Tax Lien Sale Information

The 2020 Tax Lien Sale will be held on October 29, 2020 

The dates below have not been updated.

The Routt County Tax Lien Sale is an online auction. To bid on properties you MUST register at

The Routt County Treasurer’s office will be conducting it's Annual Tax Lien sale October 17, 2019 to November 14, 2019. This sale will be for unpaid 2018 Real Property, Mobile Homes and Minerals. A complete list of tax liens available for sale will be available in October in the Routt County Treasurer's Office or online at

Online registration for interested bidders must be completed at Registration must include bank information as payment for tax liens is by ACH ONLY.   The interest rate for the 2019 online tax lien sale will be 12%. Successful bidders at the online sale pay the total advertised price (which includes the delinquent tax, interest, advertising fee and a $16 certificate fee), as well as a premium bid.

Questions regarding the online sale should be directed to Realauction at 877-361-7325 or emailed to Any questions regarding the tax sale process or the property taxes being sold should be directed to the Routt County Treasurer's Office at 970-870-5555.


To become a qualified participant, the bank information must be completed by 11/07/19 at 2:00pm. Once logged in, the bank Information is located on the auction site on the left had navigation bar under "GET STARTED"

Registration:  Oct. 17 @ 8:00am  - Nov. 7, 2019 @ 2:00pm

All potential bidders must register before the sale date, which is the official start of the sale (registration opens October 17, 2019). Registration will include the completion of an IRS required W-9 form, as well as acceptance of a User Agreement. Final payments will be made by ACH (electronic check). We encourage you to register as soon as the delinquent property list is available so you have time to do research and make a determination of your bid.

Internet training sessions: 

Realauction will provide several webinar training sessions to introduce investors to our online tax lien sale. The webinars will give step-by-step instructions about participating in the tax lien sale online.

Colorado Webinar Training Schedule for 2019 is as follows:

  • Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 - 12:00 p.m. MST
  • Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. MST
  • Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019 - 2:00 p.m. MST
  • Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 - 4:00 p.m. MST
  • Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 - 8:00 a.m. MST

To register, please call Realauction at 1-877-361-7325. You must register with Realauction to attend the webinar.

Following is a list of delinquent tax year 2018 due in 2019. Payments of all taxes must be made with certified funds (cash, money order or cashier’s check) and be received in the Treasurer’s office on or before 4:00 p.m., on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, to avoid being sold at the tax lien sale scheduled for November 14, 2019. The 2019 Mineral and Real Property Sale List will be available on October 16, 2019

Tax Lien Sale Certificates of Purchase

Following the tax lien sale, successful bidders will receive a copy of the tax lien certificate of purchase for each property. All electronic certificates are held in safekeeping by the Routt County Treasurer's Office.

The tax lien sale Certificate of Purchase is only a lien on the property, and does not change ownership of the property. The Certificate of Purchase is valid for 15 years from the date of the sale. Interest is earned at the rate stated on the certificate with portions of calendar months considered as whole months. Premium bids do not earn interest.

Assignment of Certificates of Purchase

After obtaining a certificate of purchase at the tax sale, if you wish to assign it to a different investor, you can do so by completing an assignment form, located at the bottom of the certificate of purchase and submitting it to the Treasurer's Office. If the assignment is done by mail, fax or email the assignment form must be notarized. Please note that if the person you are assigning your certificate(s) to is not already an investor with Routt County, they will need to complete a W-9 form and submit it along with the assignment form.  Assignment fees are $4.00 per certificate.

Endorsement of a Tax Lien

After August 1 of each year, all tax lien sale certificate holders have first option to purchase any subsequent year’s taxes that remain unpaid. These tax liens will be endorsed onto the original certificate at the same rate of return.

Treasurer's Deed

The redemption period is three years from the year of the original tax sale. Certificates sold in 2019 for the 2018 property taxes are eligible for application of a Treasurer's Deed in 2022. It is not required that three consecutive years of taxes be paid, it is only required that the original lien remain unpaid three years after the date it was purchased at tax sale. There is a $650 deposit required ($300 for minerals) to start the Treasurer's Deed process, which is handled through the Treasurer's Office. If you are interested in applying for a Treasurer's Deed please review the application procedures and complete a Treasurer's Deed application.

There are different requirements for the redemption of certificates of purchase issued on Mobile Homes. If no redemption is made, a Certificate of Ownership is issued instead of a Treasurer's Deed, and on most mobile homes the investor can apply for the Certificate of Ownership after one year from the date of sale.


What is a Tax Sale?

Each year unpaid taxes on real estate, mobile homes, minerals and special assessment properties are sold to investors who attend the sale at the time determined by the Treasurer. Investing in tax liens through purchase at the tax lien sale is just that, an investment. You purchase the tax lien, NOT the property. Very few deed transfers occur as a result of a tax lien sale.

Why is the Tax Sale Held?

Tax sales are established by state statute and held to enable the various authorities and county government to continue to operate though some taxes are unpaid.

When are Tax Sales Held?

The tax sale date is subject to state statute and is held after the delinquent tax listing is published in a local paper for three weeks.

Where is the Tax Sale Held?

Routt County Tax Sale is held online at  Public computers will be available in the Trout Creek Conference Room located at 522 Lincoln Ave in Steamboat Springs, CO.  Bidders must pre-register before November 7 to become a qualified participant. 

Who can Become an Investor?

Any person who has monies to invest and is not an employee of the county or a relative of any county employee. Monies can be tied up for an indefinite period of time

Interest Rate

Each year the Colorado Banking Commission determines the rate of return. The annual percentage rate is set at nine points above the federal discount rate for September 1 of that year.

Property Listing / Publication

A current property list will be available for real estate, minerals, mobile homes and special assessment parcels. Special assessment liens will be sold with corresponding real estate liens, if both are delinquent. The real estate parcels will be listed in the exact order of the sale and will include tax schedule number, owner’s name, legal description and the total amount due.

Element of Risk

It is important to remember the element of risk involved in the purchase of tax liens. The purchase of tax sale liens of properties under the control of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) and those affected by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) could possibly result in the loss of interest. Identifying any potential problems in this area is impossible for the Treasurer’s Office. Please conduct your own investigation to reduce the possibility of loss of interest to you.

Parcels are subject to federal, state and local government regulations including, but not limited to, land use and environmental regulations.

In the event of an erroneous sale, the annual rate of interest shall be two percentage points above the discount rate, rounded to the nearest full percent but shall be no lower than eight (8%) percent per annum.

Public tax lien auctions and redemptions are governed by Colorado Revised Statutes, Title 39, Articles 11, and 12 and are administered by the Treasurer’s office in each county. Any questions should be referred to the Treasurer’s office at 970.870.5555