When real property taxes become three years delinquent, the county Treasurer begins foreclosure action. A Certificate of Delinquency is filed with the county Superior Court. At this point, in addition to taxes, penalty and interest, foreclosure costs begin to accrue and increase monthly thereafter (RCW 84.64.050).
Prior to the sale, a title search is conducted for each parcel, chargeable to the owner of record in the Certificate of Delinquency. As required by law, all parties with recorded interest are sent notification in the form of a Notice and Summons that is published in a local newspaper per RCW84.64.050.
The Treasurer receives a tax judgment and order of sale from the court foreclosing on the tax lien, authorizing the sale of the parcel. Parcels included in the tax foreclosure process can be redeemed by the owner(s) of record in the Certificate of Delinquency or paid by any party with a recorded interest, up until the close of business on the day before the sale; thus removing the parcel from the sale. Tax foreclosure sales are usually held once a year.