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Specifics of Lien Processing and Title Service

Frequently Asked Questions

Once I purchase the lien, can I start working on the property?

No. Entering the property before you have an actual deed would be considered trespassing and is punishable by law.

What information do you need to start processing my liens?

Typically, we need your contact information and copies of your Certificates of Sale.

When do I need to have the information to you?

Although the State Auditor recommends waiting until later in the year to seek an attorney to perform your title searches; due to the volume of tax title reports we perform every year, we require you to send them by January 10th. Most clients send us copies of their certificates immediately following the sale but we do not actually require them until the first week of January. You cannot seek reimbursement of title search until after January 1st, therefore, tax liens which are redeemed prior to January 1st, do not require any further action.

Can I wait until October 1st to turn my information in to you?

You may, but there is no guarantee that we will have time to complete it and may have to turn you away. Late comers are evaluated on an individual basis and depend on the volume of work we already have for that year and the county in which the liens were purchased.

Exactly what do you research and what can I expect from the results?

The research we perform is limited to the information recorded in the records of the Clerk of the County Commission on each property for names and addresses of interest owners. The information found is used to complete your notice to redeem forms. It is required that we (and you) do everything possible to notify delinquent tax owners of your lien. If they should call this office, we are obligated to walk them through the redemption process, tell them how much time they have to redeem and provide them with the information necessary to successfully do so.

If you know, or know of the property owners, please share that information with us. The more information we have, the better. It is necessary to keep in mind, County records are not always complete and accurate. An example; if someone dies in another State, the information might not be recorded here. You are not obligated by law to search further than the County records however, if Personal Process Service is requested by the State Auditor, he recommends that you obtain further research through a national investigative search. We can provide this service at an additional charge.

How soon can I send my reports to the State Auditor?

The State Auditor cannot accept reports before August 31st or after October 31. The title search must be accurate through September 1st. We will perform an initial title search as soon as we receive your certificates and will update the title on September 1st. You will normally receive your reports within 30 days of their required submission.

What happens after I submit my reports to the State Auditor?

Visit www.wvsao.gov and choose “Land/County Collections”. Choose “Sold to Individual Inquiry” on the right side of the page. Choose the tax year (year of the tax ticket you purchased), the County and either the Certificate of Sale Number or; to display all of your purchases in that County, enter the “Buyer Name” in which you purchased them.

Under the “Search Results” page, choose the “View Images” link listed under the Certificate of Sale number. This will show you who received and signed for their notices (and subsequently who did not). It will also indicate if your deed fee invoice has been issued and sent.

What Correspondence can I expect from the State Auditor after my reports are submitted?

If any of the certified notices are left unclaimed, the State Auditor will send you a Personal Process Service Request letter. They will give you from 7 to 21 days to provide them with an address where a deputy Sheriff can serve the Notice to Redeem via process service and the necessary funds required for said process service. You will want to choose an address that you feel is a valid physical address for the Sheriff to serve. For an additional charge, we will prepare these for you using the most up to date information from a national investigative search site to which we subscribe. This is the most preferred method by the State Auditor as it provides more thorough information on living status and current addresses. It reaches beyond the required scope and therefore exhibits an extra effort on your part to attempt to notify the proper parties.

How much does it cost to Process Serve?

Currently, the State Auditor is requesting $42.52 in State and varies out of State, per person or entity. Your request letter will instruct you how much to send with each supplemental report or that can also be calculated on the WVSAO.gov site.

*If you wish us to perform national searches and prepare your personal process service, we need copies of the requests from the State Auditor as quickly as possible as they are extremely time sensitive.

What happens if everyone I notified signs for their Certified Notice to Redeem Letters?

If all “NTR” letters are claimed by the recipients and no one redeems the property, you will be sent a Deed Invoice to submit the recording fees for your deed. Once the County Clerk has recorded your deed, they will mail it directly to you.

What do I do if I don’t receive any requests or Deed Invoice?

You will need to call the State Auditor at (304) 558-2251. Once your reports are complete and submitted, this office cannot tell you the status of them.

What if I purchased liens in Counties that do not employ the services of the State Auditor, like Wood or Kanawha?

The same procedures are followed in these Counties except the County Clerk processes the information instead of the State Auditor. The Auditor will not have any information on these liens and therefore, will not list them on their website. You will need to call us every time a lien is redeemed so that verification of title can be submitted to the Sheriff on your behalf. You will submit your reports to the Clerk of the County Commission and all further requests and instructions will come from that office. After the entire process is complete, Kanawha County prepares your deed. Wood County requires that you have a Deed prepared. Both Counties will request the funds to record your deed. For an additional charge, we can prepare your Wood County Deeds but will not do so automatically. You will need to call/email us with which liens you want to take deed on.

How long do I have to pay for my title searches?

You will have 30 days from the date of the invoice to remit it to us. Your payment, along with your signed acknowledgment of our Statement of Services must be received in our office before your reports can be released unless other arrangements have been made in advance.

Do you have your Certificates of Sale and are ready to have us process your lien?