Information about Purchasing Property from Whitman County
Lori Nails, Revenue Officer
400 N Main Street
PO Box 550
Colfax, WA 99111
Phone: (509) 397-5338
Fax: (509) 397-5580
Information about Purchasing Property from
The Whitman County Treasurer conducts three types of real
property auctions. The sale types are: tax foreclosure, tax-title and
county owned surplus property sales. The tax foreclosure sale is typically
held the second Friday in December each year. The tax title and surplus
sales are held as needed.
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,
unless otherwise noted. However, the county does not guarantee or provide
warranty to the extent of interest. The county makes NO GUARANTEES
whatsoever on parcels sold at Treasurer's sales. This is a "BUYER BEWARE"
sale. ALL SALES ARE FINAL. We offer 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.
When real property taxes become three or more years delinquent,
the County Treasurer begins foreclosure action, In the fall of each year a
Certificate of Delinquency is filed with Superior Court. After the filing
of this document ALL the delinquent taxes must be paid to redeem the property
from foreclosure. Whitman County does not sell tax certificates or tax
deeds. Interest, penalties and foreclosure costs are charged against the
property as well as the delinquent tax amount. Title reports are ordered
for each parcel and add to the costs. As required by law, all parties with
a recorded legal interest are served with a Notice and Summons by certified mail
and given 30 days to respond. In addition, the Notice and Summons is
published in the Whitman County Gazette, the newspaper with general circulation
in this county.
The Treasurer receives a judgment from the court authorizing
foreclosure of the tax liens and ordering the sale of those parcels. Only
owners or parties with a recorded legal interest on the date the Certificate of
Delinquency is filed may redeem the property from foreclosure. All the
delinquent tax, penalty, interest and costs must be paid by 4:00 p.m. the day
before the sale or the property will be sold.
This year's sale is expected to be Dec 9, 2011,
in the Commissioners Chambers, in the Whitman County Courthouse, N. 400 Main
Street, Colfax, Washington, at 10:00am. You or your agent must be present to bid.
You will be asked to register at the sale. This is an oral auction.
If you are the successful bidder on a parcel you will be asked to pay for the
parcel immediately after the item is sold. The terms of the sale are cash,
cashier's check, or money order. There are no payment plans available.
Prior owners have no rights of redemption after foreclosure,
unless they were a minor or legally adjudicated incompetent. Generally,
all liens on foreclosed properties are extinguished. IRS liens have a 120
day redemption period. Any known IRS liens will be announced before the
parcel is sold.
If a parcel is sold at auction for more than the amount owing,
the owner of record at the time the Certificate of Delinquency was filed can
claim the surplus money up to three years after the actual sale.
Be aware that if your property is sold
in foreclosure you do not need to pay anyone a commission to obtain the excess proceeds
from the sale of your property. Homeowners
should be on guard for scams targeting those with unpaid mortgage loans or delinquent
property taxes. Don't become a victim
of a foreclosure rescue scam.
Tax Title Property
Parcels not sold at the foreclosure sale are deeded to the
County and become Tax Title property. They may be purchased from the
County through a different process, however, they are subject to the same risks
as tax foreclosure parcels.
Tax title properties may be purchased at public auction or by
private sale. Tax title property valued under $500 and not considered
buildable may be sold to an adjoining landowner without holding a public
auction. All other Tax title property must be sold at public auction.
To start the process, an application to purchase tax title
property, along with a $25 deposit, is submitted to the Treasurer. The
applications are available from the Treasurer's Office. The application is
then presented to the Board of County Commissioners. The Commissioners
decided if it is in the counties best interest to sell the property or retain
the property. The Public Works Department is usually consulted in this
process. If the application is rejected, the $25 deposit is refundable.
If approved, the Treasurer schedules a public auction and the applicant is
notified of the date, time and location. According to state law, the
auction must be advertised in the local newspaper for three consecutive weeks.
If the applicant is the successful bidder, the $25 deposit is
applied to the purchase amount of the parcel. The deposit is refunded to
the applicant if they are not the successful bidder. The applicant must
attend the sale and guarantee the minimum bid or the deposit is non-refundable.
County owned parcels, not acquired through tax foreclosure, can
be purchased if the Board of County Commissioners has declared the "surplus".
Purchasing County owned surplus property is done through public
auction or private sale. County owned surplus properties valued less than
$2500 may be sold without going to public auction. The Board of County
Commissioners determine if the property will be auctioned or not. All
other County owned surplus property must be sold a public auction. To
start the process, a letter of intent to purchase County owned surplus property
is submitted to the Board of County Commissioners. The Commissioners
approve or reject the sale. If approved, the Treasurer schedules a public
auction and the applicant is notified of the date, time and location. The
Auction is advertised in the legal notices of the newspaper for two consecutive
The Board of County Commissioners may order the Treasurer to
conduct an auction of Tax Title or County surplus properties without the request
or application form from an individual.
Nearly all the Tax Title and surplus County owned property in
Whitman County has been liquidated. No separate list exists which identify
only the properties Whitman County has retained, which are surplus to its needs.
If you wish a copy of our entire tax roll contact our office.
The information is available by email or CD. The charge is $240 and you
are required to sign an affidavit which states that you understand Washington
State law prohibits anyone from using this information for commercial purposes.
"Commercial Purposes" means that the person requesting the record intends that
the list will be used to communicate with the individual names in the record for
the purpose of facilitating profit expecting activity.
The deed is completed, recorded with the Auditor, and mailed to
the purchaser within 30 days of the sale. Tax deeds are issued for
property purchased at tax foreclosure sales. Treasurer's deeds are issued
for tax title parcels. Quit Claim Deeds are issued on County owned surplus
property. A warranty deed will be issued if the county owns clear title to
Tax deeds, Treasurers Deeds and Quit Claim Deeds provide the
purchasers no guarantees. There can be a clouded title or other problems for
which the County is neither aware of, nor responsible.
Thorough research on all potential purchases is essential.
It is important to complete this research before the day of the sale.
There are definite risks when buying tax foreclosure and tax title properties.
Buying property without doing research can result in unwanted and costly
Minimum bid sheets are available at the Treasurer's Office
before the auction or on our website: whitmancounty.org/treasurer/landsaleinformation.
You or your agent must be present at the oral auction if you
wish to bid. All bidders must register the morning of the sale and each
bidder will receive a bidder card. The terms of the sale will be available
when you register and will be read before the sale begins.
Only cash, cashiers check or money order will be accepted.
Absolutely NO personal or business checks will be accepted.
You will be expected to pay for the property immediately after
the item is sold. There will be no time allowed to go to the bank.
Information about the County sales is posted to the web page
when available. You can expect to find the foreclosure information on our web site after
each year. In addition, the information will be available in our
office after that date.
The minimum bid list will be posted to the website 10 days in
advance of the sale.
We do not maintain a mailing list to notify people of each years
Tax Title Sales