassessment:
- If municipal special assessments were cancelled at forfeiture, the municipality that made the improvement may make a reassessment or a new assessment to the property, per Minnesota Statutes, section 429.071, subd. 4.
- Fees and charges related to cancelled special assessments also may be certified against the property.
- The purchaser(s) will assume local improvement assessments not yet certified to the property.
Insurance: The purchaser of property with an insurable building must carry fire and windstorm insurance in an amount determined by Ramsey County, as a condition of the sale. Ramsey County, Tax Forfeited Lands section must be listed as loss payee on the insurance policy. A copy of the insurance policy is to be provided to the Tax Forfeited Lands section within 60 days after the date of purchase from the county.
Title: Once the contract is finalized and recorded the purchaser will receive the original contract. When the contract is paid in full the purchaser will receive a deed from the State of Minnesota, Commissioner of Revenue, through the Department of Property Records and Revenue, Tax Forfeited Lands section. The law provides that this conveyance shall have the force and effect of a patent from the state. The forfeiture does create a break in the chain of title which must be corrected to secure a marketable title. As other flaws may exist in the title, services of an attorney may be necessary to make the title marketable.
Default: Contracts may be canceled if the purchaser defaults for any one of the following reasons or combination of reasons:
- Failure to pay an installment and interest amount when due,
- Failure to pay real estate property taxes before they become delinquent,
- Failure to insure a property containing a structure during the term of the contract, or
- Failure to provide a certificate of code compliance within one year of the purchase of a substandard structure.
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