Notice of Pending Assignment Form (.pdf)

The Following is a description of the Tax Lien or Assignment process: 
It is your responsibility to study state statute and retain legal counsel.

NOTE! Due to recent legislation the Tax Lien/Tax Deed process has undergone changes. Existing tax liens and assignments will continue with the procedures that they started with. Tax assignments taken after May 7, 2019 will now fall under the jurisdiction of the 2021 laws concerning Tax Deed Action. Please study the new Montana Statutes, a link can be found below. Our information below is only an overview. *You are responsible to use the applicable laws.*


AUGUSTThe first working day of August each year (August 2nd this year) is a key date for a couple of reasons. First, the county attaches the tax liens on the most recently delinquent tax year. Second, the tax lien list of delinquent parcels is made available on this web page for potential lienholders.

AUGUST 15th a person shall send a notice of the proposed payment, by certified mail. The Notice of Pending Assignment must have been sent at least 2 weeks prior to the date of assignment but not earlier than August 15. The notice is mailed to the owner of record at the address of record. Your notice must be postmarked ON August 15th or 16th in order to participate in purchasing an assignment on August 31st (this year). This form is also called a two-week notice. {M.C.A. 15-17-323(5)}

AUGUST 30thWe require the list of tax codes numbers which you wish to purchase assignments, be submitted to us, by email, in our custom Excel spreadsheet, by noon August 30th. The process is fully computer generated and therefore the lists must be electronic.

You must provide by email, not later than noon on August 30, 2021, the custom spreadsheet list of the tax code number(s) on which you intend to purchase an assignment. The list should be in the tax code order of your preference. A link to the form is below. Also, one day in advance, a prospective lienholder with one parcel being submitted for tax lien assignment may request assistance from our office staff before noon.

To use the link below, you will need to enter each tax code into the custom Excel Assignment Submission form or cut and paste onto the form. This is the link:

Assignment Submission form

We require the electronic spreadsheet and certified mailing receipt copies be in our office by NOON the day before. A copy of the certified mailing receipts and a check or cash payment must be in our office also in advance, if sent by mail. The fee for each assignment is $50.00. This fee is added to the redemption cost of the assignment. Please send emails to:

AUGUST 31st The first day 2020 tax year assignments can be purchased. On this day the most assignments will be issued. In most cases, receipts for the assignments are available on this day. The certificates will be mailed certified at a later date.

How the tax codes will be randomly assigned

We use a Lottery Program that uses a randomizer based off the hosting server's system date and time. The original list before the randomization occurs is arranged by business name. All private persons will be in order by last name, first name then middle initial. After the randomization process has been initiated the program is locked and cannot be run again.

Once the order is randomized, the program will be using the Snake Method from one round to the next. The program will go from the first purchasing entity in order to the last to award who receives which Tax Code. Then the program will go backwards through the same randomized order making selections from last purchasing entity to the first. Each round the selected purchasing entity will be granted one Tax Code from their desired list.

The program will select a tax code using the priority list as determined by the Excel file. If the purchasing entity's highest priority tax code has already been selected, the program will move to the next highest priority tax code. This process will repeat until all Tax Codes are issued or there are no desired Tax Codes left available.

We will accept only one list from each potential lienholder. No last-minute changes will be allowed after the process has been started. This process will begin at 10:00 am on August 31, 2021. When the process is done, and this should take only a few minutes, we will print a list of the awarded tax lien assignments by tax code number to each lienholder with the total amount owed. Purchasing entities in attendance can write a check and leave at this point or wait for receipts.

The County will accept check, cash or cashier's check for payment.


JUNE 1st - July 31st Subsequent delinquent taxes can be paid by Lienholders on existing tax liens/assignments each year before a tax lien is attached. This is the only time during the year that this can be done. If the property is under the PTAP program, they will have to wait until June 21st. The subsequent tax payment includes penalties and interest as of the date of payment. If this is not done, the county attaches a tax lien and the delinquent taxes are open to anyone to purchase as a separate assignment.

The Yellowstone County Treasurer is anticipating the largest number of assignment purchases on the first day they are available, August 31, 2021. The process is fully computer generated and therefore the lists must be electronic.


On all assignments purchased before May 7, 2019, the lienholder must begin the Tax Deed action to receive a tax deed as recommended below. On assignments purchased after May 7, 2019 on parcels that have an owner-occupied dwelling on the property, the process is the same until the tax lien matures, the lienholder must purchase a tax deed application and the county will begin the process to put the property up for auction. For property without an owner-occupied dwelling on it, the process will be the same as the pre-May 2019 assignments.

JANUARY 1-31The County will send a Notice of Obligation to each lienholder reminding them of their responsibilities and deadlines during the year to take the lien to tax deed, including the new legislation that passed in 2019 and 2021. MCA 15-18-212(3)(a).

MAY 1-31 The lienholder must publish the required notice in the newspaper and mail certified the notices to all parties. MCA 15-18-212(1). (Keep in mind the Litigation Guarantee must be done BEFORE this.)

JUNE 30th The Proof of Notice must be filed in the Clerk & Recorder's Office by this date. MCA 15-18-212(7).

JULY 1st Any time after June 30th Tax liens that are mature or ready to go to Tax Deed that have not had a Proof of Notice filed in the Clerk & Recorders office will be cancelled. MCA 15-18-212(3)(b)

AUGUST 2ndThe first working day in August. This is the last day to Redeem. On this date the Tax Lien Certificate has reached maturity.

AUGUST 3rdThe second working day in August. If the tax lien is not redeemed, on property assigned before May 7, 2019, the county will issue the purchaser a tax deed. Legal fees incurred by a lienholder are not considered a tax lien cost and are not added to the tax lien. The county recommends after an lienholder receives a tax deed that they pursue quiet title action. If the tax lien is not redeemed, on property assigned after May 7, 2019, AND that has an owner-occupied dwelling being taxed on it, the lienholder completes an application for tax deed and the county will publish a notice of auction and then auction the property to the highest bidder. The opening bid cannot be lowered and must include the tax lien costs, the tax deed application costs and one half of the assessed value. For more information please see MCA 15-18-219 through MCA 15-18-221.

Yellowstone County does not offer legal help to the purchasers or advice to the purchasers of tax liens. Montana statutes are published and distributed by the Montana Legislative Services Division, Capitol Bldg. Rm. 110, 1301 E 6th Avenue, P.O Box 201706, Helena, MT, 59620-1706, phone 406/444-3064; and located online at *Please be sure you are using the applicable law. The new laws may not yet be available online.*

Yellowstone County Treasurer's phone number is 406-256-2802, fax number is 406-254-7928 or you can email .

Tax Lien Certificate Lists

Delinquent List - 2020 (Excel)

Delinquent List - 2020 (Web)

Delinquent List - 2018 - 2019 (Excel)

Delinquent List - 2018 - 2019 (Web)


These .xls files are automatically created when you click on the link, and due to individual security settings in Microsoft Excel, may not open correctly from the browser. Here are a few troubleshooting tips:

- Save the file to your hard drive
- Double-click to open (answer "yes" to the pop-up warning)
If that doesn't work:
- Right click the file on your hard drive, click on "Properties" and at the bottom of the main tab, you may see a button to "Unblock" the file. Click that, and click "Okay".
- Double-click the file to open (answer "yes" to the pop-up warning)