Total Counties =55
Sale Type: Lien State
Interest Rate: 12% per annum
Bid Method: Premium Bid
Redemption Period: 18 Months
State Statue Sections: West Virginia Code Section 11A-3-23
Over the Counter – Liens – No, Deeds – Yes
Sale Dates – Varies by county between October and November
West Virginia is a classic lien type state. In all 55 counties of West Virginia, the county sheriff is mandated by statute as the ex officio county treasurer and collects all taxes levied in his/her county.
West Virginia Statute Sec. 11a-1-2 mandates that there shall be a lien on all real property for the taxes assessed thereon, and for the interest and other charges upon such taxes, at the rate and for the period provided by law, which lien shall attach on the first day of July, for the taxes payable for the ensuing fiscal year. All current taxes assessed on real property may be paid in two installments. The first installment shall be payable on September first of the year for which the assessment is made, and shall become delinquent on October first; the second installment shall be payable on the first day of the following March and shall become delinquent on April first. If taxes are not paid on or before the date on which they become delinquent, interest at the rate of nine percent per annum shall be added from the date they become delinquent until paid.
The tax lien on each unredeemed tract or lot, or each unredeemed part thereof or undivided interest therein is sold by the sheriff, at public auction to the highest bidder, between the hours of ten in the morning and four in the afternoon on any business working day after the fourteenth day of October and before the twenty-third day of November next succeeding the year for which the taxes were assessed, or in other words the year following the delinquency of the second half. The highest bidder present at the sale is issued to a certificate of sale for the purchase money. The sheriff will require payment of any subsequent taxes due at the time of the sale before a certificate of sale is issued.
The certificate of sale is assignable by endorsement, and an assignment thereof, when entered upon the delinquent lands book of the clerk of the county commission, shall vest in the assignee or his legal representative all the right and title of the original purchaser. Whenever any tax lien on any real estate has been sold at a tax sale to an individual purchaser, and the tax on such real estate for the year of the sale or for any subsequent year has become delinquent, the sheriff will sell any subsequent tax liens as if the former sale had not occurred. The purchaser at the first sale may, however, prevent the second sale by paying the amount due. No lien upon real property evidenced by a tax certificate of sale issued by a sheriff shall remain a lien thereon for a period longer than eighteen months after its original issuance.
At any time after the thirty-first day of October of the year following the sheriff’s sale, and on or before the thirty-first day of December of the same year, the purchaser, his or her heirs or assigns, in order to secure a deed for the real estate subject to the tax lien or liens purchased, shall:
- Prepare a list of those to be served with notice to redeem and request the clerk to prepare and serve the notice as provided in statute;
- provide the clerk with a list of any additional expenses incurred after the first day of January of the year following the sheriff’s sale for the preparation of the list of those to be served with notice to redeem including proof of the additional expenses in the form of receipts or other evidence of reasonable legal expenses incurred for the services of any attorney who has performed an examination of the title to the real estate and rendered a written opinion and certification thereon;
- deposit with the clerk a sum sufficient to cover the costs of preparing and serving the notice; and
- present the purchaser’s certificate of sale to the clerk of the county commission. For failure to meet these requirements, the purchaser shall lose all the benefits of his or her purchase.
After the sale of any tax lien on any real estate, the owner of, or any other person who was entitled to pay the taxes on, may redeem the tax lien at any time before a tax deed is issued for the real estate. In order to redeem, he or she must pay to the clerk of the county commission the following amounts:
- An amount equal to the taxes, interest and charges due on the date of the sale, with interest at the rate of one percent per month from the date of sale;
- all other taxes thereof, which have since been paid by the purchaser, with interest at the rate of one percent per month from the date of payment;
- any additional expenses incurred from the first day of January of the year following the sheriff’s sale to the date of redemption for the preparation of the list of those to be served with notice to redeem and any title examination, with interest at the rate of one percent per month from the date of payment for reasonable legal expenses incurred for the services of an attorney who has performed an examination of the title to the real estate and rendered a written opinion or certification: Provided, that the amount he or she shall be required to pay, excluding the interest shall not exceed two hundred dollars; and
- all additional statutory costs paid by the purchaser.
If the real estate is not redeemed within the time specified above, but in no event prior to the first day of April of the second year following the sheriff’s sale, the person entitled to the tax sale deed must make and deliver to the clerk of the county commission a quitclaim deed as described in statute. the clerk is mandated by law to execute and record the deed in the clerk’s office and then deliver the original to the purchaser within 30 days of submittal, provided said deed’s form meets the requirements of statute. Whenever the purchaser of any tax lien on any real estate sold at a tax sale shall have obtained a deed for such real estate from the clerk of the county commission or from a commissioner appointed to make the deed, he or they shall thereby acquire all such right, title and interest, in and to the real estate, as was, at the time of the execution and delivery of the deed, vested in or held by any person who was entitled to redeem. The tax deed shall be conclusive evidence of the acquisition of such title. the title so acquired shall relate back to July first of the year in which the taxes, for nonpayment of which the tax lien on the real estate was sold, were assessed. Any individual purchaser to whom a tax deed has been issued may institute and prosecute actions to quiet title to any such real estate conveyed.