Tax Foreclosure General Information
Contact Teri Mills at 360-427-9670 Ext 488 for updates.
1. Tax Foreclosure Sales are generally held in December of each year.
2. Mason County publishes all legal notices in the Shelton-Mason County Journal when, would be determined by the sale date.
3. If you wish to be placed on our Tax Foreclosure Mailing list, please send a check in the amount of $5.00 made payable to the Mason County Treasurer at the above address. Please note that you will need to send this fee and request annually as we do not hold over our list from year to year.
4. Mason County issues a Treasurer’s Deed at a Tax Foreclosure Sale within 45 days of the sale date. There are no rights of redemption at a Tax Foreclosure Sale except for a minor or persons adjudged to be incompetent. Then there is a three year redemption period. Please see statutes for collection on interest. In addition to the bid there is a fee for the deed and recording.
5. We do not sell “tax certificates or deeds” of any nature. In some states you may purchase a certificate of some kind showing that you paid the delinquent taxes but we don’t have any information on this procedure because there is no provision for it in Washington State Law.
6. You do not need to be present to bid at a sale if you wish to send a representative on your behalf. If you choose to send a representative, they must have the authority to sign any documents required at the time of sale. We do not accept sealed bids.
7. Properties not sold at a Tax Foreclosure Sale are noted as sold to Mason County.
8. ALL SALES ARE FINAL. PROPERTIES ARE SOLD ON A “WHERE IS AS IS” BASIS. All research must be done by the interested party. Normally this would include checking maps in the Assessor’s Office and doing research through the public computer terminals in the Assessor’s Office. An onsite inspection should also be made. Just because a property looks desirable on the map does not mean it is in actuality. The map does not show the topography such as ravines, hill, slopes, etc., nor does the map show what is on the property (dense growth, swamp, boulders, etc.) Some properties may be private roads covered by easements for ingress and egress. Easements are not extinguished by the foreclosure sale but remain with the land. You may not block the easement to try to extort money out of the users.
When you see that a property lies near or under a transmission line easement, there will likely be restrictions against building anything on the land. Transmission line easements do appear on the Assessor’s maps but private easements do not. Some properties may be subject to use restrictions and covenants set up in the original plat. Some of these may be subject to Open Space, Open Area, greenbelt or similar. You should also be aware of properties where the legal description contains the term: Drainage Easement” or “Retention Pond” or similar terms.
It is up to you to know exactly what you are bidding on. We can not stress this too strongly. Every year people who have done little or no research or who do not know how to read a legal description buy properties that, to them, are totally useless. Knowledgeable parties who have done the proper research will avoid these properties. We do not overturn a sale and refund the purchase price because a bidder didn’t know what they were bidding on, nor because they didn’t understand the legal description.
9. THE TAX FORECLOSURE AUCTION
The minimum bid includes what is owing to the County for the tax, and/or assessment interest, penalties and foreclosure costs. Bidding must be done in person, not by phone or mail. Registration is prior to start of sale on the day of sale. this is an open auction, not a sealed bid auction. Payment by the successful bidder must be made immediately upon winning the bid. Payment must be made by cashier’s check, money order, certified check, traveler’s check, or cash. no other form of payment will be accepted including personal checks, business checks or credit cards. There are no exceptions to this policy. Mason County has no financing.
Most people bring a cashier’s check for the maximum amount they are willing to spend whether they intend to buy just one parcel or bid on several. If the check is for too much we will refund the difference, but if it’s not enough you won’t have time to go to the bank for additional funds.
10. SURPLUS PROPERTY
For information on the availability of Surplus Real Property, please contact Richard Beckman Real Estate at 360-426-5521.