|Will I need special equipment or software?||No. To participate in the auction from your own home or office, you need only have a computer with a supported Web browser installed and Internet access.|
|How do I participate in the auction?||Only registered users can participate in the auction.|
|Is there a registration fee?||No.|
|How do I register for the auction?||Registration is accomplished online through CivicSource.com.|
|When can I register for the auction?||You can register four weeks prior to the opening day of the auction.|
|Is help available?||For assistance, simply contact us.|
|What is a Washington tax lien foreclosure sale?||A Washington tax lien foreclosure sale, or auction, is a public sale to the highest bidder of real property for which the taxes are at least three years delinquent, for which the acceptable minimum bid is the amount of taxes, interests, penalties, and costs due. RCW 84.64.050; 84.64.080.|
|Can county officers/employees participate in the online tax sale to purchase property?||Pursuant to RCW 84.64.080, "No county officer or employee shall directly or indirectly be a purchaser of such property at such sale".|
|What does a tax lien foreclosure confer to the purchaser?||The county treasurer executes a tax certificate to the purchaser, which is recorded in the county's real property records and vests title to the property in the purchaser. RCW 84.64.080.|
|Who knows about the tax lien foreclosure sale?||Notice is given to the owner(s) and any person having a recorded interest in or lien of record on the property. RCW 84.64.050. Notice is also given for 10 days successively by posting notice in 3 public places in the county, one of which is the treasurer's office. RCW 84.64.080.|
|How does a Washington tax lien foreclosure auction work?||Pursuant to chapter 84.64 RCW, failure to pay taxes for at least 3 years initiates the tax foreclosure process. The county treasurer issues a certificate of delinquency and gives notice of the foreclosure action to owner(s) and persons having a recorded interest in or lien on the property. The treasurer files an action in superior court to foreclose the tax liens embraced in such certificates. If the court enters judgment foreclosing the tax lien, it issues an order giving the treasurer full authority to sell the property, unless the taxes have been paid or other action has been taken to stop the sale. The sale is held after notice of the sale is given for 10 days successively by posting notice in 3 public places in the county, one of which is the treasurer's office. Any person owning a recorded interest in the property may redeem the property by paying the taxes before the sale date. The highest bidder is the successful bidder at the tax sale/auction. The minimum acceptable bid is the amount of taxes, interests, penalties, and costs due. The county treasurer executes a tax certificate to the purchaser, which is recorded in the county's real property records and vests title to the property in the purchaser. There is no right of redemption after the sale.|
|When and where will the properties offered at the auction be provided?||Starting one month prior to the auction opening date, the properties offered will be available to view on CivicSource.com.
Pursuant to RCW 84.64.080, notice of the properties subject to tax sale is given for 10 days successively by posting notice in 3 public places in the county, one of which is the treasurer's office.
|Can the political subdivision remove properties offered from the auction?||Yes. The county will remove a property if the tax is paid or if the property is eligible for deferral of taxes under chapter 84.38 RCW and the owner has filed a declaration to defer taxes.
If a property is withdrawn from the auction, it will be indicated as such on its full property description and details page. Additionally, if you have marked a property as a "Favorite" or placed a bid on property that is withdrawn from the auction, you will be notified by email.
|What paperwork is needed to purchase property at a tax foreclosure sale/auction?||No paperwork is needed to purchase property offered at the auction. However, registration is required to participate.|
|What paperwork is needed to take ownership of property purchased at a tax foreclosure/sale auction?||Pursuant to RCW 84.64.080, the county treasurer executes a tax certificate to the purchaser, which is recorded in the county's real property records and vests title to the property in the purchaser.|
|How do I buy tax sale title to a property?||By being the highest bidder on the property at the conclusion of the auction. The acceptable minimum bid is the amount of taxes, interest, penalties, and costs. See: Bidding process details.|
|Will I be able to purchase property via phone or fax?||No. The auction is conducted solely online at CivicSource.com.
