Tax Foreclosed Property

Real Property Foreclosure Process

The tax foreclosure process begins when the owner of record becomes delinquent on taxes after three years of non-payment. A two-year redemption period follows during which certain interested parties may bring the account current by paying the delinquent taxes, fees, penalties and interest due. If the account remains delinquent at the end of the two-year redemption period, the property is deeded to the county in which the foreclosure has taken place.

During the redemption period the last record of owner, contract owner, and any lienholder(s) are notified of the foreclosure proceedings and they are the only ones allowed to redeem the property. Once the property has been deeded to the county (tentatively scheduled in October of each year) it is added to the county's inventory of property and evaluated for disposition which may include sale at public auction.

In Washington County, all departments, other governmental agencies and qualifying non-profits are notified of the new properties that will be offered for sale at public auction. Should any of the notified departments, agencies, or non-profits be interested in any of the properties for a public or other allowable use, the identified parcel(s) are removed from the auction list. The remaining properties are placed on the auction list and minimum bids are established for each parcel. The auction list is then published in a newspaper of general circulation in the community for four consecutive weeks prior to the auction.  

Bidding and Financing

Bidding is started at the minimum bid amount.  Bidders must be present to bid. Washington County requires a twenty percent (20%), non-refundable down payment at the time a winning bid is awarded. Washington County accepts cash, cashier's check, or certified funds for the down payment. A certificate of sale is given to the purchaser until a deed can be prepared. The deed is prepared within 60 days of the auction and the purchaser has 30 days to respond to the notification and to finalize the purchase. The property is conveyed through a quit claim deed and all properties are sold "AS IS". Failure to finalize the purchase results in forfeiting the twenty percent (20%) down payment and, at the discretion of Washington County Board of County Commissioners, the property is either: 1) offered for sale to the next highest bidder, or 2) sold through negotiation with an interested party, or 3) placed back on the auction list for the next scheduled auction.

Property Not Sold at Auction

Any parcels that are offered and not sold at public auction can be sold through negotiation to any interested party. All sales are at the discretion of the Board of County Commissioners. Any property that is valued (Real Market Value) at less than $15,000 and is unbuildable may be sold through a private sale and does not have to go through the public auction process.  

Email Notification List

Submit the form below to be placed on the email list to be notified when future Washington County real property auctions are scheduled. A notice will be sent out approximately one month prior to the auction.