How Land Becomes Tax Forfeited


Tax-forfeited land is the result of unpaid property taxes. The process from delinquent taxes to forfeiture is:

  1. Taxes become delinquent as of January the year following when the taxes were due.
  2. Notification to the taxpayer of record is given.
  3. District Court enters judgment against the property. (Unpaid taxes are a lien against the property, not a personal debt of the owner.)
  4. Judgment is entered as of April in the delinquent year.
  5. “Period of redemption” begins — depending on ownership, use and location of the property, the period of redemption is one, three or five years from judgment. Based on 2013 Legislation eliminating the five-year redemption period, new tax judgment sales in 2014 and subsequent years will have either a one or three year period of redemption. (During this period, the owner, or anyone else having interests in the property, can pay the delinquent taxes and forfeiture will not occur.)