If you do not own a computer or do not have access to the Internet, the county will have computers allocated for the specific use of participating in the sale during the auction's hours of operation.
|Can I purchase more than one property?||Yes, as long as you are the highest bidder for each property.|
|Will properties that are in bankruptcy litigation be offered at the tax foreclosure sale/auction?||No. Unless relief from the automatic stay has been granted in the bankruptcy case, a sale of property subject to a pending bankruptcy case is void.|
|What happens if a property is not sold during the auction?||The county acquires title and must attempt to resell the property.|
|When:||You may bid on all properties only during auction hours (10 AM - 3 PM (PST)).|
|How:||Bidding on properties is accomplished via the full property description and details page.|
|Type:||This is an open bidding process. Participants will submit bids with knowledge of the value of the competing bids on the property. Additionally, if you placed a bid on a property and are outbid, you be notified by email.|
|Overview:||The tax sale/auction is an English Style Auction - an open ascending price auction wherein the highest bidder at the close of the auction wins.
Participants will submit bids with knowledge of the value of the competing bids on the property. Additionally, if you placed a bid on a property and are outbid, you will be notified by email.
|Winning:||The highest bid wins! Winners will only be determined at the conclusion of the auction.|
|How do I know which properties have been sold?||All properties will be available for sale until the close of the auction.
However, the political subdivision reserves the right to withdraw from the auction any property listed prior to the close of the auction. If a property is withdrawn from the auction, it will be indicated as such on its full property description and details page. Additionally, if you have marked a property as a "Favorite" or placed a bid on property that is withdrawn from the auction, you will be notified by email.
|Are there any hidden costs?||No. There are no hidden costs.|
|How can I view a property?||Properties can be viewed from the home page or from the property's full description and details page.|
|If I purchase a property at the tax sale/auction, do I receive full ownership rights?||Yes, when the county treasurer executes a tax certificate, which is recorded in the county's real property records and vests title to the property in the purchaser.|
|What payment methods are accepted?||Payment methods accepted are electronic check and cash or certified funds accompanied by a printed invoice generated from the purchases screen (mailed or made in person at the office of the county treasurer).|
|When do I need to pay for my purchases?||All payments, including via mail, must be made or received in full within 3 business days of the conclusion of the auction.|
|Does payment have to be one installment?||Yes. Payment is made by one installment within 3 business of the close of the auction.|
|What is the refund policy?||There are no refunds. All sales are final.|
|When is the sale final?||The sale is final upon conclusion of the auction.|
|When will the property become mine?||The county treasurer executes a tax certificate to the purchaser, which is recorded in the county's real property records and vests title to the property in the purchaser. RCW 84.64.080.|
|Do I have to notify the owner that I purchased the property?||No. The owner(s) and any person with a recorded interest in or lien of record on the property was notified of the tax foreclosure under RCW 84.64.050. The failure of these persons to pay the taxes within the specified time periods resulted in the sale of the property.
However, it is recommended that you provide property occupants, should any exist, with a copy of the tax certificate before you intend to take physical possession of the property.
|Am I responsible for paying the property taxes?||Yes. As the new owner of the property, you are responsible for paying future assessments on the property.|
|What happens if the property still has a mortgage or other financial encumbrance?||All persons having a recorded interest in or lien of record on the property were given notice of the foreclosure proceeding under RCW 84.64.050. Failure to act within the specified time period resulted in the sale of the property. Accordingly, the purchaser acquires title free from existing encumbrances.|
|Can I take physical possession of the property? What if someone is currently living at the property?||Yes. If the property is occupied, notify the occupant of your purchase, present the occupant with your tax certificate, and advise them of your intent to take physical possession.
Should the occupant refuse to vacate the property, proceed via chapter 59.12 RCW, forcible entry and forcible and unlawful detainer.
