Property Tax Auction, Oklahoma How do I check for Liens?

12 Replies

Ok so my hubbie and I have just rented our 2nd house and we are looking for a new way to find our new temporary home that will be our next rental.  We want to participate in the tax auction, where land owners have not paid their taxes and are listed in the paper.  How does that work?  I understand where to look up taxes owed, but what if there is a lien against the property? 

Do I go to the title company and review myself?  Am I responsible for liens or can I back out if it has a lien?

Anyone participted in these auctions?  Plan to use cash that is all they accept.


The county treasurer's website in the county you want to bid in should have all the info you want.  Make sure you read it before going. I think  Oklahoma is a deed state so you definitely want to know about redemption period and foreclosure.

Good luck to you!

Most liens like mortgage or 'mechanic' liens (if the homeowner did not pay the roofing company), will effectively be wiped out by the tax deed sale.  But other 'superior' liens will not, for example state liens (taxes or child support' etc) or federal liens like the IRS.  During your initial research of the property list you should look for the county civil court records to see if any of the above have been named as defendants in the suit to foreclose, that is quick and can easily be done from home (in my county at least).  That will help weed out a few properties.  Then if they make it through your other filters (like I won't live in that), the tax/value ratio is good, etc., you probably end up with a hand full of properties worth doing the title research on yourself.  Probably a good idea to research how to do that in your county.  Then if you are really serious about a property, and it is a substantial investment, hiring a title company or abstractor to perform the title search. 

I will be attending an auction in a few weeks, and I was also wondering if there were any liens on the property I am interested in, so I went to our county courthouse to the room they keep the deed records and spoke to the receptionist.  She was able to look up the property for me, and told me that it had a current bank loan on it that was being foreclosed upon.  I am assuming that this means the property is going to be a foreclosure auction, and not a bank owned auction.  The receiptionist found the registered owner and looked up any liens on that person.  There was a medical lien on his person, not attached to that property, and it was around 8 years old.  She didn't find any other liens, and there didn't appear to be a 2nd mortgage or home equity loan on the property either.  She did emphasize that she was not qualified to search liens herself and that any information that she gave me was not that of a title expert.

This made me a little more confident should I decide to participate in this auction, but I may only go as an observer anyway since I don't have immediate access to more than 32K in funds.

Hope this helps.

@Helen Kirk

  34k should get you lots of liens.  You know what Henry Ford said.

@Dennis Weber

A lot of liens, yes, but not the good quality ones. I went to the tax sale a few weeks ago with the properties picked out that I wanted to bid on. Unfortunately all the bidders were bidding a lot higher than just what was owed on taxes and I couldn't compete. I'm hoping to either get this auction, get another property that I know of that is going through a short sale, or get a duplex I found on the MLS that is just now going through foreclosure. I feel like I'm getting a slow start, not having purchased anything yet after a few months of educating myself, but I'm getting closer, and I WILL start investing in Real Estate soon, I know it!

Thanks everyone!  We have been researching a list of houses, a lot of them the taxes have now been paid.  On the other ones the clerk will be able to tell us if there are any liens, but I also plan on researching county records.  The auction is next week, so who knows if we will even bid.  Any suggestiosn?  I was thinking just really low ball offers for now. 

In a tax deed sale, you are bidding on the property itself, so if you are the high bidder you become the happy owner of that property. So, if you are starting, i recommend you to do a drive by the properties, if its in a community ask about HOAs, research the records for county/city/state/federal liens, and of course the financial evaluation. Usually you dont have access to the property, so you are blind bidding. Try to do your research as accurate as possible. Hope I helped

Hello Nancy,

You can Invest in almost any state; however, if you prefer to start and/or only Invest in Tulsa County, than here is link that could also help you.    I have not sorted through the list, but there may be some deals there of interest to you.  These are County Owned properties:

You can however, Invest in any state.   Just a point of reference in you do Tax Deeds.

Tax Foreclosure Sales gives you ownership of Properties. 
Tax Lien Certificates are subject to the redemption periods.
Tax Deed Sales: Some give you immediate ownership, some like GA however, although a Really Good Tax Deed State, the owners still have 1 Year & 45 days to redeem than you become the owner.  I think New Mexico is similar to GA with respect to the ownership and redemption periods.

As already mentioned, just be sure to research thoroughly and/or team-up with someone who you can work with on a few deals or so---It's good to have likeminded people to help you attain your goals----just a thought----Hope this Helps You.

Much Success As You Invest!


@Nancy H.

If you are looking in Tulsa county, you will want to familiarize yourself with the online court records system at This will give you access to court cases such as judgments against an owner, but not information about the property itself.

To look up records on the property itself, you can either visit the county clerk's office on the first floor of the Tulsa county courthouse, or you can subscribe to the Public Land Records Access (LRMIS).

I am just getting started. I am wondering how to "decode" the Oklahoma County Treasurer Resale Publication. Basically: How can I efficiently tell the location of the properties? Is the only way to go to the county clerk's office downtown?

a little late for this year, sale is over but you have time to get ready for next year.  basically copy and past the assessor number from the list into the assessor search page field and you will find the house.  pretty simple process just time consuming.  after a while you learn to recognize areas by the numbers and filter things out that way.  

During my research I used the following sites.





Google maps

I was able to research owner history, liens, pending Litigation on current owners and all title transfers.

It took on average 30 minutes per listing for detailed research. Mainly it was the reading through mortgage documents that was the most time consuming.

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