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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)
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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 $1,500 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 mail with a 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 the day before the sale. That is, they are allowed to pay all that is due, thus removing their parcel from the sale.
Franklin County holds a Foreclosure sale once per year according to RCW 84.64.060.
The next sale is scheduled for Friday, December 8, 2023. The sale will be held online at the GovEase website.
You can see the results of the prior Foreclosure sale under the auctions/documents tab on this website.
Franklin County's latest Foreclosure document filed with the court will be located here via a hyperlink, which will include all parcels in foreclosure:
Parcels may be redeemed at any time up to and including the day before the sale by the recorded interest owners at the time the Certificate of Delinquency is filed. Therefore, you will periodically need to check for updates.
All sales may be subject to special assessment liens of other taxing districts and competing federal liens not extinguished by this sale, whether known or unknown. City LID liens, where known, will be announced. It is up to you to know exactly what you are bidding on. We do not overturn a sale and refund the purchase price because a bidder didn't know what they were bidding on, or because they didn't understand the legal description.
If prior lien holders attempt to collect on their liens after the property has been foreclosed on, it is entirely up to the new owner to defend against these claims. (RCW 84.64.080)
A deed will be issued within 30 to 60 days of the date of sale. Deeds are forwarded to the County Auditor's Office for recording and mailed to the address provided on the bidder registration.
Tax deeds and Treasurer's 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.
Prior owners have no rights to the property after Foreclosure, unless they were a minor or legally incompetent. Minors and people declared legally incompetent 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)
If no person submits a minimum bid for the property offered for sale, the county becomes the winning bidder by default and the property then becomes tax title property. The county holds the property in trust for the taxing districts and any future sales are held according to the tax title statutes RCW 36.35.
All properties held by Franklin County are sold by public auction. At any time, the public can search properties owned by Franklin County on this website through the property tax inquiry parcel search, by typing Franklin County on the owner search line. They can then fill out an application for re-sale of tax title property on particular parcel(s) - Land Sale Application (XLS) for the commissioners to authorize the re-sale of the tax title property.
If you should have any further questions, please contact our office at 509-545-3518 or email us.