|Why is my property being sold at a tax foreclosure sale/auction?||Your property is being sold because you have failed to pay taxes on the property for at least three years. RCW 84.64.050.|
|What can I do to keep my property from being sold at a tax foreclosure sale/auction?||Pay the taxes before the sale date. RCW 84.64.060.|
|Can a family member or a third party redeem my property? Will they then own my property?||Any person owning an interest in the property may pay the taxes before the sale date. RCW 84.64.060.|
|If my property is sold at a tax foreclosure sale/auction, can I get it back or redeem it from the purchaser?||The relevant statute provides only two bases for invalidating a tax certificate: the tax has been paid or the real property was not liable to the tax. RCW 84.64.180.|
|Acceptable minimum bid||means, for the purposes of a tax lien foreclosure sale, the amount of taxes, interests, penalties, and costs due.|
|Bid||means, for the purposes of a tax lien foreclosure sale, an offer of cash to acquire title to property.|
|Bidder||means, for the purposes of a tax lien foreclosure sale, a person offering a cash amount to acquire title to property.|
|Certified funds||means a form of payment that is guaranteed to clear or settle by the company certifying the funds.|
|County treasurer||means the person who holds the office of Treasurer for the county.|
|Full ownership||means possessing clear title to property.|
|Legal advice||means the giving of a formal opinion regarding the substance or procedure of the law by an officer of the court, such as an attorney.|
|Lien of record||means a lien on property reflected in the real property records.|
|Purchaser||means, for the purpose of a tax lien foreclosure sale, the person who bid the highest cash amount and who is the grantee under the tax certificate executed by the county treasurer.|
|Real property records||means the records maintained by the county recorder's office regarding real property and fixtures and title thereto.|
|Recorded interest||means an interest in property reflected in the real property records.|
|Successful bidder||means, for the purpose of a tax lien foreclosure sale, the person who bid the highest cash amount.|
|Tax certificate||means the certificates executed by the county treasurer to the purchaser, which is recorded in the real property records and vests title to the property in the purchaser.|
|Tax lien||means a lien on property as a result of unpaid taxes.|
|RCW 84.64.050. Certificate to county - Foreclosure - Notice - Sale of certain residential property eligible for deferral prohibited||After the expiration of three years from the date of delinquency, when any property remains on the tax rolls for which no certificate of delinquency has been issued, the county treasurer shall proceed to issue certificates of delinquency on the property to the county for all years' taxes, interest, and costs: PROVIDED, That the county treasurer, with the consent of the county legislative authority, may elect to issue a certificate for fewer than all years' taxes, interest, and costs to a minimum of the taxes, interest, and costs for the earliest year.
Certificates of delinquency shall be prima facie evidence that:
(1) The property described was subject to taxation at the time the same was assessed;
(2) The property was assessed as required by law;
(3) The taxes or assessments were not paid at any time before the issuance of the certificate;
(4) Such certificate shall have the same force and effect as a lis pendens required under chapter 4.28 RCW.
The county treasurer may include in the certificate of delinquency any assessments which are due on the property and are the responsibility of the county treasurer to collect. For purposes of this chapter, 'taxes, interest, and costs' include any assessments which are so included by the county treasurer, and 'interest' means interest and penalties unless the context requires otherwise.
The treasurer shall file the certificates when completed with the clerk of the court at no cost to the treasurer, and the treasurer shall thereupon, with legal assistance from the county prosecuting attorney, proceed to foreclose in the name of the county, the tax liens embraced in such certificates. Notice and summons must be served or notice given in a manner reasonably calculated to inform the owner or owners, and any person having a recorded interest in or lien of record upon the property, of the foreclosure action to appear within thirty days after service of such notice and defend such action or pay the amount due. Either (a) personal service upon the owner or owners and any person having a recorded interest in or lien of record upon the property, or (b) publication once in a newspaper of general circulation, which is circulated in the area of the property and mailing of notice by certified mail to the owner or owners and any person having a recorded interest in or lien of record upon the property, or, if a mailing address is unavailable, personal service upon the occupant of the property, if any, is sufficient. If such notice is returned as unclaimed, the treasurer shall send notice by regular first-class mail. The notice shall include the legal description on the tax rolls, the year or years for which assessed, the amount of tax and interest due, and the name of owner, or reputed owner, if known, and the notice must include the local street address, if any, for informational purposes only. The certificates of delinquency issued to the county may be issued in one general certificate in book form including all property, and the proceedings to foreclose the liens against the property may be brought in one action and all persons interested in any of the property involved in the proceedings may be made codefendants in the action, and if unknown may be therein named as unknown owners, and the publication of such notice shall be sufficient service thereof on all persons interested in the property described therein, except as provided above. The person or persons whose name or names appear on the treasurer's rolls as the owner or owners of the property shall be considered and treated as the owner or owners of the property for the purpose of this section, and if upon the treasurer's rolls it appears that the owner or owners of the property are unknown, then the property shall be proceeded against, as belonging to an unknown owner or owners, as the case may be, and all persons owning or claiming to own, or having or claiming to have an interest therein, are hereby required to take notice of the proceedings and of any and all steps thereunder: PROVIDED, That prior to the sale of the property, the treasurer shall order or conduct a title search of the property to be sold to determine the legal description of the property to be sold and the record title holder, and if the record title holder or holders differ from the person or persons whose name or names appear on the treasurer's rolls as the owner or owners, the record title holder or holders shall be considered and treated as the owner or owners of the property for the purpose of this section, and shall be entitled to the notice provided for in this section. Such title search shall be included in the costs of foreclosure.
