If a house is auctioned off for back taxes, can the city keep more from the sale than what is owed in taxes?

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If a house is auctioned off for back taxes, can the city keep more from the sale than what is owed in taxes?

My wife owns a house that she hasn’t paid her taxes on this year. We aren’t living in the house at the moment and they sent the bill to that address, even though she updated her address with them 6 months ago. They are threatening to auction the house off. If they do, can they keep anything that they make over the amount of the taxes owed, or do they have to give the difference to her?

Asked on August 6, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, they can only take the back taxes and costs associated with having to foreclose on the house (which could be steep).  If there is any left over then it may come to your wife if she owns the house free and clear.  If she has a mortgage then there are other issues to resolve.  I would speak with some one on the matter who can take a look at the whole issue.  Good luck.


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