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  • County-Held Certificates of Tax Liens

    Creating County-Held Certificates

    Investors purchase nearly all the tax liens during each sale; however, there are some that are "struck off" (or sold) to the county. These "county-held" certificates tend to be on unbuildable strips or parcels of land of minimal value. These liens are available to anyone, other than county employees or their families, who may wish to purchase them.

    Researching County-Held Certificates

    Purchasing tax lien certificates is a "buyer beware" proposition. We strongly suggest you conduct due diligence in researching a certificate before purchasing. Care should be taken when evaluating these liens. For example, the two-acre lot in Evergreen that appears to be a bargain, may actually be a parcel three-feet wide and five miles long, running along the side of a road.

    The treasurer's office maintains a book with copies of all the tax lien certificates held by Jefferson County. You may examine this book in the office during regular business hours. You may also download the schedule numbers and certificate amounts, as described in the County-Held Certificates View Microsoft viewer requirements on the downloads page. list*. You will need to research legal descriptions using maps and records available through the Jefferson County Assessor's Office. You may also want to visit the property before making a decision.

    Purchasing County-Held Certificates

    To purchase a county-held certificate, you must pay the county the value of the certificate, plus a $4 assignment fee.  You will also need to provide the exact name you wish to appear on the certificate, your Social Security number and correct mailing information. The treasurer's office will then submit a resolution to the county commissioners requesting approval of the assignment (or purchase).  

    *The County-Held Certificates List is updated occasionally; it doesn’t change often. Headings that describe the information are contained at the front of the file.

    Treasurer’s Deeds

    Certificates are eligible for a Treasurer’s deed application after the lien remains unpaid for three years from the date of the original sale. There is a $500 deed application fee, and the process takes approximately six to eight months. 

    Last Updated: 2-11-2014