(a) No lien upon real property evidenced by a tax certificate of sale issued by a sheriff on account of any delinquent property taxes may remain a lien on the real property for a period longer than eighteen months after the original issuance of the tax certificate of sale.
(b) All rights of a purchaser to the property, to a lien on the property, or to any other interest in the property, including, but not limited to any right to a tax deed, shall be considered forfeited and expired and no tax deed is to be issued on any tax sale evidenced by a tax certificate of sale where the certificate has ceased to be a lien pursuant to the provisions of this section and application for the tax deed, pursuant to the provisions of section twenty-seven of this article, is not pending at the time of the expiration of the limitation period provided in this section.
(c) Whenever a lien evidenced by a tax certificate of sale has expired by reason of the provisions of this section, the State Auditor shall immediately issue and record a certificate of cancellation describing the real estate included in the certificate of purchase or tax certificate and giving the date of cancellation and the State Auditor shall also make proper entries in his or her records. The State Auditor shall also present a copy of every certificate of cancellation to the sheriff who shall enter it in the sheriff's records and the certificate and the record are prima facie evidence of the cancellation of the certificate of sale and of the release of the lien of the certificate on the lands described in the certificate. Failure to record the certificate of cancellation does not extend the lien evidenced by the certificate of sale. The sheriff and State Auditor are not entitled to any fees for the issuing of the certificate of cancellation nor for the entries in their books made under the provisions of this subsection.
(d) Whenever a purchaser has complied with the notice
requirements provided in section nineteen of this article, but has
failed to request a deed within the eighteen month deadline
provided in this section, thereby forfeiting all rights to a tax
deed, the purchaser may recover the amounts paid in excess of the
taxes owed and expenses incurred by the State Auditor in the
processing of the tax lien if, within thirty days of the expiration
of the lien, upon a showing of compliance with the provisons of
section nineteen of this article, the purchaser files with the
State Auditor a request in writing for the refund. A purchaser who
fails to file the request within the thirty day period forfeits all
rights to the refund.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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