The county treasurer shall not sell property which is eligible for deferral of taxes under chapter 84.38 RCW but shall require the owner of the property to file a declaration to defer taxes under chapter 84.38 RCW.
|RCW 84.64.060. Payment by interested person before day of sale.||Any person owning a recorded interest in lands or lots upon which judgment is prayed, as provided in this chapter, may in person or by agent pay the taxes, interest and costs due thereon to the county treasurer of the county in which the same are situated, at any time before the day of the sale; and for the amount so paid he or she shall have a lien on the property liable for taxes, interest and costs for which judgment is prayed; and the person or authority who shall collect or receive the same shall give a receipt for such payment, or issue to such person a certificate showing such payment. If paying by agent, the agent shall provide notarized documentation of the agency relationship.|
|RCW 84.64.070. Redemption before day of sale - Redemption of property of minors and legally incompetent persons.||Real property upon which certificates of delinquency have been issued under the provisions of this chapter, may be redeemed at any time before the close of business the day before the day of the sale, by payment, as prescribed by the county treasurer, to the county treasurer of the proper county, of the amount for which the certificate of delinquency was issued, together with interest at the statutory rate per annum charged on delinquent general real and personal property taxes from date of issuance of the certificate of delinquency until paid. The person redeeming such property shall also pay the amount of all taxes, interest and costs accruing after the issuance of such certificate of delinquency, together with interest at the statutory rate per annum charged on delinquent general real and personal property taxes on such payment from the day the same was made. No fee shall be charged for any redemption. Tenants in common or joint tenants shall be allowed to redeem their individual interest in real property for which certificates of delinquency have been issued under the provisions of this chapter, in the manner and under the terms specified in RCW 84.64.060 for the redemption of real property other than that of persons adjudicated to be legally incompetent or minors for purposes of this section. If the real property of any minor, or any person adjudicated to be legally incompetent, be sold for nonpayment of taxes, the same may be redeemed at any time within three years after the date of sale upon the terms specified in this section, on the payment of interest at the statutory rate per annum charged on delinquent general real and personal property taxes on the amount for which the same was sold, from and after the date of sale, and in addition the redemptioner shall pay the reasonable value of all improvements made in good faith on the property, less the value of the use thereof, which redemption may be made by themselves or by any person in their behalf.|
|RCW 84.64.080. Foreclosure proceedings - Judgment - Sale - Notice - Form of certificates - Recording.||The court shall examine each application for judgment foreclosing tax lien, and if defense (specifying in writing the particular cause of objection) be offered by any person interested in any of the lands or lots to the entry of judgment against the same, the court shall hear and determine the matter in a summary manner, without other pleadings, and shall pronounce judgment as the right of the case may be; or the court may, in its discretion, continue such individual cases, wherein defense is offered, to such time as may be necessary, in order to secure substantial justice to the contestants therein; but in all other cases the court shall proceed to determine the matter in a summary manner as above specified. In all judicial proceedings of any kind for the collection of taxes, and interest and costs thereon, all amendments which by law can be made in any personal action pending in such court shall be allowed, and no assessments of property or charge for any of the taxes shall be considered illegal on account of any irregularity in the tax list or assessment rolls or on account of the assessment rolls or tax list not having been made, completed or returned within the time required by law, or on account of the property having been charged or listed in the assessment or tax lists without name, or in any other name than that of the owner, and no error or informality in the proceedings of any of the officers connected with the assessment, levying or collection of the taxes, shall vitiate or in any manner affect the tax or the assessment thereof, and any irregularities or informality in the assessment rolls or tax lists or in any of the proceedings connected with the assessment or levy of such taxes or any omission or defective act of any officer or officers connected with the assessment or levying of such taxes, may be, in the discretion of the court, corrected, supplied and made to conform to the law by the court. The court shall give judgment for such taxes, interest and costs as shall appear to be due upon the several lots or tracts described in the notice of application for judgment or complaint, and such judgment shall be a several judgment against each tract or lot or part of a tract or lot for each kind of tax included therein, including all