The Whatcom County Treasurer’s Office will be holding a real property tax foreclosure public auction at 9 a.m. on Friday, November 22. The auction will be held in the Whatcom County council chambers, 311 Grand Avenue, Bellingham.
A list of available properties and minimum bids can be viewed at the Whatcom County Treasurer’s website, whatcomcounty.us/treasurer. The list includes two properties in Blaine, and precise information regarding their legal boundaries can be found in the title reports available in the treasurer’s office.
In order to participate in the auction, bidders must be registered. There is no registration fee. In addition to pre-registration, which opened on November 15, registration can be completed on the day of the sale beginning at 8 a.m.
The Whatcom County Treasurer’s Office accepts only cash, cashier’s checks and money orders made payable to the Whatcom County Treasurer. No personal, business or traveler’s checks will be accepted. Those wishing to bid must be present or have a representative present at the auction.
When real property taxes remain delinquent for three years, the Whatcom County Treasurer is required by law to begin foreclosure action. A certificate of delinquency is filed in Superior Court, after which taxes, interest, penalties and foreclosure costs begin to accrue.
A title search is conducted for each parcel. As required by law, all parties with a recorded legal interest, as revealed by the title search, are served with a notice and summons by certified or registered mail. A notice and summons is also published in the local newspaper, as well as a missing persons ad.
The Whatcom County Treasurer receives a judgment from Superior Court foreclosing on the tax liens and ordering the sale of those parcels. Parcels being foreclosed can be redeemed by their owners, or other parties with a recorded legal interest, through the close of business on the day before the sale.