Tax-forfeited land is the result of unpaid property taxes. The process from delinquent taxes to forfeiture is:
- Taxes become delinquent as of January the year following when the taxes were due.
- Notification to the taxpayer of record is given.
- District Court enters judgment against the property. (Unpaid taxes are a lien against the property, not a personal debt of the owner.)
- Judgment is entered as of April in the delinquent year.
- “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.)
- If the property taxes remain unpaid after the statutory “expiration of redemption period”, the land forfeits to the State of Minnesota. The county is then responsible for management of the Tax-Forfeited Land Program.
What happens to tax-forfeited property
After land is forfeited all taxes and special assessments prior to the forfeiture date are canceled.
- For a period of time a previous owner can go through the repurchase process. (see Repurchase process section.)
- Then a classification process takes place to determine whether the land will remain in public ownership and be managed for public benefit, or if it will be returned to private ownership via a public auction. (See Classification process section.)
Once decided, lands are offered for sale by a following method:
- Sale to a government entity (i.e., Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Public Works, a city, etc.)
- Public auction (See Current auction and Past auctions sections.)
- Adjacent owner auction
- Over the counter — some properties not sold at auction may become available for purchase in our office
It is possible for home owners to repurchase tax-forfeited land. For a limited amount of time after the date of forfeiture, Minnesota statute (MS 282.241) allows home owners or others with title rights to repurchase the land. The person seeking to repurchase will have to pay all taxes, assessments, and maintenance costs incurred by the county during the time the land was forfeited.
Private parties are not allowed to purchase land unless they were listed on the title at some point
How to apply for repurchase
- Contact one of our property managers at our contact number listed on the right.
- Obtain a cashier’s check, money order or certified check for the required down payment (amount will be calculated by your property manager and will include a non-refundable application fee).
- Have copies of the following:
- Proof of ownership or assigned interest - Proof of insurance (listing Hennepin County Tax-Forfeited Land as loss payees) of any structure(s) equal to the buildings current tax market value amount
Upcoming hearings on notices of application of repurchase
February 13, 2018
The purpose of this statutory meeting is to classify or reclassify state-owned tax-forfeited lands as conservation or non-conservation, as outlined in Minnesota Statute 282.01. Classification also includes current and potential use of the land.
How to participate in the classification process
At the classification meeting or in writing prior to it, any person, governmental entity (or representative) or agency possessing pertinent information concerning a tax-forfeited land on the current list may:
- Make or submit comments and recommendations about the pending classification or reclassification
- Describe plans, ideas, or projects that may involve use or acquisition of the lands on the list, by that or another governmental entity
- Provide information about relevant components of current municipal or metropolitan comprehensive land use plans that incorporate the area in which the lands are located
Current classification notices
February 14, 2018
The difference between tax-forfeited land and mortgage foreclosure
Mortgage foreclosure occurs when a property owner fails to make their mortgage payments to their bank or lender. It is a process between the owner and the lender.
People often confuse the two processes. Tax-forfeiture occurs when an owner can’t pay their property taxes. It is a process between the owner and the county. Tax forfeiture usually lags behind foreclosure by several years — in part, because the tax-forfeiture process takes much longer.
The reasons for foreclosure and tax-forfeiture are often the same — owners fall into financial trouble because of job loss, a sudden and expensive medical crisis, unexpected property expenses, and other reasons. Sometimes these two processes are occurring at the same time.
Voting rights — You can still vote if your house is in foreclosure. Office of Minnesota Secretary of State
Free mortgage foreclosure information workshops are held for homeowners who are worried about making upcoming mortgage payments, are already behind on payments, or just want to learn more about foreclosure; and for renters whose landlords may be facing foreclosure. Participants can ask questions and get free, confidential advice from foreclosure counselors.
- There are currently no workshops scheduled
Watch a foreclosure prevention workshop video
Maps and statistics
Download or purchase detailed foreclosure maps.