What Happens If I Don't Pay Property Taxes in Oklahoma?

If you default on property taxes in Oklahoma, you could eventually lose your home.

Falling too far behind in your property taxes in Oklahoma can lead to a tax sale. You do get some time before the sale to get caught up on the delinquent amounts, but you probably can’t reclaim the home if you let the sale go through. If you want to keep your Oklahoma home, you should take steps to deal with the unpaid taxes before the sale is finalized.

How Property Tax Sales in Oklahoma Work

In Oklahoma, if you don’t pay your property taxes for three years or more, the county treasurer can sell your home to satisfy the unpaid debt (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 68 § § 3105, 3125). (If you are having a difficult time paying your property taxes, learn about your options to avoid a tax sale.)

Notice You’ll Receive Before an Oklahoma Property Tax Sale

The county treasurer must send you a notice about the sale and publish notice in most cases.

Notice by mail. The county treasurer will send you a notice by certified mail at least 30 days before the sale (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 68 § 3127).

Notice by publication. The county treasurer must publish notice of the sale in a newspaper once a week for four weeks. If there is no newspaper in the county or if the publication is refused, the notice must be posted at the courthouse (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 68 § 3127).

The Tax Sale of Your Oklahoma Property

The tax sale consists of a public auction where the county treasurer sells the home to the highest bidder. The winning bid must be at least equal to:

  • two-thirds of the property’s assessed value or
  • the total amount of taxes, penalties, interest, and costs due, whichever is lesser (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 68 § 3129).

If no one bids the minimum amount, the treasurer bids off the property in the name of the county and the county gets the home (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 68 § § 3129, 3131). After the sale, the high bidder or the county will get a deed (title) to the home (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 68 § 3131).

Your Right to Cure (Redeem)

In Oklahoma, you have the right to cure (which means getting paid up on the overdue amounts so you can keep your home), but you must do so before the county treasurer executes a deed to the new owner (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 68 § 3113). This is sometimes called “redeeming” the home.

Limited Right to Redeem Following a Tax Sale in Oklahoma

In some states, the law allows a homeowner who loses his or her home to a tax sale to get the house back for a certain amount of time after the sale by paying off the debt or reimbursing the high bidder for the amount he or she paid. (This is also called “redeeming” the home.)

Generally, most homeowners in Oklahoma don’t get the right to redeem after the new owner gets a deed to the property. However, under very limited circumstances, you may be able to redeem your home after this happens. Or, under certain circumstances, you might be able to prevent the tax sale from occurring in the first place. (Learn more in Getting Your Home Back After a Property Tax Sale in Oklahoma.)

Tax Sale Laws in Oklahoma

To find Oklahoma’s tax sale laws, go to Title 68, § § 3101 through 3147 of the Oklahoma Statutes atwww.oklegislature.gov/osstatuestitle.html. (If you need help finding the statutes, see Nolo’s Legal Research FAQs & Basic Info area.)

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