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Special Assessment - Frequently Asked Questions

Tax Lien Certificates

Q.    What is a tax lien certificate?

A.   A tax lien certificate is a Certificate of Sale note issued on a property that is sold for non payment of a special assessment.

Q.    How often does Douglas County conduct sales on delinquent special assessments?

A.   Douglas County conducts sales on delinquent assessment parcels as they are required.

Q.    How do you determine the amount of the Certificate of Sale note?

A.   The note is sold for the principal amount of a delinquent assessment plus accrued interest, penalties and costs.

Q.    If I purchase a Certificate of Sale note, do I own the property?

A.   No. You own a note on the property, for a specified redemption period, and earn interest for each month the note remains outstanding. At the end of the redemption period you may request the deed to the property. The buyer has no legal claim or obligations during the redemption period.

Q.    How long before I can move into the home?

A.
   You must wait until after the redemption period when you request a deed from the Treasurer's office.  The buyer has no legal claim or obligations during the redemption period.

Q.    Does the buyer retain the right of refusal during the sale?

A.
   If the buyer chooses not to purchase the property, then the bidder number is left out and another number is drawn.

Q.    Who can redeem the Certificate of Sale note?

A.   The property owner and other major lien holders (i.e. mortgage company) may redeem the certificate of sale at any time during the redemption period. Payment must be in the form of cash, cashiers check, or money order.

Q.    If the Certificate of Sale is redeemed, do I get my money back?

A.
   Yes.  The Certificate of Sale is redeemed with interest at a rate of 1% per month.

Q.    Is the Certificate of Sale a public document?

A.   The Certificate of Sale note is recorded with the Douglas County Recorder's office. The original note will be mailed to the buyer after it is recorded.

Q.    Where are the sales held?

A.   The Douglas County Commission Chambers at the 1616 8th Street, Minden, Nevada. (The Old Courthouse.)

Q.    Do I have to be present to purchase a tax lien or may I do it by mail?

A.   Tax lien certificates are sold at public sale and you must be present.

Q.    How do I find out what parcels are available for the sale?

A.   The available parcels will be posted to the Douglas County Treasurer website, http://cltr.co.douglas.nv.us/treasurer at the beginning of the sale month. They will also be published in the Record Courier, one time each week, for the three consecutive weeks prior to the sale date. It should be noted that property owners, or their mortgage company, may bring the parcel current up to the day of the sale. On the sale date they may pay the assessment off before the time of the sale.

Q.    How do I purchase a Certificate of Sale note?

A.   All interested parties must register to receive a bidder number. A random number will be drawn to select the winning bidder. A first and second alternate will also be selected for the parcel from the number selection. The sale will then continue with all bidders eligible for each parcel on the sale list.

Q.    What do I need to register to bid?

A.   Registration begins one hour before the scheduled sale (9:00 a.m.), at the front counter of the Treasurer's office.  You must fill out the registration form presented to you and show a valid picture identification (driver's license) with your current address.  From this you will be assigned a bidder number.

Q.    Do I need to be present to register or may a friend register for me?

A.   You must be present to register. We will not allow a friend or family member to register for you.

Q.    What happens if there are back taxes?

A.   The buyer is not required to pay any delinquent property taxes at the time of the sale. Should the buyer wish to protect their interest in the property, they may pay the delinquent tax and have the amount added to the Certificate of Sale. Delinquent taxes must be paid before a deed will be issued on the property.

Q.    If I win the purchase of a Certificate of Sale how long do I have to pay the purchase price?

A.   Payment must be received by 10:00 a.m. the day following the sale. Payment must be in the form of cash, cashiers check, or money order made payable to the Douglas County Treasurer.

Q.    What happens to the parcels that do not sell, or for which payment is not received, by the following day?

A.   The buyer has until 10:00 a.m. the day following the sale to make payment on their purchase.. Parcels that have not been paid for will be offered to the first alternate at 10:01 a.m.. Payment must be made by 5:00 p.m. on that date. If the first alternate declines or does not make payment, the second alternate is called. Payment must be made by 5:00 p.m. that day. If the property has not been paid for or there is no interest in the property the Certificate of Sale will be issued in the name of Douglas County. Douglas County may then sell the note, over the counter, to any interested party for the sale amount plus 1% interest for each month that Douglas County holds the note to the property.

Q.    Where do I find out information on other liens that may be on the parcels?

A.   We advise you to research the Douglas County Assessor and Douglas County Recorder records for information on the properties. Your research should be completed prior to the sale date.

Q.    What is the length of the redemption period I must hold the note?

A.   The redemption period for vacant land is 120 days and for improved property the redemption period is 2 years.

Q.    What is the interest rate I will earn on the note?

A.   The interest rate is 1% per month (12% per annum) for each month the note remains outstanding.

Q.    Is the monthly interest ever pro-rated?

A.
   No.  The monthly interest is a full month.

Q.    What type of deed will I receive at the end of the redemption period?

A.   Douglas County will issue you a deed, upon your request, at the end of the redemption period. Refer to Nevada Revised Statutes 271.420 and 271.600 for information on deeds.

Q.    What happens if the property owner files bankruptcy?

A.   Douglas County will not sell a parcel that has a stay in bankruptcy. We recommend that you contact your attorney for any recourse you would have should the the property owner file bankruptcy after you have purchased the note.

Q.    Will there be additional costs to the buyer?

A.   There are costs associated with the notification procedures to request the deed to the property. However, the County cannot determine what, if any, additional costs the buyer may incur. Reasonable costs may be added to the note (i.e. publication, process server, etc.), prior to the date of redemption, and will earn 1% interest from that date forward. It is the buyer's responsibility to provide the Treasurer's office with receipts of the costs.

Published by:

    Douglas County Treasurer
    PO Box 218
    1616 8th Street
    Minden, NV.  89423
    Phone: 775-782-9018  Fax: 775-782-9888

to Treasurer