Montana Code Annotated 2019



Part 2. Issuing a Tax Deed

Distribution Of Tax Deed Auction Proceeds

15-18-221. Distribution of tax deed auction proceeds. (1) The county treasurer shall distribute the proceeds of a tax deed auction pursuant to 15-18-220 as provided in this section.

(2) If the tax deed is purchased by a person other than the person who applied for the tax deed, the county treasurer shall pay to the applicant for the tax deed:

(a) the amount paid for the assignment of the tax deed, including delinquent taxes, penalties, interest, and costs; and

(b) all amounts paid pursuant to 15-18-219(2) plus interest at the rate of 1.5% per month for the period from the month after the date of the application for the tax deed through the month of the sale.

(3) The surplus funds provided for in 15-18-220(3)(d) must be retained by the county treasurer for the benefit of and distribution to those notified pursuant to 15-18-219(4). To the extent possible, the surplus funds must be distributed by the county treasurer to satisfy in full each person notified pursuant to 15-18-219(4) with a senior mortgage or lien in the property before distribution of any funds to any junior mortgage or lien claimant or to the former property owner. To be considered for funds when they are distributed, the claimant shall file a notarized statement of claim with the county treasurer within 30 days of the auction. The claim must include the particulars of the lien and the amounts currently due. Any lienholder claim that is not filed within the 30-day deadline is barred.

(4) Except for claims by a property owner, claims that are not filed on or before close of business on the 30th day after the date of the auction are barred. A person, other than the property owner, who fails to file a proper and timely claim is barred from receiving any disbursement of the surplus funds. The failure of any person described in 15-18-219(4), other than the property owner, to file a claim for surplus funds within the 30 days constitutes a waiver of interest in the surplus funds, and all claims are forever barred.

(5) Within 90 days after the claim period expires, the county treasurer shall pay the surplus funds according to the county treasurer's determination of the priority of claims using the information provided by the claimants. Fees and costs incurred by the county treasurer in determining the priority of the claims must be paid from the surplus funds.

(6) If the county treasurer does not receive claims for surplus funds within the 30-day claim period, as required in subsection (4), there is a conclusive presumption that the legal titleholder of record described is entitled to the surplus funds. The county treasurer shall process the surplus funds regardless of whether the legal titleholder is a resident of the state or not. The surplus funds are considered to be unclaimed property if not claimed within 5 years as provided in 70-9-803(1)(q).

History: En. Sec. 3, Ch. 317, L. 2019.