Real Property Tax Foreclosure-
Once a tax year is three years late, the county treasurer begins foreclosure action. (RCW 84.64) Three years delinquent means that if the full year 2018 or any prior years are unpaid as of January 2021, foreclosure costs of approximately $1,500 per parcel begin to accrue. Taxpayers can pay the "at risk" years only, to stop the foreclosure process, if paid by April 30th.
After we file foreclosure in August, all of the parcels being foreclosed on can still be redeemed by their owners, or any parties with a recorded legal interest, up until the close of business on the last business day before the sale. (RCW 84.64.060) ALL taxes, interest, penalty, and foreclosure costs must be paid in full in order to stop the foreclosure process.
As required by law, all parties with recorded legal interest (revealed by title search) are served by certified or registered mail with a notice and summons. A notice and summons is also published in the local newspaper. (RCW 84.64.050)
Prior owners have no rights to the property after foreclosure, unless they were a minor or deemed legally incompetent by a court of law. Minors and legal incompetents have the right to redeem anytime within three years from the date of the foreclosure sale. They redeem the property by paying the sales price, plus interest on the tax amount. Any improvements made by the new owner would also be reimbursed. (RCW 84.64.070)
Washington Homeownership Resource Center (WHRC):
Foreclosure, first-time homebuyers, and current homeowners assistance is available by calling 877-894-4663 or visiting their website at http://www.homeownership-wa.org.
Before You Buy!
Restrictions - Questions about building, zoning, and use restrictions should be addressed to the city and county departments responsible for engineering, building, code enforcement, and planning.
Title Insurance - Some title companies don't provide title insurance for up to ten years from the date of sale. Policies vary with each title company. If you are planning to build, title insurance may be important to you.
Property Liens- Most liens on foreclosed property are extinguished by the tax sale. However,Jefferson County can make no guarantees that the prior lienholders will honor this extinguishment. IRS liens are usually also extinguished, but they are subject to a 120 day redemption period. If prior lienholders attempt to collect on their liens after the property has been foreclosed on, it is up to the new owner to defend against these claims.
Assessments - Some parcels have local improvements or special assessments. You will need to check on these and find out what districts or associations service the area of the parcel you are researching. Some assessments are collected by the county treasurer, some are not.
Local Ordinances - Some properties may be subject to easements or use restrictions, as well as zoning and other land use controls. All properties are sold subject to applicable city and county ordinances. The existence of these are the buyer's responsibility to determine.
Community Association Dues - All properties are sold subject to restrictive covenants, if any, allowing for imposition of community association fees.
Easements - All utility and other easements that are three years and older are unaffected by tax foreclosure. Easements are listed on title searches and will be on record at the County Auditor's Office.
Physical Inspection of Property - It is strongly recommended that you visit all of the property sites prior to purchase. Is there any access to the parcel? Can you accurately identify property boundaries? Is the parcel being used in some way by neighbors? The Treasurer's Office does not condone trespassing. The tax foreclosure sale properties are offered on a "whereas" and "as is" basis, and the County makes no representation or warranty, expressed or implied, nor any guarantee of warranty, expressed 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 purposes.
Improvements - If there are improvements on the parcel, you should find out if the improvements go with the land and how they are currently being utilized.
2021 Jefferson County Tax Foreclosure Information
Auction Date: December 14, 2021
Time: 8:00 a.m.
Location: Online Auction via PublicSurplus.com
Publication Date: October 6, 2021 Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader