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WEST VIRGINIA CODE
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WVC 11A- CHAPTER 11A. COLLECTION AND ENFORCEMENT OF PROPERTY TAXES.

WVC -1- ARTICLE 1. ACCRUAL AND COLLECTION OF TAXES.


WVC 11A-1-1 §11A-1-1. Definition of terms.
The words tax, taxes, taxable and taxation as used in this chapter shall, unless otherwise specified, be applicable to all levies on real or personal property made by any of the taxing units named in section four, article eight, chapter eleven of this code.

The words land or lands or tract or tracts of lands, or lot or lots, or real estate, or real property, or part or parcel of a tract or lot, or estate or estates in land, as used in this chapter, shall be deemed to include an undivided interest in any freehold estate in land.


WVC 11A-1-2 §11A-1-2. Lien for real property taxes.
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, one thousand nine hundred sixty-one, and each July first thereafter for the taxes payable for the ensuing fiscal year.


WVC 11A-1-3 §11A-1-3. Accrual; time for payment; interest on delinquent taxes.
(a) All current taxes assessed on real and personal 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. Taxes paid on or before the date when they are payable, including both first and second installments, shall be subject to a discount of two and one- half percent. If taxes are not paid on or before the date on which they become delinquent, including both first and second installments, interest at the rate of nine percent per annum shall be added from the date they become delinquent until paid.

(b) With regard to real and personal property taxes, when any return, claim, statement or other document is required to be filed, or any payment is required to be made within a prescribed period or before a prescribed date, and the applicable law requires delivery to the office of the sheriff of a county of this state, the methods prescribed in section five-f, article ten, chapter eleven of this code for timely filing and payment to the tax commissioner or department of tax and revenue shall be the same methods utilized for timely filing and payment with such sheriff. Nothing contained in this subsection (b) shall prohibit the sheriff from establishing additional methods of payment in accordance with the provisions of section eight-a of this article.


WVC 11A-1-4 §11A-1-4. Collection by sheriff.
The sheriff, as ex officio county treasurer, shall collect all taxes levied in his county. For this purpose he shall have an office at the county seat, which shall be kept open daily during business hours.


WVC 11A-1-5 §11A-1-5. Appointment of collector; bond.
The county court may appoint a collector in any county when necessary to collect such taxes. The collector shall have a reasonable time for making collections and accounting therefor. Before acting, he shall execute an official bond, in the penalty of not less than five thousand dollars, to be approved by the county court, and filed with the clerk thereof. All provisions of this chapter in respect to the rights, duties and liabilities of the sheriff shall be applicable to the collector, should one be appointed.


WVC 11A-1-6 §11A-1-6. When collection to commence.
The sheriff shall commence collection of current taxes on the fifteenth day of July, or as soon thereafter as he receives copies of the land and personal property books.


WVC 11 A- 1 - 7 §11A-1-7. No collection of current real property taxes until delinquent real property taxes are paid.

     The sheriff, in preparing his or her real property tax receipts for any current year shall examine and compare them with the delinquent list for the preceding year in his or her hands, and if any tract is found to be delinquent for the preceding year, he or she shall note the fact on his or her current receipts and shall decline to receive current taxes on any land where it appears to his or her office that a prior year's real property taxes are unpaid. Acceptance of current taxes through oversight does not relieve the owner of any land of the liability to pay prior taxes and penalties imposed for nonpayment.
WVC 11 A- 1 - 7 A §11A-1-7a. No collection of current personal property taxes until delinquent personal property taxes are paid.

     The sheriff, in preparing his or her personal property receipts for any current year shall examine and compare them with the delinquent list for the preceding year in his or her hands, and if payment for any personal property is found to be delinquent for the preceding year, he or she shall note the fact on his or her current receipts and shall decline to receive current taxes on any personal property where it appears to his or her office that a prior year's personal property taxes are unpaid. Acceptance of current taxes through oversight does not relieve the owner of any personal property of the liability to pay prior taxes and penalties imposed for nonpayment.
WVC 11A-1-8 §11A-1-8. Notice of time and place for payment; mailing of tax

tickets.
(a) The sheriff may give notice by posting at not less than six public places in each magisterial district, for at least ten days before the time appointed, that between the fifteenth day of July and the thirty-first day of August he will attend at one or more of the most public and convenient places in each district, such places to be specified in the notice, for the purpose of receiving taxes due by the people residing or paying taxes in such district. The notice shall also state that those who pay the first installment of their taxes on or before the first day of September will be entitled to a discount of two and one-half percent. Like notice may be given that between the fifteenth day of January and the twenty-eighth day of February he will again appear in each district for the collection of taxes, and that those who pay their second installment on or before the first day of March will be entitled to the same discount. Failure of the sheriff to post such lists shall not impair the right to collect such taxes, the right to collect any interest or penalty imposed as a result of the failure to pay such taxes or the methods of enforcing the payment of such taxes, interest or penalty.

The county commission of any county may order that the above notice shall also be given by advertisement. Such an order, once entered, shall continue in effect until rescinded by the county commission. Upon entry of such order, the sheriff shall, besides posting as required above, publish the proper notice as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the county. Such notice shall be so published within fourteen consecutive days next preceding the fifteenth day of July or the fifteenth day of January as the case may be. For every failure so to advertise, the sheriff shall forfeit one hundred dollars.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, the sheriff shall send to every person owing real or personal property taxes a copy of such taxpayers annual tax ticket or tickets showing what tax is due and how such tax may be paid. Such copy shall be sent to the last known address of such taxpayer by first class United States mail.

Failure of the sheriff to send or failure of the taxpayer to receive such copy shall not impair the right to collect such taxes, the right to collect any interest or penalty imposed as a result of the failure to pay such taxes or the method of enforcing the payment of such taxes, interest or penalty.

At such time as the sheriff prepares the delinquent list for real property, he shall compare such list with a copy of the landbooks most recently delivered by the assessor to the board of review and equalization pursuant to section nineteen, article three, chapter eleven of this code. The assessor shall make a copy of said landbooks available to the sheriff. If property on the delinquent list should appear as a transfer on said landbooks with the delinquent owner as the transferor, the sheriff shall send to the transferee at his last known address by first class United States mail a copy of the annual tax ticket or tickets showing what taxes are due upon the real property of such transferee and how they may be paid as prescribed in this section.

Failure of the sheriff to send or failure of the taxpayer to receive such copy shall not impair the right to collect such taxes, the right to collect any interest or penalty imposed as a result of the failure to pay such taxes or the method of enforcing the payment of such taxes, interest or penalty.

(b) In addition to the notice of real or property taxes owed, provided in this section, the county commission of any county may order that the sheriff include in the mailing notice of any taxes or other fees owed to the county or a municipality in the county.

(c) (1) The sheriff may accept credit cards in payment of any of the taxes, interest or penalty described in this section. The type of credit card accepted shall be at the discretion of the sheriff.

(2) The sheriff may set a fee to be added to each credit card transaction equal to the charge paid by the state, county, sheriff or taxpayer for the use of the credit card by the taxpayer. Except for fees imposed pursuant to this subdivision, no other fees for the use of a credit card may be imposed upon the taxpayer.

(3) Except as provided in subsection (a) of this section, in no event shall the sheriff discount or otherwise reduce the tax liability of a taxpayer who has elected to use a credit card for the payment of the tax liability.

(d) The tax commissioner may promulgate legislative rules to provide for the payment of tax liability by installment payments other than those prescribed in subsection (a) of this section.


WVC 11A-1-8a §11A-1-8a. Providing for payment at banking institutions.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this code the sheriff, with the consent of the county commission, may enter into a contract with one or more banking institutions, as defined in section two, article one, chapter thirty-one-a of this code, doing business in the county for the purpose of receiving payment of property taxes.

Any such contract shall specify the manner in which all taxes received shall be paid to the sheriff and a method for verification by the sheriff and the county commission of all amounts received pursuant to the contract. The contract may provide for the payment of a reasonable fee for the provision of such services by the banking institution.

Nothing herein may be construed to affect the amount of the commission due the sheriff provided for in section seventeen of this article.


WVC 11A-1-9 §11A-1-9. Payment of taxes by co-owner or other interested party; lien.
Any owner of real estate whose interest is not subject to separate assessment, or any person having a lien on the land, or on an undivided interest therein, or any other person having an interest in the land, or in an undivided interest therein, which he desires to protect, shall be allowed to pay the whole, but not a part, of the taxes assessed thereon. Any co-owner of real estate whose interest is subject to separate assessment shall be allowed at his election to pay the taxes either on his own interest alone or in addition thereto upon the interest of any or all of his co-owners. If his own or any other interest less than the whole, on which he desires to pay the taxes, was included in a group assessment, he must before payment have the group assessment split and must secure from the assessor and present to the sheriff a certificate setting forth the changes made in the assessment. The sheriff shall make the necessary changes in his records, prepare new tax bills to conform thereto, and then deliver the certificate to the clerk of the county court, who shall note the changes on his records.

One who pays taxes on the interest of any other person shall be subrogated to the lien of the state upon such interest. He shall lose his right to the lien, however, unless within thirty days after payment he shall file with the clerk of the county court his claim in writing against the owner of such interest, together with the tax receipt or a duplicate thereof. The clerk shall docket the claim on the judgment lien docket in his office and properly index the same. Such lien may be enforced as other judgment liens are enforced.


WVC 11A-1-10 §11A-1-10. Payment by owner of part of tract or lot assessed to another.
Any person owning a part of a tract or lot, the whole of which was assessed in the name of another, shall be allowed to pay the taxes on such part upon complying with the provisions of this section. He must before payment obtain from the clerk of the county court a certificate of the transfer of title to him, which certificate shall contain such information concerning the transfer as is required for each transfer included in the certified list provided for in section eight, article four, chapter eleven of this code. On the basis of the information in this certificate, he must then have the assessment split and must secure from the assessor and present to the sheriff a certificate setting forth the changes made in the assessment. The sheriff shall make the necessary changes in his records, prepare new tax bills to conform thereto, and then deliver the certificate to the clerk of the county court who shall note the changes on his records.


WVC 11A-1-11 §11A-1-11. Payment by fiduciary.
When a tax is paid by a fiduciary on any property under his control, or on the income of such property, the tax shall be refunded out of the property or its income.


WVC 11A-1-12 §11A-1-12. Receipt for taxes.
The sheriff or his deputy shall deliver to the person paying any taxes a written or printed receipt therefor, and shall retain for his records the stub or duplicate of such receipt. The receipt and the stub or duplicate shall specify the total value of personal property; the number of acres of land, and the number of town lots, with the valuation of each tract or lot separately charged; and shall show the total amount of the aggregate tax paid for state, school, county, municipal, district, and any other purpose for which levied. The officer receiving payment shall sign each receipt in his own handwriting. The sheriff shall furnish to each taxpayer a statement showing the levies laid for each class of taxable property in each taxing district of the county when requested so to do by the taxpayer. The sheriff shall cause a statement of the levies, as aforesaid, to be posted at the front door of the courthouse and at two conspicuous places in his office, but failure to post such statement shall in no wise affect the rights of the state, or any of its agencies, to collect such taxes. The tax commissioner may prescribe uniform tax statements and receipts, not inconsistent herewith, for use in all counties of the state.


WVC 11A-1-13 §11A-1-13. Accounts to be kept by sheriff.

The sheriff shall keep separate accounts in a permanent book or in a permanent record on an electronic data processing system, in form prescribed by the tax commissioner, of all the taxes received and disbursed by him or her, for the different purposes for which the taxes were levied. Each of the accounts shall be kept so as to show the total receipts and disbursements up to the close of business on each day; and in a separate column opposite the totals the sheriff shall ascertain and note in figures, at the close of each day's transactions, the balance due from or to him or her, as the case may be, on account of the funds. The account book or a printout of the permanent record on the electronic data processing system is subject to inspection at any time by the tax commissioner, members of the county commission, the clerk of the county commission, the prosecuting attorney, the mayor or treasurer of any municipality or the treasurer of the county board of education. The tax commissioner shall promulgate rules in

accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code requiring that printouts of the permanent record on the electronic data processing system be made on a periodic basis and that those printouts be stored in a safe and secure manner, so that they are protected from fire damage.


WVC 11A-1-14 §11A-1-14. Payment by sheriff into state treasury.
All taxes collected for the state shall be paid into the state treasury by the sheriff as follows: On or before November fifteenth, all such taxes collected before November first; on or before April fifteenth, all collected before April first. Every sheriff who fails to make any payment when due shall be charged with interest at the rate of twelve per cent per annum.


WVC 11A-1-15 §11A-1-15. Payment by sheriff to municipal and county board of education treasuries.
Each month the sheriff shall pay all moneys collected for any municipal corporation and the county board of education into the respective treasuries of such municipal corporation and county board of education, payment to be made on or before the tenth day of each month of all moneys collected during the preceding month for such municipal corporation and the county board of education: Provided, That the sheriff shall not be required to make such monthly payments to the county board of education, if the county board has designated the sheriff as its treasurer pursuant to section six, article nine, chapter eighteen of this code. For the faithful performance of this duty, he shall execute a bond, to be approved by the municipal council or board of education, in the penalty to be fixed by the council or board, not to exceed the amount of municipal or school taxes which it is estimated he will collect within any period of two months. The premium on such bond shall be paid by the municipality or board of education. Every sheriff who fails to make any payment when due shall be charged with interest at the rate of twelve percent a year.


WVC 11A-1-16 §11A-1-16. Sheriff charged with all levies; final settlement.
The sheriff shall be charged each year with all taxes levied in his county. On or before August first of the following year, he shall make a final settlement with each taxing unit and account for all taxes assessed for the preceding year. In the settlement, he shall be credited with all such taxes collected and paid over by him to or on account of the taxing unit. He shall also be credited with all such taxes listed as delinquent as provided in the following article. The remainder of the taxes assessed for the preceding year shall be accounted for by him as if they had been collected before the delinquent lists were prepared.


WVC 11A-1-17 §11A-1-17. Sheriff's commission for collection.

After the sheriff has collected eighty-five percent of the combined total of all taxes assessed on real and personal property, he shall, in addition to the salary and compensation now authorized by law, be allowed a commission as follows: Two and one-half percent on the remainder of the taxes actually collected up to ninety percent of the combined total of all taxes assessed on real and personal property, three and one-half percent of the remainder collected above ninety percent and up to ninety-five percent of the combined total of all taxes assessed on real and personal property, and five percent on the remainder of taxes collected above ninety-five percent of the combined total of all taxes assessed on real and personal property. In all cases the taxes collected on which any commission shall be paid will be exclusive of interest and charges thereon, if the collection be made before the delinquent list has been approved by the county commission: Provided, That the total amount of commissions paid to any sheriff shall not exceed the sum of fifteen thousand dollars in any one year. The commission so allowed shall be determined by the county commission and charged against the various funds for which the taxes are collected.


WVC 11A-1-18 §11A-1-18. Exception.
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections two, three, six, eight and fourteen of this article, the provisions of this article as of January first, one thousand nine hundred sixty-one, shall govern the accrual and collection of taxes levied upon assessed values as of January first, one thousand nine hundred sixty-one, or prior years.


WVC -2- ARTICLE 2. DELINQUENCY AND METHODS OF ENFORCING PAYMENT.


WVC 11A-2-1 §11A-2-1. Duty of sheriff to enforce payment of delinquent taxes.
Whenever any taxes become delinquent, it shall be the duty of the sheriff to take immediate steps to enforce payment by use of the methods prescribed in sections two, three and seven of this article.


WVC 11 A- 2 - 2 §11A-2-2. Collection by civil action; fees and costs not required

of sheriff.
(a) Taxes are hereby declared to be debts owing by the taxpayer, for which he or she shall be personally liable. After delinquency, the sheriff may enforce this liability by appropriate action in any court of competent jurisdiction. No such action shall be brought after five years from the time the action accrued.

(b) In any such action, the sheriff shall be permitted to prosecute the same without paying fees or costs, and without providing bond or security, as may otherwise be required of civil litigants by the provisions of this code, and shall have all services and process, including the services of witnesses, without paying therefor: Provided, That the sheriff shall maintain for each action for the recovery of delinquent taxes records sufficient to demonstrate the total fees and costs paid and that would have been paid but for the authority provided herein to seek recovery without such payment: Provided, however, That where the sheriff recovers delinquent taxes in or as the result of such action, whether by way of settlement or judgment, such fees and costs as above required to be recorded shall be recoverable from the opposite party and upon receipt of any recovery, the sheriff shall pay from the amount recovered such fees or costs to the officer who otherwise would have been entitled thereto but for the provisions of this section: Provided further, That the fees and costs shall be paid prior to payment to the various taxing units of the balance of the recovered taxes: And provided further, That the payment to the various taxing units shall be prorated on the basis of the total amount of taxes due them.


WVC 11A-2-3 §11A-2-3. Distraint.
The sheriff may, as soon as taxes become delinquent, distrain any goods or chattels in the county belonging to the person or to the estate in land assessed with the taxes. If such goods or chattels are about to be removed from the county, the sheriff may distrain even before delinquency. Whenever rent payable by a tenant is a share of the crop, such share only, whether severed or not, shall be liable to distress for taxes assessed against the landlord.


WVC 11A-2-4 §11A-2-4. Abatement of distress.
Whenever by mistake taxes are assessed wholly to one person or estate on a tract or lot of land, part of which has become the freehold of another, by a title recorded before July first of the assessment year, the goods and chattels of the party or estate so assessed shall not be liable to distraint for more than a due proportion of such taxes.


WVC 11A-2-5 §11A-2-5. Distraint of encumbered property.
No trust deed, mortgage or sale of goods and chattels shall prevent their being distrained for all taxes assessed against the grantor or former owner thereof, while such goods and chattels remain in his possession; nor shall such deed, mortgage or sale prevent their being distrained for taxes assessed on such goods and chattels, no matter in whose possession they may be found.


WVC 11A-2-6 §11A-2-6. Distraint where land lies in more than one county.
Where taxes are assessed on land lying partly in one county and partly in another, the sheriff of the county in which the taxes are so assessed may distrain goods or chattels on that part of the land lying in the other county.


WVC 11A-2-7 §11A-2-7. Summary procedure for collection out of money due from or property held by another.
Whenever there is any person who is now indebted to, or who, as tenant, lessee or otherwise, will for any rent, issue, delay rentals, gas well rentals, or royalties of any kind, in the future become indebted to, or who has in his possession property belonging to, any delinquent taxpayer, the sheriff may make written application to such person demanding payment of the taxes out of such money as is now or may become due, or out of the property. No person so applied to shall make any payment or deliver any of the property to the delinquent taxpayer until the taxes are paid. From the time of the making of such application the taxes shall constitute a lien on any such money now or to become due from the person applied to and on such property held by him. The sheriff shall endorse upon the application the time and the place application was made and shall file it for record with the clerk of the county court.

Upon the failure of any person to comply with the application, the sheriff may serve such person with a notice in writing to appear and answer for his failure before a court of competent jurisdiction. The notice shall designate the court before which he is to appear, and shall state the time for such appearance, which time shall not be less than ten days after service of the notice, the name of the delinquent taxpayer and the amount of the delinquency.

The sheriff shall endorse the time and place of service on the original of such notice, and shall file it with the court designated therein. If the person served does not appear, judgment shall be entered against him in favor of the sheriff for the amount of taxes due, with costs of the proceeding. If he does appear, the court, upon proof that he was a person to whom application might properly be made, shall render judgment against him for the amount of taxes due, with costs of the proceeding, which judgment shall be payable only out of the money which is now or is to become due to the delinquent taxpayer or out of property held for him. Appeals and writs of error shall lie as in other cases.

Payment of the taxes, in whole or in part, by the person applied to, whether made upon application only or made toward satisfaction of a judgment against him, shall entitle him to a credit on any obligation he may owe the delinquent taxpayer, or to a charge against any property held for the taxpayer, and to a first lien on any such property, for the amount paid, unless he was by an express contract bound to pay the taxes.


WVC 11A-2-8 §11A-2-8. Remedies against vendee in possession without deed.
Any purchaser in possession of land, whether or not he has obtained a deed therefor, shall be personally liable for the taxes assessed against the land after he obtained possession, unless the vendor has expressly contracted to pay the taxes himself. The sheriff may collect from the purchaser by any of the methods provided for in this article.


WVC 11A-2-9 §11A-2-9. Remedies of sheriff paying over taxes not collected.
If the sheriff has paid into the treasury of the state, or of any county or municipality, taxes due from any person before they were collected by him, he may in order to reimburse himself collect from such person by any of the methods provided for in this article, but he shall not be subrogated to the state's lien for such taxes.


WVC 11A-2-10 §11A-2-10. Sale of tax liens on real estate.

In addition to the methods for the collection of taxes provided for in this article, tax liens on real estate may be sold for the taxes assessed thereon in the manner prescribed in article three of this chapter.


WVC 11A-2-10a §11A-2-10a. Notice of delinquency.

On or after April first of each year, the sheriff may prepare and publish a notice stating in effect that the taxes assessed for the previous year have become delinquent, and that unless paid by April thirtieth will be included for publication in the forthcoming delinquent lists, which notice, if published, shall be published as a Class II-O legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the county.


WVC 11 A- 2 - 11 §11A-2-11. Delinquent lists; oath.
The sheriff, after ascertaining which of the taxes assessed in his or her county are delinquent, shall, on or before the first day of May next succeeding the year for which the taxes were assessed, prepare the following delinquent lists, arranged by districts and alphabetically by name of the person charged, and showing in respect to each the amount of taxes remaining delinquent on April thirtieth: (1) A list of property in the landbook improperly entered or not ascertainable; (2) a list of other delinquent real estate; and (3) a list of all other delinquent taxes: Provided, That the list shall conclude with a notice, substantially as follows: "Any person holding a West Virginia business registration certificate under the authority of article twelve, chapter eleven of this code who does not pay all delinquent personal property taxes shall have his or her license to do business in this state suspended until the delinquency is cured."

The sheriff on returning each list shall, at the foot thereof, subscribe an oath, which shall be subscribed before and certified by some person duly authorized to administer oaths, in form or effect as follows:

I, ........, sheriff (or deputy sheriff or collector) of the County of ........., do swear that the foregoing list is, to the best of my knowledge and belief, complete and accurate, and that I have received none of the taxes listed therein.

Except for the oath, the auditor shall prescribe the form of the delinquent lists.


WVC 11A-2-12 §11A-2-12. Penalty for inclusion of taxes paid in delinquent lists.
If a sheriff shall include in one of the delinquent lists any taxes which have been collected by him, he shall forfeit to the person named in the list, if the return was by design, ten times the amount of the taxes so collected, or if the return was by mistake, twice the amount.


WVC 11 A- 2 - 13 §11A-2-13. Publication and posting of delinquent tax lists.
A copy of each of the delinquent lists shall be posted at the front door of the courthouse of the county at least two weeks before the session of the county commission at which they are to be presented for examination. At the same time a copy of each list shall be published as a Class I-O legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the county. Only the aggregate amount of the taxes owed by each person need be published. To cover the costs of preparing, publishing and posting the delinquent lists, a charge of twenty dollars shall be added to the taxes and interest already due on each item listed.

Any person whose taxes were delinquent on May first may have his name removed from the delinquent lists prior to the time the same is delivered to the newspapers for publication by paying to the sheriff the full amount of the taxes and costs owed by such person at the date of such redemption. The sheriff shall collect a charge of only three dollars if redemption is made before the list is delivered for publication. Costs collected by the sheriff hereunder which are not expended for publication shall be paid into the general county fund.


WVC 11A-2-14 §11A-2-14. Correction of delinquent lists by county court; certification to auditor; recordation.

The sheriff shall on or before June fifteenth present the delinquent lists to the county court for examination. The court having become satisfied that the lists are correct, or having corrected them if erroneous, shall direct the clerk of the court to certify a copy of each list, pertaining to real property, to the auditor not later than July first. The original lists shall be preserved by the clerk in his office, and the list of delinquent real estate shall be recorded in a permanent book to be kept by him for that purpose.


WVC 11A-2-15 §11A-2-15. Examination of lists by auditor; credit to sheriff.
It shall be the duty of the auditor to examine each list pertaining to real property, and if he has reason to believe that it is erroneous, he shall return it to the county court for correction, stating his reasons why it should be corrected as to any person or subject listed therein. The auditor shall credit the sheriff with all state taxes mentioned in each list.


WVC 11A-2-16 §11A-2-16. Effect of irregularity as to delinquent lists on later tax enforcement procedure.

No irregularity, error or mistake in respect to anything required by this article to be done concerning the delinquent lists shall invalidate any tax title based upon later tax enforcement procedure. Nor shall any person be allowed to enjoin or otherwise question the validity of any subsequent step in the tax enforcement procedure by reason of such irregularity, error or mistake, unless he shows that he was actually prejudiced thereby.


WVC 11A-2-17 §11A-2-17. Presumption of payment based on omission from delinquent lists.
Whenever a tax is charged to any person or assessed against any property and the name of the person charged or the property assessed does not appear in the proper delinquent list, it shall be presumed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that the tax so charged or assessed was paid before the time when such list was required to be made.


WVC 11 A- 2 - 18 §11A-2-18. Redemption before sale; record; lien.
The owner of any real estate returned delinquent, or any other person entitled to pay the taxes thereon, may redeem at any time before the close of business on the last business day prior to the sale provided in the following article by payment of the taxes, interest and charges due. However, redemption of an undivided interest included in a group assessment or of part of a tract or lot the whole of which was assessed in the name of a person other than the owner shall not be permitted until the applicable provisions of section nine or of section ten, article one of this chapter, have been complied with. The sheriff shall give to the person redeeming a duplicate receipt, one of which shall be filed with the clerk of the county court, who shall note the fact of such redemption on his or her record of delinquent lands. Whenever only part of a tract or lot, or only an undivided interest therein, has been redeemed, the clerk shall make the necessary changes in his or her record of delinquent lands before noting the fact of redemption on the record. Any person redeeming an interest of another shall be subrogated to the lien of the State on such interest as provided in section nine, article one of this chapter.


WVC 11A-2-19 §11A-2-19. Exception.
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections four, ten-a, eleven, thirteen and fourteen of this article, the provisions of this article as of January first, one thousand nine hundred sixty- one, shall govern delinquency and methods of enforcing payment of taxes levied upon assessed values as of January first, one thousand nine hundred sixty-one, or prior years.


WVC 11 A- 3 - ARTICLE 3. SALE OF TAX LIENS AND NONENTERED, ESCHEATED AND WASTE AND UNAPPROPRIATED LANDS.


WVC 11A-3-1 PART I.

§11A-3-1. Declaration of legislative purpose and policy.

In view of the paramount necessity of providing regular tax income for the state, county and municipal governments, particularly for school purposes; and in view of the further fact that delinquent land not only constitutes a public liability, but also represents a failure on the part of delinquent private owners to bear a fair share of the costs of government; and in view of the rights of owners of real property to adequate notice and an opportunity for redemption before they are divested of their interests in real property for failure to pay taxes or have their property entered on the landbooks; and in view of the fact that the circuit court suits heretofore provided prior to deputy commissioners' sales are unnecessary and a burden on the judiciary of the state; and in view of the necessity to continue the mechanism for the disposition of escheated and waste and unappropriated lands; now therefore, the Legislature declares that its purposes in the enactment of this article are as follows: (1) To provide for the speedy and expeditious enforcement of the tax claims of the state and its subdivisions; (2) to provide for the transfer of delinquent and nonentered lands to those more responsible to, or better able to bear, the duties of citizenship than were the former owners; (3) to secure adequate notice to owners of delinquent and nonentered property of the pending issuance of a tax deed; (4) to permit deputy commissioners of delinquent and nonentered lands to sell such lands without the necessity of proceedings in the circuit courts; (5) to reduce the expense and burden on the state and its subdivisions of tax sales so that such sales may be conducted in an efficient manner while respecting the due process rights of owners of real property; and (6) to provide for the disposition of escheated and waste and unappropriated lands.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 2 §11A-3-2. Second publication of list of delinquent real estate; notice.
(a) On or before the tenth day of September of each year, the sheriff shall prepare a second list of delinquent lands, which shall include all real estate in his or her county remaining delinquent as of the first day of September, together with a notice of sale, in form or effect as follows:

Notice is hereby given that tax liens for the following described tracts or lots of land or undivided interests therein in the County of ________________ which are delinquent for the nonpayment of taxes for the year (or years) 20____, will be offered for sale by the undersigned sheriff (or collector) at public auction at the front door of the courthouse of the county, between the hours of nine in the morning and four in the afternoon, on the _____ day of _________________, 20____.

Tax liens on each unredeemed tract or lot, or each unredeemed part thereof or undivided interest therein, will be sold at public auction to the highest bidder in an amount which shall not be less than the taxes, interest and charges which shall be due thereon to the date of sale, as set forth in the following table:

Name of person charged with taxes Quantity of land Local description Total amount of taxes, interest and charges due to date of sale
       
Any of the aforesaid tracts or lots, or part thereof or an undivided interest therein, may be redeemed by the payment to the undersigned sheriff (or collector) before sale, of the total amount of taxes, interest and charges due thereon up to the date of redemption. Payment received within fourteen business days prior to the date of sale must be paid by cashier check, money order, certified check or United States currency. Payment must be received in the tax office by the close of business on the last business day prior to the sale.

Given under my hand this _____________ day of

_____________________, 20_____.

__________________________

Sheriff (or collector).

The sheriff shall publish the list and notice prior to the sale date fixed in the notice as a Class III-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the county.

(b) In addition to such publication, no less than thirty days prior to the sale, the sheriff shall send a notice of the delinquency and the date of sale by certified mail: (1) To the last known address of each person listed in the land books whose taxes are delinquent; (2) to each person having a lien on real property upon which the taxes are due as disclosed by a statement filed with the sheriff pursuant to the provisions of section three of this article; (3) to each other person with an interest in the property or with a fiduciary relationship to a person with an interest in the property who has in writing delivered to the sheriff on a form prescribed by the Tax Commissioner a request for such notice of delinquency; and (4) in the case of property which includes a mineral interest but does not include an interest in the surface other than an interest for the purpose of developing the minerals, to each person who has in writing delivered to the sheriff, on a form prescribed by the Tax Commissioner, a request for such notice which identifies the person as an owner of an interest in the surface of real property that is included in the boundaries of such property: Provided, That in a case where one owner owns more than one parcel of real property upon which taxes are delinquent, the sheriff may, at his or her option, mail separate notices to the owner and each lienholder for each parcel or may prepare and mail to the owner and each lienholder a single notice which pertains to all such delinquent parcels. If the sheriff elects to mail only one notice, that notice shall set forth a legally sufficient description of all parcels of property on which taxes are delinquent. In no event shall failure to receive the mailed notice by the landowner or lienholder affect the validity of the title of the property conveyed if it is conveyed pursuant to section twenty-seven or fifty-nine of this article.

(c) (1) To cover the cost of preparing and publishing the second delinquent list, a charge of twenty-five dollars shall be added to the taxes, interest and charges already due on each item and all such charges shall be stated in the list as a part of the total amount due.

(2) To cover the cost of preparing and mailing notice to the landowner, lienholder or any other person entitled thereto pursuant to this section, a charge of ten dollars per addressee shall be added to the taxes, interest and charges already due on each item and all such charges shall be stated in the list as a part of the total amount due.

(d) Any person whose taxes were delinquent on the first day of September may have his or her name removed from the delinquent list prior to the time the same is delivered to the newspapers for publication by paying to the sheriff the full amount of taxes and costs owed by the person at the date of such redemption. In such case, the sheriff shall include but three dollars of the costs provided in this section in making such redemption. Costs collected by the sheriff hereunder which are not expended for publication and mailing shall be paid into the General County Fund.


WVC 11A-3-3 §11A-3-3. Waiver of notice by person claiming lien.
(a) Any person claiming a lien against real property shall be deemed to have waived the right to notice provided by section two of this article unless he shall have filed a statement declaring such interest with the sheriff. Such statement shall be filed upon creation of the lien and upon release of said lien and upon any change of the lienholder's postal address since the original filing of such statement.

Such statement shall be sufficient if it is filed at the time the document creating the lien is filed and when said lien is released on a form and in a manner to be prescribed from time to time by the tax commissioner, which form shall include the name of the person charged with taxes for the real property; the tax map and parcel number of the property; the assessor's account number of the property; a description of the interest claimed; and the address to which notice is to be sent: Provided, That it shall be sufficient for purposes of this section if the information required by this section is provided on a sales listing form prescribed in section six, article twenty-two, chapter eleven of this code and filed with the clerk of the county commission at the time of the filing of the document. The statement may be amended at any time by the person claiming the lien, upon such amended form and in such manner as may be prescribed by the tax commissioner: Provided, however, That in counties with a population greater than two hundred thousand any person claiming liens against more than fifty parcels of real estate may file such statement electronically in a similar format as before described designed by the tax commissioner.

(b) At least once a year prior to the first day of July, the sheriff shall publish a notice that any person claiming a lien against taxable real property must file the statement required by this section or such person will be deemed to have waived any right to notice provided by the preceding section. The notice shall be published as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the county in which such land is located.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 4 §11A-3-4. Redemption after second publication and before sale.
Any of the real estate included in the list published pursuant to the provisions of section two of this article may be redeemed at any time before sale as provided in section eighteen, article two of this chapter. All payments for delinquent real estate taxes received within fourteen business days prior to the date of sale must be paid by cashier check, money order, certified check or United States currency.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 5 §11A-3-5. Sale by sheriff; immunity; penalty; mandamus.
(a) The tax lien on each unredeemed tract or lot, or each unredeemed part thereof or undivided interest therein shall be sold by the sheriff, in the same order as set forth in the list and notice prescribed in section two of this article, at public auction to the highest bidder, between the hours of nine 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: Provided, That no tax lien for such unredeemed tract or lot or undivided interest therein shall be sold upon any bid or for any sum less than the total amount of taxes, interest and charges then due: Provided, however, That at any such sale, the tax lien for each unredeemed tract or lot, or undivided interest therein, shall be offered for sale and sold for the entirety of such tract or lot or undivided interest therein as the same is described and constituted as a unit or entity in the list and notice prescribed in section two of this article. If the sale shall not be completed on the day designated in the notice for the holding of such sale, it shall be continued from day to day between the same hours until disposition shall have been made of all the land. The payment for any tax lien purchased at a sale shall be made by check or money order payable to the sheriff of the county and delivered before the close of business on the day of the sale.

(b) Each sheriff is immune from liability if a loss or claim results from the sale of a tax lien conducted pursuant to the provisions of this article or from any subsequent conveyance of the property to which the lien attaches: Provided, That where a sheriff fails or refuses to sell said tax lien pursuant to the provisions of this article for reasons other than those provided by section seven of this article, the sheriff may be compelled by mandamus to sell the same upon the petition of the auditor or any taxpayer of the county in a court of competent jurisdiction.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 5 A §11A-3-5a. Effective date of transfer of duties for delinquent land sales by sheriff from the county clerk to the State Auditor.
Effective July 1, 2010, the rights, duties and benefits of the county clerk set out in sections fourteen, sixteen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven, twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty and thirty-one of this article, for all real properties already purchased at the delinquent land sales by the sheriff and for all real properties subsequently purchased at the delinquent land sales by the sheriff, are transferred to the State Auditor.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 5 B §11A-3-5b. Authorization for county clerk to perform duties for delinquent land sales by sheriff.
(a) If the clerk of the county commission wants to perform the duties of the State Auditor and retain the fees incident to the duties as set forth in sections fourteen, sixteen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven, twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty and thirty-one of this article, then the clerk of the county commission shall petition its county commission for authorization.

(b) The county commission's order for authorization must be entered, certified and received by the State Auditor on or before October 1 and will apply to all real properties subsequently purchased at the delinquent land sales by the sheriff: Provided, That if a county clerk wants to retain the duties and fees set forth in this section on the enactment of this section in 2010, then the county commission's order for authorization must be entered, certified and received by the State Auditor on or before August 1, 2010, and will apply to all real properties already purchased at the delinquent land sales by the sheriff and to all real properties subsequently purchased at the delinquent land sales by the sheriff.

(c) The county commission's order for authorization remains in effect until a new order rescinding the authorization is entered and certified by the county commission and is received by the State Auditor on or before October 1 and applies to all real properties subsequently purchased at the delinquent land sales by the sheriff.

(d) As long as the county commission's order for authorization remains in effect, the county clerk is authorized to perform the duties of the State Auditor and retain the fees incident to the duties as set forth in sections fourteen, sixteen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven, twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty and thirty-one of this article.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 6 §11A-3-6. Purchase by sheriff, State Auditor, deputy commissioner and clerk of county commission prohibited; coowner free to purchase at tax sale.
(a) A sheriff, clerk of the county commission or circuit court, assessor, State Auditor, or deputy or assistant of any of them, shall not directly or indirectly become the purchaser, or be interested in the purchase, of any tax lien on any real estate at the tax sale or receive any tax deed conveying the real estate. Any officer purchasing a tax lien shall forfeit $1,000 for each offense. The sale of a tax lien on any real estate, or the conveyance of the real estate by tax deed, to one of the officers named in this section is voidable, at the instance of any person having the right to redeem, until the real estate reaches the hands of a bona fide purchaser.

(b) Any coowner, except a coparcener, in the absence of satisfactory proof of a fiduciary relationship, is entitled to acquire by tax purchase for his or her own account the tax lien on the interest of any, or all, of his or her coowners in any real estate, and to receive a tax deed conveying the interest without being required to hold the tax lien or interest or interests under any constructive trust. There shall be a prima facie presumption against the existence of any constructive trust.


WVC 11A-3-7 §11A-3-7. Suspension from sale; amended delinquent lists; subsequent sale.

(a) Whenever it shall appear to the sheriff that any real estate included in the list has been previously conveyed by deed and no tax thereon is currently delinquent, or that the tax lien thereon has been sold previously and not redeemed, or that the tax lien thereon ought not to be sold for the amount stated therein, he shall suspend the sale thereof and report his reasons therefor to the county commission and to the auditor. If the commission finds that the tax lien on the real estate ought not to be sold, it shall so order; but if the commission finds that the tax lien on the real estate ought to be sold for the amount stated, or for a greater or less amount, it shall order the sheriff to include such real estate in his next September list, unless sooner redeemed.

(b) In the event the list and notice of sale prescribed in section two of this article is not published, posted and completed in the manner provided by said section two, so that it is impossible for that reason, or by reason of omission of any necessary procedural act, for the sheriff to make sale of the tax lien for the real estate embraced in said list pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, then and in that event the sheriff shall certify to the auditor, on or before the second day of December following the month in which such sale should have been held, an amended list or lists of such taxes which then remain delinquent. The sheriff shall include the real estate in the last- mentioned amended list or lists in his next September list, unless sooner redeemed.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 8 §11A-3-8. Certification of sold and unsold property to the Auditor.
(a) If no person present bids the amount of taxes, interest and charges due on any real estate offered for sale, the sheriff shall certify the real estate to the Auditor for disposition pursuant to section forty-four of this article, subject, however, to the right of redemption provided by section thirty-eight of this article. The Auditor shall prescribe the form by which the sheriff certifies the property.

(b) If the highest bidder present at the sale, as provided in section five of this article, bids and pays, at a minimum, the amount of taxes, interest and charges for which the tax lien on any real estate is offered, the sheriff shall certify the real estate to the State Auditor for disposition pursuant to section fourteen of this article.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 9 §11A-3-9. Sheriff's list of sales, suspensions, redemptions and certifications; oath.
(a) As soon as the sale provided in section five of this article has been completed, the sheriff shall prepare a list of all tax liens on delinquent real estate purchased at the sale, or suspended from sale, or redeemed before sale, or certified to the Auditor. The heading of the list shall be in form or effect as follows:

List of sales of tax liens on real estate in the county of _________________________, returned delinquent for nonpayment of taxes thereon for the year (or years) 20, and sold in the month (or months) of __________________________, 20, or suspended from sale, or redeemed before sale, or certified to the Auditor.

(b) The sheriff shall, at the foot of the list, subscribe an oath, which shall be subscribed before and certified by some person duly authorized to administer oaths, in form or effect as follows:

I, _________________________, sheriff (or deputy sheriff or collector) of the county of _________________________, do swear that the above list contains a true account of all the tax liens on real estate within my county returned delinquent for nonpayment of taxes thereon for the year (or years) 20, which were sold by me or which were suspended from sale or redeemed before sale or certified to the Auditor, and that I am not now, nor have I at any time been, directly or indirectly interested in the purchase of any such tax liens.

(c) Except for the heading and the oath, the State Auditor shall prescribe the form of the list.


WVC 11A-3-10 §11A-3-10. Sheriff to account for proceeds; disposition of surplus.

(a) The sheriff shall account for the proceeds of all sales and redemptions included in such list in the same way he accounts for other taxes collected by him, except that if the purchase money paid for any property sold is in excess of the amount of taxes, interest and charges due thereon, the surplus shall be deposited in a special county fund to be known and designated as the "sale of tax lien surplus fund". Where there is a redemption after the sale, the sheriff shall also deposit into said fund the amount of taxes, interest and charges due on the date of the sale, plus the interest at the rate of one percent per month from the date of sale to the date of redemption, described in subdivision (2), subsection (b), section twenty-four of this article. Such surpluses shall be disposed of as follows:

(1) In any case where the property was redeemed, such surplus shall be distributed to the person or persons who purchased the tax lien thereon, or the heirs, devisees, legatees, executors, administrators, successors or assigns thereof.

(2) If the purchaser, his heirs, devisees, legatees, executors, administrators, successors or assigns cannot be found within two years from and after the date of redemption, all claims to such surplus shall be barred and such surplus shall be distributed by the sheriff in the manner provided by law for the distribution of property taxes collected by him.

(b) All real estate included in the first delinquent list sent to the auditor, and not accounted for in the list of sales, suspensions, redemptions and certifications, shall be deemed to have been redeemed before sale and the taxes, interest and charges due thereon shall be accounted for by the sheriff as if they had been received by him before the sale.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 11 §11A-3-11. Return of list of sales, suspensions and redemptions.
(a) Within one month after completion of the sale, the sheriff shall deliver the original list of sales, suspensions and redemptions described in section nine of this article, with a copy thereof, to the clerk of the county commission. The clerk shall bind the original of such list in a permanent book to be kept for the purpose in his or her office. The clerk, within ten days after delivery of the list to him or her, shall transmit the copy to the State Auditor, who shall note each sale, suspension, redemption and certification on the record of delinquent lands kept in his or her office.

(b) Any sheriff who fails to prepare and return the list of sales, suspensions, redemptions and certifications within the time required by this section shall forfeit not less than $50 nor more than $500, for the benefit of the general school fund, to be recovered by the State Auditor or by any taxpayer of the county on motion in a court of competent jurisdiction. Upon the petition of any person interested, the sheriff may be compelled by mandamus to make out and return the list and the proceedings thereon shall be at his or her cost.


WVC 11A-3-12 §11A-3-12. Amendment of such list.

If the sheriff shall make any error or omission in the list of sales, suspensions, redemptions and certifications returned to the clerk of the county commission, he or any person interested may, within six months after the sale, apply by petition to the county commission for an order permitting or requiring amendment of the list. Any person who might be prejudiced by the proposed amendment must, if found within the county, be given at least ten days' notice of such application. Upon proof of the error or mistake the commission shall make an order permitting or requiring the sheriff to file an amended list with the clerk of the commission. The sheriff shall thereupon prepare and deliver to the clerk of the commission the amended list and a copy thereof, with a copy of the order of the commission permitting or requiring it to be filed attached to the list and to the copy. The clerk shall substitute the original of the amended list for the list already in his office, and make the necessary corrections on his record of delinquent lands. The clerk shall transmit the copy of the amended list to the auditor who shall note the corrections on his record of delinquent lands.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 13 §11A-3-13. Publication by sheriff of sales list.
Within one month after completion of the sale, the sheriff shall prepare and publish a list of all the sales and certifications made by him or her, in form or effect as follows, which list shall be published as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the county.

List of tax liens on real estate sold in the county of ____________________________________________, in the month (or months) of _____________________________, 20____ , for nonpayment of taxes thereon for the year (or years) 20____, and purchased by individuals or certified to the Auditor of the State of West Virginia:

Name of person charged with taxes Local descrip- tion of lands Quantity of land charged Quantity of land for which tax lien is sold Name of purchaser Whole amount paid by purchaser
           
The owner of any real estate listed above, or any other person entitled to pay the taxes thereon, may, however, redeem such real estate as provided by law.

Given under my hand this _____________ day of ________________, 20____.

__________________________________

Sheriff

To cover the costs of preparing and publishing such list, a charge of fifteen shall be added to the taxes, interest and charges already due on each item listed.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 14 §11A-3-14. Purchase by individual at tax sale; certificate of sale.
(a) If the highest bidder present at the sale provided in section five of this article, bids and pays at least the amount of taxes, interest and charges for which the tax lien on any real estate is offered for sale, the sheriff shall issue to him or her a certificate of sale for the purchase money, retain the original certificate for his or her file and forward a copy to the State Auditor, except the sheriff shall require payment of any subsequent taxes due at the time of the sale before a certificate of sale is issued. The heading of the certificate shall be:

Memorandum of tax lien on real estate sold in the county of ____________________________ on this ___________________________ day of ___________________________, 20 , for the nonpayment of taxes charged thereon for the year (or years) 20 .

(b) Except for the heading, the State Auditor shall prescribe the form of the receipt.

(c) The certificate of sale shall describe the real estate subject to the tax lien that was sold, the total amount of all taxes, interest, penalties and costs paid for each lot or tract and the rate of interest to which the purchaser is entitled upon redemption. The certificate shall also set forth columns for the entry of subsequent years taxes paid and costs required by the sheriff to be paid on the date of the sale and for the entry of subsequent taxes and costs paid. For each certificate delivered, the purchaser shall pay a fee of $10 and that amount shall be included in the costs described in the certificate.

(d) The State Auditor shall send a notice of the requirements to secure a deed to the purchaser, or an assignee, by first-class mail. The notice shall be mailed to the last known address of each person who received a certificate of sale from the sheriff and shall be mailed between May 1 and September 1 of the year following the sheriff's sale: Provided, That when a person purchased more than one parcel of real property upon which a certificate of sale was issued, the State Auditor may, at his or her option, prepare and mail separate notices for each purchase to the purchaser or may prepare and mail a single notice of all purchases made by the purchaser. In no event shall failure to receive the notice by the purchaser, or the assignee, affect the procedures required by section nineteen of this article.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 15 §11A-3-15. Certificate of sale assignable.
The certificate of sale shall be assignable by endorsement, and an assignment of the certificate, recorded with the clerk of the county commission, vests in the assignee or his or her legal representative all the right and title of the original purchaser. The recording fee for an assignment of a certificate of sale is $10.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 16 §11A-3-16. Subsequent tax payments by purchaser.
Any person who has paid any subsequent taxes, other than the subsequent taxes paid on the date of the sale as provided in section fourteen of this article, on lands for which he or she holds the certificate of sale described in section fourteen or fifteen of this article shall produce the certificate and copies of paid tax receipts to the State Auditor, who shall endorse the amount of the subsequent taxes and the date of payment of the taxes in his or her records upon the payment to the State Auditor of a fee for the endorsement in the amount of $10.


WVC 11A-3-17 §11A-3-17. Sale of subsequent tax liens.

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 have become delinquent, the sheriff shall include the real estate in the delinquent lists of the proper year and shall sell any subsequent tax liens therefor on the whole or a part thereof for taxes 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, or he may redeem from the second sale. If the purchaser bought the lien upon only a part of the land at the first sale, he may prevent a second sale thereof by paying the proportionate part of the taxes assessed against the whole which are chargeable to the part purchased.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 18 §11A-3-18. Limitations on tax certificates.

