Kitsap County Treasurer  MS-32
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA 98366
Phone: (360)337-7135 * Fax: (360)337-4635

Tax Foreclosure FAQ

What is Tax Foreclosure?

When real property taxes become three years delinquent, the county treasurer begins foreclosure action. A certificate of delinquency is filed with Superior Court. In addition to taxes, foreclosure costs of approximately $500 to $1000 per parcel begin to accrue.

Title searches are conducted for each of the parcels. As required by law, all parties with recorded legal interest (revealed by title search) are served by certified or registered mails with notice and summons. 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 on can be redeemed by their owners, or other parties with recorded legal interest, up 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. (RCW 84.64.060)

When is your next tax foreclosure sale?

Tax foreclosure sales are held once a year. Kitsap County holds their sale in December each year. Go to Upcoming Auctions to see if a sale is scheduled.

Where is the Tax Foreclosure sale held?

Kitsap County Tax Foreclosure sales are conducted online at

When & where do you advertise for the sale? 

We will advertise in the local paper, currently the Kitsap Sun, by the beginning of September.  Information about the sale will also be on our website by August. The list is available for preview on by the end of October.

Do I need to register for the sale?

You need to register for the sale on as they conduct our tax foreclosure sale for us.

Who may bid at the Tax Foreclosure auction?

The auction is open to the public and anyone can bid, EXCEPT;

“No county officer or employee shall directly or indirectly be a purchaser of such property at such sale.” (RCW 84.64.080)

What forms of payments do you accept?

certified funds will be accepted. Payment is required in full by the date stated in the terms of sale for the auction. If full payment is not made as required, the parcel is re-auctioned at the minimum bid. A successful bidder who doesn't pay will not be allowed to bid on any other parcels. Please see for more payment information prior to bidding.

What happens to properties that do not sell?

Any properties not sold during the initial auction will be reoffered the following week. Any properties that still do not sell are considered sold to the county as tax title.  They may be offered by auction at a later date if the county decides not to retain them.

Can prior owners redeem their property after it's foreclosed on?

Prior owners have no rights to the property after foreclosure, UNLESS they were a minor or legally incompetent. Minors and legal incompetents have the right to redeem anytime within three years from the date of the foreclosure sale. If they do so, they must pay the amount that the property sold for, plus interest on the tax amount. If there were any improvements made by the new owner, those would also be paid for. (RCW 84.64.070)

What happens to the excess proceeds?

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

More information can be found on the Tax Sale Results and Surplus Proceeds page.

How long does it take to get a deed?

A tax deed will be issued within thirty days of the date of sale. Deeds are forwarded to the Kitsap County Auditor's Office for recording and mailed to the address provided by the bidder upon registration. Tax deeds provide the purchaser no guarantees. There can be clouded title or other problems, which the county is neither aware of nor responsible for to the purchaser.

Does the County sell their "certificates/liens/deeds" over the counter?

No, we only sell foreclosure property through a public auction.

What happens to the liens if I am the successful purchaser?

It is the responsibility of the purchaser/bidder to know what they are purchasing and what liens may follow with the land.  We make no guarantees nor can we answer those questions.  You need to do your own research and make your own determinations.  You may want to talk to an attorney for legal advice. The County obtains a Title Report for each property, which are available on the auction website at

Can I get on a mailing list for notifications of upcoming auctions?

No. Kitsap County does not maintain a mailing list to notify people of auctions.

Last Updated:  February 01, 2017