When real property taxes become three years delinquent, the County Treasurer begins foreclosure action. We file a certificate of delinquency with the Superior Court. Besides taxes, interest, and penalties, foreclosure costs of upwards to $800 per parcel begin to accrue
We order title searches for each parcel. As required by law, all parties with recorded legal interest as revealed by title searches are served with notice and summons by certified or registered mail. A notice and summons is also published in the local newspaper. (RCW 84.64.050)
The Treasurer receives a judgment from the court foreclosing on the tax liens and authorizing the sale of parcels. All of the parcels being foreclosed upon can be redeemed by their owners, or other parties with recorded legal interest, until the close of business on the day before the sale. That is, they are allowed to pay all that is due, thus removing their parcel from the sale.
Real Property Sales:
The County Treasurer conducts one real property auction per year, in December. (RCW 84.64.060) Different types of property can be sold at Treasurers’ sales. The number of parcels auctioned varies greatly from sale to sale. An auction may have anywhere from one parcel to many parcels. Because they vary so much in size, the location of the auctions may also vary to accommodate the number of people in attendance.
** NO GUARANTEES **
The following statement applies to all Treasurers’ real property sales: “This is a ‘buyer beware’ sale. We offer the parcels on a ‘where is’ and ‘as is’ basis. The County makes no representation of warranty, express or implied, as to the condition of title to any property nor the physical condition of any property or its fitness for any use or purpose.”
Personal Property Distraint Sales:
Personal property taxes are collected within the calendar year in which they are billed. The tax becomes delinquent on May 1st. The treasurer should notify the taxpayer of the delinquency and that failure to pay the tax will result in distraint and sale of sufficient personal property to satisfy the lien. (RCW 84.56.070)
Please note:Anyone considering buying property at a Treasurers’ sale should be aware that there are risks. When selling parcels, the county conveys the entirety of the interest which it is legally capable of transferring, unless otherwise noted. However, the county does not guarantee or provide warranty as to the extent of that interest. The county makes NO guarantees whatsoever on parcels sold at Treasurers’ sales.
It is important that you do research on all potential purchases prior to the day of the sale. There are definite risks when buying tax foreclosure and tax-title properties. Buying property without doing complete research can result in unwanted and costly surprises.
Warning! – Even the most diligent research efforts may not uncover all difficulties or unexpected problems.