Real Property Tax Foreclosure-
Once a tax year is three years late, the county treasurer begins a foreclosure action. (RCW 84.64) Three years delinquent means that if the full year 2020 or any prior years are unpaid as of January 2023, foreclosure costs begin to accrue. Taxpayers can pay the "at risk" years only, to stop the foreclosure process, if paid by April 30th.
As required by law, all parties with recorded legal interest (revealed by title search) are served by certified mail with a notice and summons. A notice and summons is also published in the local newspaper. (RCW 84.64.050)
After we file foreclosure in May, 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 with certified funds (no personal checks accepted) in order to stop the foreclosure process.
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)
Mobile Home Distraint-
Tough collection provisions in the law (RCW 84.56.090) direct the county treasurer to seize and sell mobile homes when taxes become three years delinquent. Three years delinquent means that if the full year 2020 or any prior years are unpaid as of April 2023, we begin the Mobile Home Distraint process. The Kitsap County Treasurer holds one mobile home distraint auction per year, in November.
Anyone considering buying property at a distraint sale should be aware that there are risks. When selling a mobile home, the County conveys the entirety of the interest that it is legally capable of transferring, unless otherwise noted. However, the County does not guarantee or provide warranty as to the extent of the interest. The County makes no guarantees whatsoever on mobile homes sold at Treasurer's distraint sales.
Personal Property Distraint-
Tough collection provisions in the law (RCW 84.56.090) direct the county treasurer to seize and sell personal property (i.e.: business assets, boathouses, airplane hangers) when the property taxes become delinquent.
All personal property being sold at the distraint auction 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. ALL taxes, interest, penalty, and collection costs must be paid in full with certified funds (no personal checks accepted) in order to stop the distraint process.
Parcels that have been offered for sale at tax foreclosure sales, but not bid on, are deeded to the county. These parcels are held in trust as Tax Title. They may be purchased from the county, but through a different process than tax foreclosure. Tax title properties are, however, still subject to the same risks as tax foreclosure properties.
Purchasing tax title property is done through public auction, or by private negotiation per RCW 36.35.150. It can take up to a year to bring a parcel to sale. For more information, go to the Tax Title Sales Information and Application.
***THE KITSAP COUNTY TREASURER CANNOT TELL YOU HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN MORTGAGE COMPANY (TRUSTEE) OR SHERIFF SALES. THEY ARE HELD ON FRIDAYS IN FRONT OF THE ADMIN BUILDING ON THE SIDEWALK AS A PUBLIC MEETING PLACE ONLY.***
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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, Kitsap 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.
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.
The County Treasurer makes no warranty, either expressed or implied, relative to the usability, location, property lines, or topography. The County does not guarantee that all properties are buildable lots. All properties are offered for sale on a "where is" and "as is" basis without any representation or warranty, expressed or implied.
Prospective purchasers are urged to examine the title, location and desirability of the properties available prior to the sale; however, even the most diligent research efforts may not uncover all difficulties or unexpected problems.
Housing counseling and legal assistance may be available at little or no cost to you. If you would like help determining opportunities to resolve your delinquency and avoid foreclosure, you may contact the statewide homeownership hotline.
Phone: 1.877.894.HOME (4663)
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