My Experience at the Cass County, MO Delinquent Tax Lien Sale


Be sure to register in advance the week before the sale at the Cass County Collector's office located at 2725 Cantrell Road, Harrisonville, MO 64701. This office is located in the mall attached to the Family Center Farm and Home store. It's as simple as filling out a short form and picking up your bid card, and there's no fee. The sale is usually the fourth Monday in August.

Here's the Collector's website: https://www.casscounty.com/2223/Collector

At this tax lien sale you can use credit cards, which is an addition to the typical cash, cashier's check or money order requirements at most tax sales. There is a credit card fee depending upon the card you use - I believe up to 3%. This can be costly if you are bidding into the thousands. You have until 2:00pm to make final payment on any winning bids.

Here's the Tax Lien Sale Guidelines for Cass County: https://www.casscounty.com/DocumentCenter/View/1998/2019-Tax-Sale-Information

Be sure to read the very confusing guidelines in Chapter 140 for "Collection of Delinquent Taxes." Cass county uses a three step/three year delinquency guide for how long it takes for tax lien purchasers to be able to take possession of the property. However, it appears the first year an owner is delinquent paying taxes they have a year to pay back taxes before a lien buyer can exercise a quiet title and take possession. There is a statement in the guidelines that says if you wait until after March 1, proceeding the tax sale, that the county will reimburse you for certain costs incurred for research and publications needed to locate the owner. Please consult the Collector for these details, and consult an attorney for the law and details about quiet titles procedures.

Here's Chapter 140: http://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneChapter.aspx?chapter=140

This year's final list (for 2019) was about 30 properties and there were over 50 registered tax lien bidders. According to Chris Molendorp, the Cass County Collector, this is the fewest amount of properties on the auction block and the most bidders. Mr. Molendorp took on the roll of auctioneer and the sale went smoothly and lasted about an hour, starting at 10:00am and ending at 11:00am. The highest priced bid this year went for a home in the Raymore - Eagle Glen subdivision for $150k. In my opinion there were maybe five homes worthy of a bid and one old office complex located at N. Scott and Wilbur Parish Cir. The rest of the properties were either land or very ran-down farm/country homes in Freeman, Garden City or Strasburg. Expect prime properties to go for over $20k. One fire damaged lien in Belton sold for around $18k.

One gentleman had a winning bid for a useless sliver of hillside along Lake Annette and another man won a water retention hole surrounded by houses in a newer housing area in Peculiar. One lady came to bid on her own house, although legally you can't. Seems people had nothing else better to do and money burning holes in their pockets at this tax sale.

We performed the same research for this tax sale as we did at the Jackson County Tax Sale last week. We narrowed down our search to about 10 properties and did the driving around the county to see for our own eyes what we'd be binning on. This is a crucial step if you want to be successful in tax sales.

Here's the link to the case.net site for researching judgements and liens: https://www.courts.mo.gov/casenet/cases/nameSearch.do

Go to the old court house where the tax sale is held to search deeds and other possible liens such as mechanics liens, utility liens, etc.

Consult an investor-friendly realtor (I recommend Charles Gilbert at www.KansasCityHotProperties.com for help guesstimating if an owner has a mortgage. A realtor can help you at least determine if a home was purchased with cash or when the mortgage was taken out. You may be stuck with the mortgage if one is still owed on a tax lien.

Final thoughts:

While I left empty handed at this tax sale, it was a whole lot easier to navigate than the giant Jackson County MO Tax Sale, and it was indoors in the comfort of AC. Everyone was pleasant and the process was very efficient.

Please leaves your thoughts in the comments below or email me at jwoods@wootinvestments.com

John Woods

#taxsale #taxliensale #delinquenttaxsale #casscountytaxsale

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