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Lien Processing and Title Service Request

Dear Client:


Please find below our Client Information Packet. Please read, “sign” and submit the form below (Statement of Services) along with your payment when you are ready to begin the process.


If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to use our contact page to reach our office. But first make sure to check out the FAQ section as well, as you will most likely find your answer there.


Rock S. Wilson
Attorney at Law (Bar No. 6003)

Rock Wilson Signature

Re: Client Information Packet


In this packet you will find useful information pertaining to your endeavor of purchasing and processing tax liens in the State of West Virginia. You may wish to retain this information in your records for further instruction and information as you move forward with this process. We thank you for choosing us to assist you and would like you to know exactly what to expect from us and the process in general.


The purchase of tax liens is a risky business. There are liabilities involved with problem properties and there are no guarantees of existence or condition. Additionally, under West Virginia code 11a, article 4, the original owners of the property have three (3) years beyond the date a deed is issued to a tax lien purchaser (perhaps longer in certain instances), to file action to set aside said deed, thus: marketable title issues may exist. For example, obtaining financing from a Bank in relation to a tax sale property is impossible for at least three years, sometimes longer.


The research we conduct is to determine those persons associated with the property that must be served with notice that a tax lien was sold on said property. This includes persons or entities with liens against the property or ownership (including partial interests) of the property. Our limited title research does not in any way; determine the existence of the property, whether mineral rights are associated with the property, determine double/dual assessments, or determine the location of the property. Our research is obtained from the documents of record in the County Clerks’ Office.


We require copies of the Certificates of Sale you were provided with at the Sheriffs’ Tax Sale by January 5 of the year following the sale you attended. These are proof of your purchase and contain the information necessary to begin our search. A preliminary title search is completed by January 15.


We need to hear from you if any of the following occurs:


    • Your contact information changes in any way
    • You have purchased in Wood, Grant or Kanawha County and you received a Notice of Redemption from said County


The quickest and most effective way to report any of the above is via email at info@mountainstatelandtitle.com. (We can also be reached at 304.200.2049 via phone and 304.200.2094 via facsimile.)


Throughout the year, as your tax liens are redeemed, this office must be notified of those redemptions as quickly as possible after you receive notice from the Sheriff so that title verification can be submitted in a timely manner (must be received by the Sheriff within 30 days). The Verification of title is completed with the most current information up to the date of redemption.


On September 1st, the final title will be performed and your reports prepared. Your reports will be mailed to you before October 1st in most cases. Upon receipt, you will need to write a check for each one made payable to the West Virginia State Auditor. Reference the Certificate of Sale number on each check and mail the complete package to:


West Virginia State Auditors’ Office
County Collections Division
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Building 1, Suite W-118
Charleston, WV 25305


*** If you have not received your reports by October 20th, you should call this office immediately to inquire about the status of them.


Before submitting your reports to the State Auditor, you will want to look them over for mistakes and decide how you want the property interest holders served. The notice to redeem form provides four choices of methods of service for each address (shown here):


☐Certified Mail   ☐Certified & Regular Mail   ☐Publication   ☐Personal Service   ☐Secretary of State


The “Certified and Regular Mail” box will already be checked for each address as this is the minimum method of service we recommend. We highly recommend that you also check the “Publication” box for every address, and the “Secretary of State” box for all businesses. You are not required to do this by law, but doing so could benefit you if problems arise later. If you wish us to check these boxes while preparing your reports you need only let us know by August 31st.


The Notice to Redeem fees in which you will be submitting with each report is determined on your methods of service and will be pre-calculated and made part of each report before it is sent to you. If you decide to choose additional methods, the “NTR” calculator found at www.wvsao.gov is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Go to the above-mentioned website, choose the “Land/County Collections” tab and then “NTR Calculate Cost”. Enter the number of addresses for each applicable category and if publicizing, choose the county in which you are working and then choose “calculate”. This will give you the amount to send with your report.


Once your reports are submitted to the State Auditor, you will need to watch your mail for additional information or requests from their office. One such example would be a request for personal process service. All requests from the State Auditors’ Office will have a deadline. You will only be given so many days to complete and return each request. If they do not receive the information back within the specified time allotted, your investment could be forfeited. If you need assistance with further requests from the State Auditor, additional charges from this office will apply.


The Auditor may, at any time, implement new requirements and regulations upon lien purchasers and the notification process. If so, you will be notified of these changes in writing by the State Auditor. As a tax lien purchaser, you are subject to the constant changing rules and regulations . We will try to keep you apprised but our work is subject to such changes; of which, we have no control over. If such requirements or changes to the process are made, additional fees will apply.


In or around March, the State Auditor sends out deed invoices. You will receive an invoice requesting you submit funds to record your deed. These fees should be submitted upon receipt if you intend to take deed on the property. Failing to meet the deadline will result in the forfeiture of your investment.


Because the process is lengthy, by the time you take deed on a property, the previous year’s taxes will already be delinquent. The very first thing you want to do when you receive your deed is to contact the Sheriffs’ Tax Office to pay the previous year’s taxes.


Please note: the next section is our “Statement of Services”. You will need to read, “sign” and submit the completed form as quickly as possible. If you have any questions, please use our contact page. We hope you find this information helpful and will retain it for further reference as you go along your journey. After the Statement of Services section below, we have also included some Frequently Asked Questions for your convenience.



Statement of Services


The research which has been conducted will be to determine those persons associated with the property that must be served with notice that a tax lien was sold on the property. This includes persons or entities with liens against the property or ownership of the property.


Our limited title research does not determine the existence of the property, whether mineral rights are associated with the property, dual assessments or the location of the property.


Purchase of tax liens is a risky business. There are liabilities involved with problem properties and there are no guarantees of existence or condition.


Additionally, under West Virginia Code 11A, Article 4, the original owners of properties have three (3) years beyond the date a deed is issued to a tax lien purchaser (perhaps longer in certain instances), to file action to set aside a deed. Thus, marketable title issues may exist.


It is recommended with each notice we prepare that there be publication on all properties and services to the Secretary of State for corporations and companies (additional fees to the State apply). While not required by WV Law, future title issues may occur if these steps are not followed. We leave this decision up to each client but choosing not to follow these procedures shall relieve our office of liability of title issues that may occur as a result.


Our services include research and preparation of all notices necessary for issuance of deed or subsequent redemption of the property. Our services do not include services rendered after a deed has been issued to you or redemption is made by the taxpayer or interested party. Our office is limited to reimbursement of our fees should there be an error in notices sent.


Should any property lien be redeemed, you must notify this office of said redemption immediately so that “verification of title” can be sent to the Sheriffs’ Tax Office in a timely manner. Otherwise, you will not receive reimbursement of our fees. This is especially important in Counties such as Wood, Gilmer and Kanawha, which do their own tax sale processing and do not report to or employ the West Virginia State Auditors’ Office.


If Under new rules or regulations, the State Auditor requires additional searches and/or requirements, additional charges from our office may apply.


If you should have any questions, please call my office at 1.304.200.2049.

Other Signing Options


If you prefer to download the Client Information Packet to manually sign and mail or fax back to us, you can download that here.


Fax: 304.200.2094


Mailing Address:
Mountain State Land Title Co.
PO Box 346
Williamstown, WV 26187

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.