Getting Your Home Back After a Property Tax Sale in Nebraska

Nebraska law provides a significant period of time after a tax sale to redeem a property (get ownership back).

If you become delinquent in paying your Nebraska property taxes, the county treasurer can sell your property at a tax sale to cover the amounts that you owe. The good news is that Nebraska law provides a delinquent taxpayer with a period of time after the sale to reclaim the home. This is called a “redemption period.”

Read on to learn more about how long the redemption period lasts after a Nebraska tax sale, how much it will cost you to keep your home, and other important information about how to save your Nebraska home following a tax sale.

Nebraska Tax Sales

In Nebraska, you could lose your property at a tax sale if you don’t keep up with your property taxes (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-1807).

How a tax sale works. The county treasurer will sell your property at a public auction to a to pay off the unpaid tax debt (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-1802).

What will happen following the sale. After the sale takes place, the treasurer will give the purchaser a certificate of purchase (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-1818). The certificate represents a tax lien on the home and acts as evidence of the purchaser’s interest in the property during the redemption period. (For details on the tax sale process in Nebraska, see What Happens If I Don't Pay Property Taxes in Nebraska.)

The Redemption Period After a Nebraska Tax Sale

In Nebraska, you get at least three years after the tax sale (called a "redemption" period) to pay off the tax debt so that you can regain ownership of your home (Neb. Rev. Stat. § § 77-1837, 77-1902). (This is called “redeeming” the property.)

The Purchaser Must Take Steps to Get Title to Your Home After Three Years Expires

After three years expires, the person or entity that bought your home at the tax sale must take certain steps to get ownership of your home. The purchaser must either:

  • apply for a tax deed (title) to your home or
  • foreclose.

How the purchaser gets title to your home by a tax deed. The purchaser can apply to the county treasurer for a tax deed at any time within the nine months after the three-year period expires. The county treasurer will then execute and deliver a deed to the purchaser, which gives the purchaser ownership of the property (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-1837).

How the purchaser gets title to your home through a foreclosure. Instead of applying for a deed from the treasurer, the purchaser from the tax sale can file a complaint (lawsuit) in court to foreclose the tax lien represented by the certificate of purchase. The court will enter a judgment and hold a sheriff’s sale. The purchaser at that sale then gets title to your home. The foreclosure must be started within nine months after the three-year period expires (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-1902).

When Your Right to Redeem Expires

Your deadline to redeem your Nebraska home depends on how the person or entity that holds the certificate of purchase proceeds after the three-year redemption period expires.

When your right to redeem expires if the holder of the certificate applies for a tax deed. If the holder of the certificate applies for a deed, your right to redeem expires when he or she files the application with the county treasurer (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-1824).

When your right to redeem expires if the holder of the certificate forecloses. If the holder of the certificate starts a foreclosure, you can redeem at any time before the court confirms the sheriff’s sale, which takes place after the court enters a decree of foreclosure (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-1917).

How Much You'll Have to Pay to Redeem Your Home

The amount you’ll have to pay to reclaim your home depends on when you redeem.

How much you’ll have to pay if you redeem before the purchaser applies a tax deed or starts a foreclosure. To redeem your Nebraska property following the tax sale, but before the purchaser applies for a tax deed or starts a foreclosure, you must pay the county treasurer:

  • the purchase price stated in the certificate of sale
  • interest from the purchase date to the redemption date, and
  • all other taxes the purchaser subsequently paid (plus interest) (Neb. Rev. Stat. § § 77-1824, 77-1917).

How much you’ll have to pay to redeem if a foreclosure has already started. To redeem your home during a foreclosure, but before the court confirms the sheriff’s sale, you must pay the clerk of the district court:

  • the amount due on the property
  • interest
  • costs
  • any subsequent taxes the purchaser paid (if the property was sold at the sheriff’s sale to a purchaser other than the foreclosing party and he or she paid additional taxes), and
  • attorney's fees (if requested in the foreclosure complaint) (Neb. Rev. Stat. §, 77-1917).

Where to Look Up Nebraska’s Tax Sale Laws

To look up the statutes that cover tax sales and how to redeem your home after a tax sale in Nebraska, go to § § 77-1801 through 77-1863 and 77-1901 through 77-1941 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes.

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