Tax-Forfeited Land Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I obtain a bidding card?

A valid photo ID (i.e., driver’s license, passport, etc.) and earnest money, in certified funds (cashier’s check, certified check, or money order), is required to obtain a bidding card. Cash, credit cards or personal checks are not accepted for earnest money.

How much earnest money is required?

The amount required depends on the property you desire to bid on.

  • Earnest money for properties without a structure must be equal to $500 in order to bid.
  • Earnest money for properties with a structure must equal $5,000 in order to bid.

Earnest money:

  • Must be paid at the time of registration.
  • Must be in the form of certified funds.
    • Acceptable certified funds are a certified check from a bank, money order or cashier's check.
    • Cash is not accepted.
    • Funds should be made payable to "Ramsey County or NAME" (example: Ramsey County or Jane Doe)

What properties are for sale at the auction?

A complete list of properties to be auctioned will be published in the official newspaper for the county, some local newspapers and the county’s website. 

How do I receive information on the properties?

You may subscribe to receive free email notifications to have auction information automatically emailed to you. You will be notified at least 3 weeks prior to the auction.

How do I pay for a parcel at auction?

A successful bidder may write a personal check in addition to the earnest money already deposited for any remaining balance due at the time of sale. Any changes regarding terms of payment for a property are outlined in the published Terms of Sale for each auction.

What is the interest rate charged on Ramsey County contracts?

The interest rate for current year contracts is 10 percent, but the rate is subject to change in subsequent years. The rate may vary between 10 – 14 percent. The interest rate is set by the State Legislature each year.

When would I get my first real estate tax statement?

If property is purchased in the current year, taxes will become due and payable the following year and each year thereafter. For example, if a property is purchased in 2020, taxes will be due and payable in 2021.

How do I receive title to the property?

After the contract is paid in full a State Deed will be issued by the Minnesota Department of Revenue and recorded in the Ramsey County Recorder’s Office. You may wish to consult with an attorney in order to clear title.

Is there a redemption period allowed for prior owners?

A prior owner can apply to repurchase a property up to 6 months from the date of forfeiture, or until the property has been sold, depending on its classification.

Can I bid absentee?

No. Absentee bidding is not allowed.

Can Ramsey County employees bid on parcels at the auction?

Some employees can and some cannot. The law is very specific in naming the employees prohibited from purchasing property at auction.

Minnesota Statutes, section 282.016, paragraph (a) states that a county auditor, county treasurer, county administrator of the district court, county assessor, supervisor of assessments, or deputy or clerk or an employee of such officer, a commissioner for tax-forfeited lands or an assistant to such commissioner, must not become a purchaser, either personally or as agent or attorney for another person, of the properties offered for sale under the provisions of this chapter in the county for which the person performs duties. A person prohibited from purchasing property under this section must not directly or indirectly have another person purchase it on behalf of the prohibited purchaser for the prohibited purchaser's benefit or gain.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), such officer, deputy, clerk, or employee or commissioner for tax-forfeited lands or assistant to such commissioner may (1) purchase lands owned by that official at the time the state became the absolute owner thereof or (2) bid upon and purchase forfeited property offered for sale under the alternate sale procedure described in section 282.01, subd. 7a.

What happens to parcels not sold at public auction?

Properties not sold at auction may be available for purchase purchase the next business day in the Tax-Forfeited Land office on a first-come, first-served basis. All parcels will be sold at their established appraised value. For a list of properties you can purchase today, view the parcels available for sale list.

Does the county sell Tax Lien Certificates?

No, Minnesota Tax Lien Judgment Certificates are no longer sold. The certificate of sale process was abolished by the Minnesota Legislature in 197.  Please see Minnesota Statutes, section 280.001.

Does Tax-Forfeited Land handle mortgage foreclosures?

No, mortgage foreclosures are legal actions taken in relation to real estate. For more information regarding the civil process in Ramsey County, contact the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department at 651-266-9330 or view mortgage foreclosure information.

If you are personally facing a foreclosure situation or know someone who is, visit foreclosure info for homeowners and renters for more information and available resources.