interest and costs, and the court shall order and direct the clerk to make and enter an order for the sale of such real property against which judgment is made, or vacate and set aside the certificate of delinquency or make such other order or judgment as in the law or equity may be just. The order shall be signed by the judge of the superior court, shall be delivered to the county treasurer, and shall be full and sufficient authority for him or her to proceed to sell the property for the sum as set forth in the order and to take such further steps in the matter as are provided by law. The county treasurer shall immediately after receiving the order and judgment of the court proceed to sell the property as provided in this chapter to the highest and best bidder for cash. The acceptable minimum bid shall be the total amount of taxes, interest, and costs. All sales shall be made at a location in the county on a date and time (except Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays) as the county treasurer may direct, and shall continue from day to day (Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays excepted) during the same hours until all lots or tracts are sold, after first giving notice of the time, and place where such sale is to take place for ten days successively by posting notice thereof in three public places in the county, one of which shall be in the office of the treasurer. The notice shall be substantially in the following form:
No county officer or employee shall directly or indirectly be a purchaser of such property at such sale.
If any buildings or improvements are upon an area encompassing more than one tract or lot, the same must be advertised and sold as a single unit.
If the highest amount bid for any such separate unit tract or lot is in excess of the minimum bid due upon the whole property included in the certificate of delinquency, the excess shall be refunded following payment of all recorded water-sewer district liens, on application therefor, to the record owner of the property. The record owner of the property is the person who held title on the date of issuance of the certificate of delinquency. Assignments of interests, Certificates, or other documents executed or recorded after filing the certificate of delinquency shall not affect the payment of excess funds to the record owner. In the event no claim for the excess is received by the county treasurer within three years after the date of the sale he or she shall at expiration of the three year period deposit such excess in the current expense fund of the county which shall extinguish all claims by any owner to the excess funds. The county treasurer shall execute to the purchaser of any piece or parcel of land a tax certificate. The certificate so made by the county treasurer, under the official seal of his or her office, shall be recorded in the same manner as other conveyances of real property, and shall vest in the grantee, his or her heirs and assigns the title to the property therein described, without further acknowledgment or evidence of such conveyance, and shall be substantially in the following form:
|RCW 84.64.120. Appellate review - deposit.||Appellate review of the judgment of the superior court may be sought as in other civil cases. However, review must be sought within thirty days after the entry of the judgment and the party taking such appeal shall deposit a sum equal to all taxes, interest, and costs with the clerk of the court, conditioned that the appellant shall prosecute the appeal with effect, and will pay the amount of any taxes, interest and costs which may be finally adjudged against the real property involved in the appeal by any court having jurisdiction of the cause. No appeal shall be allowed from any judgment for the sale of land or lot for taxes unless the party taking such appeal shall before the time of giving notice of such appeal, and within thirty days herein allowed within which to appeal, deposit with the clerk of the court of the county in which the land or lots are situated, an amount of money equal to the amount of the judgment and costs rendered in such cause by the trial court. If, in case of an appeal, the judgment of the lower court shall be affirmed, in whole or in part, the supreme court or the court of appeals shall enter judgment for the amount of taxes, interest and costs, with damages not to exceed twenty percent, and shall order that the amount deposited with the clerk of the court, or so much thereof as may be necessary, be credited upon the judgment so rendered, and execution shall issue for the balance of the judgment, damages and costs. The clerk of the supreme court or the clerk of the division of the court of appeals in which the appeal is pending shall transmit to the county treasurer of the county in which the land or lots are situated a certified copy of the order of affirmance, and it shall be the duty of such county treasurer upon receiving the same to apply so much of the amount deposited with the clerk of the court, as shall be necessary to satisfy the amount of the judgment of the supreme court, and to account for the same as collected taxes. If the judgment of the superior court shall be reversed and the cause remanded for a rehearing, and if, upon a rehearing, judgment shall be rendered for the sale of the land or lots for taxes, or any part thereof, and such judgment be not appealed from, as herein provided, the clerk