Understanding the Tax Deed Process - Treasurer

(Please see https://adacounty.id.gov/treasurer for the latest version of this information)

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Understanding the Tax Deed Process

It is never the intent of government to take someone’s property in foreclosure.  Many programs exist in an effort to assist taxpayers to stay in their homes.

When a property is delinquent three (3) years, it enters into the ‘tax deed’ process.  This process is prescribed by Idaho law.

The tax deed process takes approximately 8 months.  This allows our department to make every effort to identify and inform all persons who are affected or interested in the delinquent property.

The process begins with a formal letter of delinquency.  This letter is sent by regular mail and informs the ‘owner of record’ of the movement of their property into the formal process of ‘tax deed’.

When a property enters into ‘tax deed’, additional costs and fees are added to the property.  The first charge made to the property is a ‘litigation guarantee’.  This document is purchased from a title company and costs around $200 and up.  This document provides our department with ‘parties of interest’.  These are people who have a vested, and recorded interest in your property.  We are required to notify all people who may hold a secured interest in your property.

By law, some documents we mail must be sent by certified mail.  Statutes are specific as to when those certified documents must have ‘restricted’ delivery.  All letters to an ‘owner of record’ must be sent with ‘restricted delivery’.  You must personally sign for these letters.

When letters are mailed on a ‘tax deed’ property, we are required to keep track of returned mail.  Each time we handle mail for a delinquent property, fees are added to the property.

In Ada County, the tax deed process begins in August and ends in the next March.

Properties taken in tax deed are auctioned off within 90 days.  We use an online auction company for this purpose.  The Board of Ada County Commissioners establishes the minimum bid for a property.  This is generally the total of outstanding taxes, fees, interest, and penalty.

Occasionally a tax deed property sells for more than the minimum bid.  This results in ‘excess proceeds’.  Excess proceeds are available to be paid to any ‘party in interest’ after appropriate filings are collected and reviewed by legal counsel.  After all ‘parties of interest’ have been paid, the ‘owner of record’ receives the remaining proceeds from the sale.