The Law Office of Kurt H King

April 30, 2010

Purchasing Land at Missouri Tax Sale

Filed under: Litigation,Uncategorized — kurthking @ 6:09 pm
Tags: , , ,

Get a lawyer early on if you are buying land at a Missouri Tax Sale.  The buyer in Drake Development & Construction, LLC v. Jacob Holdings, Inc. (a March 12, 2010, decision of the Southern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals) failed to do so and paid the price so to speak.

Missouri statute 140.405 requires the buyer at the tax sale to give notice to the owner at the time of the tax sale of that owner’s right to redeem (buy back) the property.  That law spells out what notice must be given, and basically calls for notice by certified mail to each such owner at least 90 days prior to the date when the buyer at the tax sale is authorized to acquire the deed from the county which sold the land for unpaid back taxes.  Apparently the buyer was unaware of Missouri cases which require that this notice must inform persons of the deadline by which they must act to redeem.  Since the buyer failed to include the deadline date to redeem in the notice letter to owners at the time of tax sale, the buyer lost all interest in the property.  In other words, the buyer at the tax sale lost the land it purchased because the buyer left the deadline date out of its notice of right to redeem.  The tough thing about this situation is that section 140.405 does not come out and specifically state that the deadline date has to be in the notice.  A little better law making may have prevented the whole problem for the buyer.

Kurt H. King
Law Office of Kurt H. King
20 E. Franklin
Liberty, Clay County, Missouri 64068

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