of such superior court shall certify to the county treasurer the amount of such judgment, and thereupon it shall be the duty of the county treasurer to certify to the county clerk the amount deposited with the clerk of the court, and the county clerk shall credit such judgment with the amount of such deposit, or so much thereof as will satisfy the judgment, and the county treasurer shall be chargeable and accountable for the amount so credited as collected taxes. Nothing herein shall be construed as requiring an additional deposit in case of more than one appeal being prosecuted in the proceeding. If, upon a final hearing, judgment shall be refused for the sale of the land or lots for the taxes, interest, and costs, or any part thereof, in the proceedings, the county treasurer shall pay over to the party who shall have made such deposit, or his or her legally authorized agent or representative, the amount of the deposit, or so much thereof as shall remain after the satisfaction of the judgment against the land or lots in respect to which such deposit shall have been made.|
|RCW 84.64.180. Certificates as evidence - Estoppel by judgment.||Certificates executed by the county treasurer, as aforesaid, shall be prima facie evidence in all controversies and suits in relation to the right of the purchaser, his heirs and assigns, to the real property thereby conveyed of the following facts: First, that the real property conveyed was subject to taxation at the time the same was assessed, and had been listed and assessed in the time and manner required by law; second, that the taxes were not paid at any time before the issuance of certificate; third, that the real property conveyed had not been redeemed from the sale at the date of the certificate; fourth, that the real property was sold for taxes, interest and costs, as stated in the certificate; fifth, that the grantee in the certificate was the purchaser, or assignee of the purchaser; sixth, that the sale was conducted in the manner required by law. And any judgment for the certificate to real property sold for delinquent taxes rendered after January 9, 1926, except as otherwise provided in this section, shall estop all parties from raising any objections thereto, or to a tax title based thereon, which existed at or before the rendition of such judgment, and could have been presented as a defense to the application for such judgment in the court wherein the same was rendered, and as to all such questions the judgment itself shall be conclusive evidence of its regularity and validity in all collateral proceedings, except in cases where the tax has been paid, or the real property was not liable to the tax.|
|RCW 84.64.190. Certified copy of certificate as evidence.||Whenever it shall be necessary in any action in any court of law or equity, wherein the title to any real property is in controversy, to prove the conveyance to any county of such real property in pursuance of a foreclosure of a tax certificate and sale thereunder, a copy of the tax certificate issued to the county containing a description of such real property, exclusive of the description of all other real property therein described, certified by the county auditor of the county wherein the real property is situated, to be such, shall be admitted in evidence by the court, and shall be proof of the conveyance of the real property in controversy to such county, to the same extent as would a certified copy of the entire record of such tax certificate.|
|RCW 84.64.200. Prior taxes deemed delinquent - County as bidder at sale - Purchaser to pay all delinquent taxes, interest, or costs.||All lots, tracts and parcels of land upon which taxes levied prior to January 9, 1926 remain due and unpaid at the date when such taxes would have become delinquent as provided in the act under which they were levied shall be deemed to be delinquent under the provisions of this title, and the same proceedings may be had to enforce the payment of such unpaid taxes, with interest and costs, and payment enforced and liens foreclosed under and by virtue of the provisions of this chapter. For the purposes of foreclosure under this chapter, the date of delinquency shall be construed to mean the date when the taxes first became delinquent. At all sales of property for which certificates of delinquency are held by the county, if no other bids are received, the county shall be considered a bidder for the full area of each tract or lot to the amount of all taxes, interest and costs due thereon, and where no bidder appears, acquire title in trust for the taxing districts as absolutely as if purchased by an individual under the provisions of this chapter; all bidders except the county at sales of property for which certificates of delinquency are held by the county shall pay the full amount of taxes, interest and costs for which judgment is rendered, together with all taxes, interest and costs which are delinquent at the time of sale, regardless of whether the taxes, interest, or costs are included in the judgment.|
|Statement||The foregoing questions and answers are not intended as legal advice. All tax sale purchasers are advised to educate themselves as to the law and their legal rights and obligations as purchasers and/or to obtain the advice of an attorney. All former owners of properties sold at a tax sale are advised to obtain the advice of an attorney as to their legal rights and obligations.|