  (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.
WVC 11 A- 3 - 19 §11A-3-19. What purchaser must do before the deed can be secured.
(a) At any time after October 31 of the year following the sheriff's sale, and on or before December 31 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:

(1) Prepare a list of those to be served with notice to redeem and request the State Auditor to prepare and serve the notice as provided in sections twenty-one and twenty-two of this article;

(2) When the real property subject to the tax lien is classified as Class II property, provide the State Auditor with the physical mailing address of the property that is subject to the tax lien or liens purchased;

(3) Provide the State Auditor with a list of any additional expenses incurred after January 1 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 written documentation used in the preparation of the list of those to be served with the notice to redeem;

(4) Deposit with the State Auditor a sum sufficient to cover the costs of preparing and serving the notice; and

(5) Present the purchaser's certificate of sale, or order of the county commission where the certificate has been lost or wrongfully withheld from the owner, to the State Auditor.

If the purchaser fails to meet these requirements, he or she shall lose all the benefits of his or her purchase.

(b) If the person requesting preparation and service of the notice is an assignee of the purchaser, he or she shall, at the time of the request, file with the State Auditor a written assignment to him or her of the purchaser's rights, executed, acknowledged and certified in the manner required to make a valid deed.

(c) Whenever any certificate given by the sheriff for a tax lien on any land, or interest in the land sold for delinquent taxes, or any assignment of the lien is lost or wrongfully withheld from the rightful owner of the land and the land or interest has not been redeemed, the county commission may receive evidence of the loss or wrongful detention and, upon satisfactory proof of that fact, may cause a certificate of the proof and finding, properly attested by the State Auditor, to be delivered to the rightful claimant and a record of the certificate shall be duly made by the county clerk in the recorded proceedings of the commission.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 20 §11A-3-20. Refund to purchaser of payment made at sheriff's sale where property is subject of an erroneous assessment or is otherwise nonexistent.
If, by December 31 of the year following payment of the amount bid at a sheriff's sale, the purchaser discovers that the lien purchased at that sale is the subject of an erroneous assessment or is otherwise nonexistent, the purchaser shall submit the abstract or certificate of an attorney at law that the property is the subject of an erroneous assessment or is otherwise nonexistent. Upon receipt of the abstract or certificate, the sheriff shall cause any money paid to be refunded. Upon refund, the sheriff shall inform the assessor and the State Auditor of the erroneous assessment for the purpose of having the assessor correct the error. For failure to meet this requirement, the purchaser shall lose all benefits of his or her purchase.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 21 §11A-3-21. Notice to redeem.
(a) Whenever the provisions of section nineteen of this article have been complied with, the State Auditor shall prepare a notice in form or effect as follows:

To ___________________________________.

You will take notice that _______________, the purchaser (or _____________, the assignee, heir or devisee of _______________, the purchaser) of the tax lien(s) on the following real estate, __________________, (here describe the real estate for which the tax lien(s) thereon were sold) located in ___________________, (here name the city, town or village in which the real estate is situated or, if not within a city, town or village, give the district and a general description) which was returned delinquent in the name of ________________, and for which the tax lien(s) thereon was sold by the sheriff of __________________ County at the sale for delinquent taxes made on the ____________ day of _____________, 20, has requested that you be notified that a deed for such real estate will be made to him or her on or after April 1, 20 ____, as provided by law, unless before that day you redeem such real estate. The amount you will have to pay to redeem on the last day, March 31, will be as follows:

Amount equal to the taxes, interest, and charges due on the date of sale, with interest to March 31, 20 _______ ........ $__________

Amount of subsequent years taxes paid on the property, since the sale, with interest to March 31, 20 ____ ........ $___________

Amount paid for title examination and preparation of list of those to be served, and for preparation and service of the notice with interest from January 1, 20 (insert year) following the sheriff's sale to March 31, 20 ______ ........ $__________

Amount paid for other statutory costs (describe) _____________________ ........ $___________

Total ................. $_____________

You may redeem at any time before March 31, 20 _______________, by paying the above total less any unearned interest.

Given under my hand this _____ day of __________, 20 ____.

_________________________________________________________________

State Auditor, State of West Virginia

(b) The State Auditor for his or her service in preparing the notice shall receive a fee of $10 for the original and $2 for each copy required. Any additional costs which must be expended for publication, or service of the notice in the manner provided for serving process commencing a civil action, or for service of process by certified mail, shall be charged by the State Auditor. All costs provided by this section shall be included as redemption costs and included in the notice described in this section.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 22 §11A-3-22. Service of notice.

     (a) As soon as the State Auditor has prepared the notice provided in section twenty-one of this article, he or she shall cause it to be served upon all persons named on the list generated by the purchaser pursuant to the provisions of section nineteen of this article.

     (b) The notice shall be served upon all persons residing or found in the state in the manner provided for serving process commencing a civil action or by certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice shall be served on or before the thirtieth day following the request for the notice.

     (c) If a person entitled to notice is a nonresident of this state, whose address is known to the purchaser, he or she shall be served at that address by certified mail, return receipt requested.

     (d) If the address of a person entitled to notice, whether a resident or nonresident of this state, is unknown to the purchaser and cannot be discovered by due diligence on the part of the purchaser, the notice shall be served by publication as a Class III-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code and the publication area for the publication shall be the county in which the real estate is located. If service by publication is necessary, publication shall be commenced when personal service is required as set forth in this section and a copy of the notice shall at the same time be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the person to be served. The return of service of the notice and the affidavit of publication, if any, shall be in the manner provided for process generally and shall be filed and preserved by the State Auditor in his or her office, together with any return receipts for notices sent by certified mail.

     In addition to the other notice requirements set forth in this section, if the real property subject to the tax lien was classified as Class II property at the time of the assessment, at the same time the State Auditor issues the required notices by certified mail, the State Auditor shall forward a copy of the notice sent to the delinquent taxpayer by first class mail, addressed to "Occupant", to the physical mailing address for the subject property. The physical mailing address for the subject property shall be supplied by the purchaser of the tax lien pursuant to the provisions of section nineteen of this article. Where the mail is not deliverable to an address at the physical location of the subject property, the copy of the notice shall be sent to any other mailing address that exists to which the notice would be delivered to an occupant of the subject property.
WVC 11 A- 3 - 23 §11A-3-23. Redemption from purchase; receipt; list of redemptions; lien; lien of person redeeming interest of another; record.
(a) After the sale of any tax lien on any real estate pursuant to section five of this article, the owner of, or any other person who was entitled to pay the taxes on, any real estate for which a tax lien on the real estate was purchased by an individual may redeem at any time before a tax deed is issued for the real estate. In order to redeem, he or she shall pay to the State Auditor the following amounts:

(1) 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;

(2) All other taxes which have since been paid by the purchaser, his or her heirs or assigns, with interest at the rate of one percent per month from the date of payment;

(3) Any additional expenses incurred from January 1 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 written documentation used for the preparation of the list, 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 written documentation used for the preparation of the list: Provided, That the maximum amount the owner or other authorized person shall pay, excluding the interest, for the expenses incurred for the preparation of the list of those to be served required by section nineteen of this article is $300: Provided however, That the attorney may only charge a fee for legal services actually performed and must certify that he or she conducted an examination to determine the list of those to be served required by section nineteen of this article; and

(4) All additional statutory costs paid by the purchaser.

(b) Where the State Auditor has not received from the purchaser satisfactory proof of the expenses incurred in preparing the notice to redeem, and any written documentation used for the preparation of the list of those to be served with notice to redeem, including the certification required in subdivision (3), subsection (a) of this section, incident thereto, in the form of receipts or other evidence of legal expenses, incurred as provided in section nineteen of this article, the person redeeming shall pay the State Auditor the sum of $300 plus interest at the rate of one percent per month from January 1 of the year following the sheriff's sale for disposition by the sheriff pursuant to the provisions of sections ten, twenty-four, twenty-five and thirty-two of this article.

(c) The person redeeming shall be given a receipt for the payment and the written opinion or report used for the preparation of the list of those to be served with notice to redeem required by section nineteen of this article.

(d) Any person who, by reason of the fact that no provision is made for partial redemption of the tax lien on real estate purchased by an individual, is compelled in order to protect himself or herself to redeem the tax lien on all of the real estate when it belongs, in whole or in part, to some other person, shall have a lien on the interest of that other person for the amount paid to redeem the interest. He or she shall lose his or her right to the lien, however, unless within thirty days after payment he or she files with the clerk of the county commission his or her claim in writing against the owner of the interest, together with the receipt provided in this section. The clerk shall docket the claim on the judgment lien docket in his or her office and properly index the claim. The lien may be enforced as other judgment liens are enforced.

(e) Before a tax deed is issued, the county clerk may accept, on behalf of the State Auditor, the payment necessary to redeem any real estate encumbered with a tax lien and write a receipt. The amount of the payment necessary to redeem any real estate encumbered with a tax lien shall be provided by the State Auditor and the State Auditor shall update the required payments plus interest at least monthly.

(f) On or before the tenth day of each month, the county clerk shall deliver to the State Auditor the redemption money paid and the name and address of the person who redeemed the property on a form prescribed by the State Auditor.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 24 §11A-3-24. Notice of redemption to purchaser; moneys received by sheriff.
(a) Upon payment made by cashier check, money order, certified check or United States currency in the amount necessary to redeem, the State Auditor shall deliver to the sheriff the redemption money paid and the name and address of the purchaser, his or her heirs and assigns. The State Auditor shall also note the fact of redemption on his or her record of delinquent lands.

