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Klickitat County Treasurer's Office

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Klickitat County Public Auction

The Klickitat County Treasurer conducts one or more real property auctions per year. Different types of property can be sold at these sales. Here is some general information on tax foreclosure; tax-title and county owned surplus property sales.



The number of parcels auctioned varies greatly from sale to sale. An auction may have anywhere from one parcel, to twenty or more. The auctions are generally held in the Board of Commissioners' Chambers located in the Courthouse in Goldendale.




The information in this pamphlet is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. The treasurer may change some or all of this material. In addition, the law applicable to the matters discussed in this pamphlet may change or may have changed. Specific circumstances will differ at times and may require certain exceptions.


NO GUARANTEES:    Anyone considering buying property at a treasurer's 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. However, the treasurer and the county make no representations or warranties concerning what interest in the real property is being sold. The treasurer is not required to provide title information concerning the property. Any person interested in a treasurer's sale is encouraged to make his or her own investigation concerning the ownership of the property and the position being conveyed. Any person interested in a treasurer's sale is also encouraged to consult an attorney, as the treasurer does not provide legal advice concerning the sale. The treasurer does not provide information concerning the location of the property owners nor concerning the condition of the property. No representations or warranties are made concerning the physical condition of the property or whether there are any environmental or hazardous waste liabilities or problems connected with the property. Any person desiring title information, information concerning the physical condition of the property, information concerning any hazardous waste or environmental issues, or other information about the property being sold should obtain all such information independently.



The following statement applies to all treasurers' real property sales; “This is a BUYER BEWARE sale. ALL SALES ARE FINAL. We offer the parcels on a “where is" and “as is" basis. The County makes no representation of warranty, expressed or implied, as to the condition of the title to any property, nor the physical condition of any property or its fitness for any use or purpose."

TAX FORECLOSURE SALES

What is Tax Foreclosure? After real property taxes become three years delinquent, the county treasurer begins foreclosure action. We file a certificate of delinquency in the Klickitat County Superior Court to declare taxes, interest and penalties due, and foreclosure costs continue to accrue.

We order title searches for each parcel. As required by law, all owners, parties with recorded legal interest in or lien or record on the property (revealed by title searches) are served with notice and summons by certified mail. A notice and summons is also published in both local newspapers. (RCW 84.64.050)

The treasurer obtains a judgment from the court authorizing foreclosure of the tax liens and ordering the sale of those parcels. Parcels being foreclosed on can be redeemed only by their owners or other parties with recorded legal interest, through 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. We usually hold one tax foreclosure sale per year. Check with the treasurer's office for the date of the next sale. (RCW 84.64.070)


Can prior owners redeem their property after foreclosure? ? Prior owners have no rights to the property after foreclosure, UNLESS they were a minor or legally incompetent at the time of the sale. Minors and legal incompetents have the right to redeem anytime within three years after the date of the foreclosure sale. They do so 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)

What happens to all of the property liens? Generally, the treasurer's tax foreclosure sale extinguishes all mortgages (including deeds of trust), judgments and debts on the real property sold. However, separate rules determine whether any federal tax liens or unrecorded interests are extinguished. Anyone purchasing real property at a treasurer's tax foreclosure sale should make an independent determination of the effect of the sale, including on any federal tax liens. The treasurer and the county make no guarantees or assurances that other lienholders or interest holders will honor an extinguishment, and it is entirely up to the new owner to defend against such claims.

TAX TITLE & COUNTY OWNED SURPLUS

What happens to excess proceeds? If a parcel is sold at auction for more than the amount owing, the previous title owner of record can claim the surplus money. This is the party who held title on the day that we filed the Certificate of Delinquency. They have up to three years from the date of the sale to make their claim. (RCW 84.64.080)

What does Tax-Title mean? Parcels offered for auction at tax foreclosure sale, but not sold, are deeded to the county. These parcels are “Tax-Title." They may still be purchased from the county through a different process. Tax-title properties are subject to the same risks as tax foreclosure properties.

What is County Owned Surplus? Parcels the county owns, not acquired through tax foreclosure, can be purchased if the Klickitat County Commissioners have declared them “surplus."

DEEDS

How long does it take to get a deed? We will issue a deed within approximately sixty days of the sale date. Deeds are forwarded to the Klickitat County Auditor's office for recording and mailed to the address provided on the bidder registration. The type of deed issued varies.
  • Tax deeds are issued for parcels purchased at tax foreclosure sales.
  • Treasurer' deeds are issued for tax-title parcels.

  • County owned surplus deeds depend on the type of deed that the county holds. Quit claim deeds may be issued on county owned surplus property.


Tax deeds, treasurers' deeds and quit claim deeds provide the purchasers no guarantees. There can be a clouded title or other problems the county is neither aware of nor responsible for to the purchaser.

RESEARCH

Thorough research on all potential purchases is essential. It is important that you complete this research before the day of the sale. There are definite risks when buying tax foreclosure and tax-title properties. Even County owned surplus sales may present risks. 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.

Where is the best place to begin? Besides the minimum bid sheet, the treasurer's office will provide as much information as it has available. Title reports, maps, appraisal sheets and tax information are some items that will help you in your research. The treasurer's office is only a starting point. Sometimes the information available is minimal. It's up to the buyer to pursue other resources.

Other resourcesQuestions on build-ability, zoning, use restrictions and controls and others should be looked into before any purchase. City and county engineering, buildings & codes, and planning departments are good places to get information.

Title Insurance – Some title companies won't provide title insurance for up to ten years from the date of sale. Policies vary with each title company.

Assessments – Many parcels have local improvements or special assessments for which payment will be due. Check to find what districts or associations service the parcel you are researching.

Local Ordinances – Some properties may have easements or use restrictions, and zoning or other land use controls. We sell all properties subject to applicable city and county ordinances. The existence of these is the buyer's responsibility to detect.

Community Associations Dues – We sell all properties subject to restrictive covenants, if applicable, allowing for imposition of community association fees.

Physical Inspection of Property – We strongly recommend that you visit the property sites you are researching. Look at exactly what is being offered for sale. Is there an access to the parcel? Can you accurately identify property boundaries? Is the parcel being used by neighbors? These are a few of the questions you may want to ask.

Improvements – If there are improvements on the parcel, you should find out if they go with the land and how are they currently being used.

Minimum bid sheets are available at the treasurer's office before the auction. All bidders must be registered. You may sign up on the morning of the auction. No changes to the registration can be made after the sale. There is no registration fee.

When registering, we provide a copy of the terms of sale. We require that you read and sign this before being issued a bidder number card. You cannot bid without this card. We accept only cash, cashier checks and money orders. Absolutely no personal or business checks will be accepted. Those wishing to bid must be present or have a representative present at the auction.

The auctioneer announces the minimum bid for each parcel. Bids are made in increments of $50 or more.

These are oral auctions. To bid, you must hold up your issued bidder card and call out the bid amount. Each parcel is sold to the highest bidder. Once a parcel is sold, the successful bidder will be expected to pay for that parcel in full before the auction continues to the next parcel. If payment is not then made, the bid or bids will be deemed rejected, the bidding on such parcel or parcels will be reopened, and the defaulting bidder or bidders will be excluded from bidding on all other parcels..

Along with the bid amount, recording fees must be paid. We will announce these amounts in the opening statement at the beginning of the sale.