(b) Of the redemption money received by the sheriff pursuant to this section, the sheriff shall deposit into the sale of tax lien surplus fund, provided by section ten of this article, an amount equal to the amount of taxes, interest and charges due on the date of the sale, plus the interest at the rate of one percent per month from the date of sale to the date of redemption, the amount of the subsequent years' taxes paid the day of or after the sheriff's sale, plus interest at the rate of one percent per month thereon from the date of payment to the date of redemption, the amount of any additional expenses incurred after January 1 of the year following the sheriff's sale for the preparation of the list of those to be served with notice to redeem and any examination of title performed pursuant to the provisions of section nineteen of this article, plus interest at a rate of one percent per month from the date of payment to the date of redemption. In cases where the State Auditor has not received from the purchaser satisfactory proof of additional expenses incurred after January 1 of the year following the sheriff's sale as provided in section twenty-three of this article, the sheriff shall deposit the money received in the sale of tax lien surplus fund provided by section ten of this article.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 25 §11A-3-25. Distribution of surplus to purchaser.
(a) Where the land has been redeemed in the manner set forth in section twenty-three of this article, and the State Auditor has delivered the redemption money to the sheriff pursuant to section twenty-four of this article, the sheriff shall, upon receipt of the sum necessary to redeem, promptly notify the purchaser or his or her heirs or assigns, by mail, of the fact of the redemption and pay to the purchaser or his or her heirs or assigns the following amounts:

(1) From the sale of tax lien surplus fund provided by section ten of this article:

(A) The surplus of money paid in excess of the amount of the taxes, interest and charges paid by the purchaser to the sheriff at the sale; and

(B) The amount of taxes, interest and charges paid by the purchaser on the date of the sale, plus the interest at the rate of one percent per month from the date of sale to the date of redemption;

(2) All other taxes on the land which have since been paid by the purchaser or his or her heirs or assigns, with interest at the rate of one percent per month from the date of payment to the date of redemption;

(3) Any additional reasonable expenses that the purchaser may have incurred from January 1 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 written documentation used for the preparation of the list, in accordance with section nineteen of this article, with interest at the rate of one percent per month from the date of payment, but the amount which shall be paid, excluding the interest, for the expenses incurred for the preparation of the list of those to be served with notice to redeem required by section nineteen of this article shall not exceed the amount actually incurred by the purchaser or $300, whichever is less: Provided, That the attorney may only charge a fee for legal services actually performed and must certify that he or she conducted an examination to determine the list of those to be served required by section nineteen of this article; and

(4) All additional statutory costs paid by the purchaser.

(b) (1) The notice shall include:

(A) A copy of the redemption certificate issued by the State Auditor;

(B) An itemized statement of the redemption money to which the purchaser is entitled pursuant to the provisions of this section; and

(C) Where, at the time of the redemption, the State Auditor has not received from the purchaser satisfactory proof of the expenses incurred in preparing the list of those to be served with notice to redeem and any written documentation used for the preparation of the list in accordance with section nineteen of this article, the State Auditor shall also include instructions to the purchaser as to how these expenses may be claimed.

(2) Subject to the limitations of this section, the purchaser is entitled to recover any expenses incurred in preparing the list of those to be served with notice to redeem and any written documentation used for the preparation of the list from January 1 of the year following the sheriff's sale to the date of the sale to the date of the redemption.

(c) Where, pursuant to section twenty-three of this article, the State Auditor has not received from the purchaser satisfactory proof of the expenses incurred in preparing the list of those to be served with notice to redeem, including written documentation used for preparation of the list, in the form of receipts or other evidence within thirty days from the date of notification by the State Auditor, the sheriff shall refund the amount to the person redeeming and the purchaser is barred from any claim. Where, pursuant to that section, the State Auditor has received from the person redeeming and therefore delivered to the sheriff the sum of $300 plus interest at the rate of one percent per month from January 1 of the year following the sheriff's sale to the date of the sale to the date of redemption, and the purchaser provides the sheriff within thirty days from the date of notification satisfactory proof of the expenses, and the amount of the expenses is less than the amount paid by the person redeeming, the sheriff shall refund the difference to the person redeeming.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 26 §11A-3-26. Certificate of redemption issued by State Auditor; recordation; disposition of redemption money.
(a) Upon payment of the sum necessary to redeem, the State Auditor shall execute a certificate of redemption in quadruplicate, which certificate shall:

(1) Specify the real estate redeemed, or the part thereof or the interest in the real estate, as the case may be, together with any changes in respect to the real estate which were made in the landbook and in the record of delinquent lands;

(2) Specify the year or years for which payment was made; and

(3) State that it is a receipt for the money paid and a release of the tax lien on the real estate redeemed.

(b) The original certificate shall be retained in the files in the State Auditor's office, one copy shall be delivered to the person redeeming, one copy to the sheriff and one copy to be retained in the files of the clerk of the county commission. The clerk shall record the certificate in a separate volume provided for that purpose.

(c) The fee for issuing the certificate of redemption is $35, of which $10 of that amount shall be deposited in the Courthouse Facilities Improvement Fund created by section six, article twenty-six, chapter twenty-nine of this code.

(d) All certificates of redemption issued by the State Auditor in each year shall be numbered consecutively and shall be filed with the clerk of the county commission. Reference to the year and number of the certificate shall be included in the notation of redemption required in this section. No fee shall be charged by the clerk for any recordation, filing or notation required by this section.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 27 §11A-3-27. Deed to purchaser; record.

     (a) If the real estate described in the notice is not redeemed within the time specified in the notice, then from April 1 of the second year following the sheriff's sale until the expiration of the lien evidenced by a tax certificate of sale as provided in section eighteen of this article, the State Auditor or his or her deputy shall upon request of the purchaser make and deliver to the clerk of the county commission, a quitclaim deed for the real estate. The purchaser's right to a tax deed shall be forfeited if the deed is not requested within the eighteen month period set forth in section eighteen of this article. The deed shall provide in form or effect as follows:

     This deed made this _______ day of _____________, 20 _____, by and between _________________, State Auditor, West Virginia, (or by and between _______________, a commissioner appointed by the circuit court of ______________ County, West Virginia) grantor, and _____________, purchaser, (or __________________, heir, devisee or assignee of _______________________, purchaser), grantee, witnesseth, that:

     Whereas, In pursuance of the statutes in such case made and provided, _________________, Sheriff of ____________ County, (or ______________, deputy for ______________, Sheriff of ___________ County), (or ______________, collector of ______________ County), did, in the month of ____________, in the year 20 _____, sell the tax lien(s) on real estate, hereinafter mentioned and described, for the taxes delinquent thereon for the year (or years) 20 _____, and ______________, (here insert name of purchaser) for the sum of $___________, that being the amount of purchase money paid to the sheriff, did become the purchaser of the tax lien(s) on such real estate (or on ________ acres, part of the tract or land, or on an undivided _____________ interest in such real estate) which was returned delinquent in the name of ___________________; and

     Whereas, The State Auditor has caused the notice to redeem to be served on all persons required by law to be served therewith; and

     Whereas, The tax lien(s) on the real estate so purchased has not been redeemed in the manner provided by law and the time for redemption set in such notice has expired;

     Now, therefore, the grantor, for and in consideration of the premises and in pursuance of the statutes, doth grant unto ______________, grantee, his or her heirs and assigns forever, the real estate on which the tax lien(s) so purchased existed, situate in the county of _____________________, bounded and described as follows: ______________________________.

     Witness the following signature: __________________________

      State Auditor.

     (b) The State Auditor may not execute and deliver a deed more than sixty days after the person entitled to the deed delivers the same and requests the execution of the deed, except when directed to do so under section twenty-eight of this article.  

     (c) For the execution of the deed and for all the recording required by this section, a fee of $50 and the recording and transfer tax expenses shall be charged, to be paid by the grantee upon delivery of the deed. The deed, when duly acknowledged or proven, shall be recorded by the clerk of the county commission in the deed book in the clerk's office, together with any assignment from the purchaser, if one was made, the notice to redeem, the return of service of the notice, the affidavit of publication, if the notice was served by publication, and any return receipts for notices sent by certified mail.

     (d) The State Auditor shall appoint employees of his or her office to act as his or her designee to effect the purposes of this section.
WVC 11 A- 3 - 28 §11A-3-28. Compelling service of notice or execution of deed.

     (a) If the State Auditor fails or refuses to prepare and serve the notice to redeem as required in sections twenty-one and twenty- two of this article, the person requesting the notice may, at any time within two weeks after discovery of the failure or refusal, but in no event later than sixty days following the date the person requested that notice be prepared and served, apply by petition to the circuit court of the county for an order compelling the State Auditor to prepare and serve the notice or appointing a commissioner to do so. If the person requesting the notice fails to make application within the time allowed, he or she shall lose his or her right to the notice, but his or her rights against the State Auditor under the provisions of section sixty-seven of this article shall not be affected. Notice given pursuant to an order of the court or judge shall be as valid for all purposes as if given within the time required by section twenty-two of this article.

     (b) If the State Auditor fails or refuses to execute the deed as required in section twenty-seven of this article to a purchaser who has requested the deed within the period required by said section twenty-seven, the person requesting the deed may, at any time after such failure or refusal, but not more than six months after his or her right to the deed accrued, upon proof that the purchaser requested the deed within the period required by said section twenty-seven, apply by petition to the circuit court of the county for an order compelling the State Auditor to execute the deed or appointing a commissioner to do so. If the person requesting the deed fails to prove compliance with the limitations period set forth in section twenty-seven of this article or fails to make an application within the time allowed, he or she shall lose his or her right to the deed. Any deed executed pursuant to an order of the court or judge shall have the same force and effect as if executed and delivered by the State Auditor within the time specified in section twenty-seven of this article.

     (c) Ten days' written notice of every application must be given to the State Auditor. If, upon the hearing of the application, the court or judge is of the opinion that the applicant is not entitled to the notice or deed requested, the petition shall be dismissed at his or her costs; but if the court or judge is of the opinion that he or she is entitled to the notice or deed, then, upon his or her deposit with the clerk of the circuit court of a sum sufficient to cover the costs of preparing and serving the notice, unless a deposit has already been made with the State Auditor, an order shall be made by the court or judge directing the State Auditor to prepare and serve the notice or execute the deed, or appointing a commissioner for the purpose, as the court or judge shall determine.

     (d) Any commissioner appointed under the provisions of this section shall be subject to the same liabilities as are provided for the State Auditor. For the preparation of the notice to redeem, he or she shall be entitled to the same fee as is provided for the State Auditor. For the execution of the deed, he or she shall also be entitled to a fee of $50 and the recording and transfer expenses, to be paid by the grantee upon delivery of the deed.
WVC 11 A- 3 - 29 §11A-3-29. One deed for adjoining pieces of real estate within the same tax district.
(a) Whenever one purchaser at the tax sale has purchased tax liens on two or more adjoining pieces of real estate within the same tax district, or undivided interests therein, charged with taxes for the same year, or years, he or she, his or her heirs or assigns may request the State Auditor to execute a separate deed for each adjoining piece of real estate within the same tax district, or undivided interest therein, or separate deeds for some and one deed for the remainder, or one deed for all, as he, she or they may prefer.

(b) Every deed for two or more pieces of adjoining real estate within the same tax district, or undivided interests therein, shall describe each piece of real estate and each undivided interest separately.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 30 §11A-3-30. Title acquired by individual purchaser; action to quiet title.
(a) Whenever the purchaser of any tax lien on any real estate sold at a tax sale, his or her heirs or assigns has obtained a deed for the real estate from the State Auditor or from a commissioner appointed to make the deed, he or she or they shall acquire all 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, unless that person is one who, being required by law to have his or her interest separately assessed and taxed, has done so and has paid all the taxes due on the real estate, or unless the rights of that person are expressly saved by the provisions of section six of this article or section two, three, four or six, article four of this chapter.

(b) The tax deed shall be conclusive evidence of the acquisition of title. The title acquired shall relate back to July 1 of the year in which the taxes, for nonpayment of which the tax lien on the real estate was sold, were assessed.

(c) Any individual purchaser to whom a tax deed has been issued may institute and prosecute actions to quiet title in any real estate conveyed by the tax deed. The action may be maintained for all or any one or more of the lots or tracts conveyed.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 31 §11A-3-31. Effect of irregularity on title acquired by purchaser.
No irregularity, error or mistake in respect to any step in the procedure leading up to and including delivery of the tax deed by the State Auditor shall invalidate the title acquired by the purchaser unless the irregularity, error or mistake is, by the provisions of section six of this article or section two, three, four or six, article four of this chapter, expressly made a ground for instituting a suit to set aside the sale or the deed.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 32 §11A-3-32. Sheriff to keep proceeds in separate accounts; disposition.
(a) The sheriff shall keep in a separate fund the proceeds of all redemptions and sales paid to him or her under the provisions of this chapter, except for those proceeds for which a separate fund is directed by the provisions of section sixty-four of this article. Out of the total proceeds of each sale or redemption he or she shall in the order of priority stated below credit the following amounts, for payment as provided in this section:

(1) To the general county fund, the part that represents costs paid out of the fund for publishing the sheriff's delinquent and sales list and all other costs incurred by the sheriff pursuant to the provisions of this article;

(2) Surplus proceeds from the sale of tax liens on delinquent lands shall be held by the sheriff for the periods provided for in section ten of this article, and if no application is made within the time specified, the surplus shall be distributed by the sheriff in the manner provided by law for the distribution of property taxes collected by him or her; and

(3) The balance, if any, of the proceeds of the lands included in each suit shall be prorated among the various taxing units on the basis of the total amount of taxes due them in respect to the lands that were sold or redeemed.

(b) The amounts so determined shall be credited as follows, for payment as provided in this subsection:

(1) To the State Auditor, the part that represents state taxes and interest; and

(2) To the fund kept by the sheriff for each local taxing unit, the part that represents taxes and interest payable to the unit.

(c) All amounts which under the provisions of this section were credited by the sheriff to the Auditor shall be paid to him or her semiannually; and those credited to the various local taxing units shall be transferred semiannually by the sheriff to the fund kept by him or her for each taxing unit.

(d) The State Auditor shall prescribe the form of the records to be kept by the sheriff for the purposes of this section, and the method to be used by him or her in making the necessary pro rata distributions.


WVC 11A-3-33 PART II.

§11A-3-33. State commissioner of delinquent and nonentered lands.

The state auditor shall ex officio be state commissioner of delinquent and nonentered lands. The term "auditor" whenever used in this chapter in connection with delinquent, nonentered, escheated or waste and unappropriated lands, shall be construed to refer to the auditor in his capacity as state commissioner of delinquent and nonentered lands.

The auditor is empowered, and it shall be his duty, through the land department in his office, to administer and carry into execution the laws with reference to such lands. The auditor on behalf of the state shall have power to hold and manage such lands, and to exercise all other powers incident to the powers and duties conferred upon him by this article.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 34 §11A-3-34. Deputy commissioners of delinquent and nonentered lands; bond.
(a) The auditor shall appoint for each county in the state a deputy commissioner of delinquent and nonentered lands. The auditor shall make new appointments, from time to time thereafter, whenever vacancies occur or when, in the auditor's judgment,4 it is advisable. The auditor may promulgate rules respecting the tenure of deputy commissioners. In the absence of rules, the deputy commissioner for each county shall, so long as he or she satisfies the requirements of this section in respect to professional qualifications and bonding, continue to act without reappointment until the auditor designates his or her successor.

(b) The auditor shall appoint deputy commissioners in such numbers and to serve such counties as the auditor considers advisable to effect the purposes of this article. Appointments, other than an employee of the auditor's office, shall be limited to persons duly licensed to practice law in this state. Except for an employee of the auditor's office, any person appointed as deputy commissioner for a single county shall reside in that county. Any person appointed as deputy commissioner for more than one county shall reside in one of the counties for which he or she has been appointed.

(c) Whenever in respect to any land the deputy commissioner, in his or her own judgment or in the opinion of the auditor, is disqualified or otherwise unable to serve because of his or her personal interest, because of his or her representation of clients in matters affecting the land, because of vacancies or failure to act, or whenever the auditor considers it in the best interest of the state, the auditor may appoint an employee of his or her office to serve as a deputy commissioner relating to the land. When a deputy commissioner is an employee of the auditor, all compensation and commissions that would otherwise be paid to a deputy commissioner shall be credited by the sheriff to the auditor for deposit into the operating fund created pursuant to section thirty-six of this article.

(d) The deputy commissioner is subject to the orders and control of the auditor, is accountable to him or her and serves as the auditor's local agent in the county. The deputy commissioner shall do whatever is required by the auditor or by the provisions of this article. The deputy commissioner, before entering upon his or her duties, shall give a bond, with satisfactory corporate surety, conditioned upon the faithful performance of his or her duties and the payment of any forfeitures incurred. The penalty of the bond shall be at least twenty-five thousand dollars and not more than one hundred thousand dollars, as the auditor may direct. The premium for the bond shall be paid by the auditor out of the operating fund for the land department in his or her office.


WVC 11A-3-35 §11A-3-35. Land record in auditor's office.

The auditor shall prepare and keep in his office a permanent record of all delinquent, nonentered, escheated and waste and unappropriated lands. The record shall as to every tract or lot listed set forth the information available as to quantity, local description, and, except in the case of waste and unappropriated lands, the name of the former owner and the respective dates of nonentry, or delinquency and certification to the auditor, or escheat, as the case may be. The record shall be prima facie evidence of all matters required by this section to be set forth therein, including the correctness of the description of lands as nonentered, delinquent, escheated or waste and unappropriated.


WVC 11A-3-36 §11A-3-36. Operating fund for land department in auditor's office.

(a) The auditor shall establish a special operating fund for the land department in his office. He shall pay into such fund all redemption fees, all publication or other charges collected by him, if such charges were paid by or were payable to him, the unclaimed surplus proceeds received by him from the sale of delinquent and other lands pursuant to this article, and all payments made to him under the provisions of sections sixty-four and sixty-five of this article, except such part thereof as represents state taxes and interest. All payments so excepted shall be credited by the auditor to the general school fund or other proper state fund.

(b) The operating fund shall be used by the auditor in cases of deficits in land sales to pay any balances due to deputy commissioners for services rendered, and any unpaid costs including those for publication which have accrued or will accrue under the provisions of this article, to pay fees due surveyors under the provisions of section forty-three of this article, and to pay for the operation and maintenance of the land department in his office. The surplus over and above the amount of one hundred thousand dollars, remaining in the fund at the end of any fiscal year, shall be paid by the auditor into the general school fund.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 36 A §11A-3-36a. Credit card approved form of payment in land department of Auditor's office.

     (a) The Auditor shall use the State Treasurer's contracts and system for receiving payment by credit card for all redemption fees, publication fees, delinquent taxes or other charges collected by the Auditor in connection with the operations of the land department. The person using the credit card as a form of payment is responsible for any charges assessed by the credit company. Acceptance of a credit card shall be in accordance with the rules and requirements set forth by credit card provided.

     (b) For the purposes of this section, the term "credit card" means a credit card, debit card or charge card.
WVC 11A-3-37 §11A-3-37. Disposition of nonentered lands.

It is the duty of the owner of land to have his land entered for taxation on the landbooks of the appropriate county, have himself charged with the taxes due thereon, and pay the same. Land which, for any five successive years, shall not have been so entered and charged shall, without any proceedings therefor, be subject to the authority and control of the auditor and such nonentered lands shall thereafter be subject to transfer or sale under the provisions of this article relating to the auditor's disposition of lands certified to the auditor pursuant to section eight thereof.


WVC 11A-3-38 §11A-3-38. Redemption of nonentered or certified lands.

(a) The owner of any real estate certified to the auditor pursuant to section eight of this article, or of any nonentered real estate subject to the authority of the auditor pursuant to section thirty-seven of this article, or any other person who was entitled to pay the taxes thereon, may redeem such real estate from the auditor at any time prior to the certification of such real estate to the deputy commissioner as provided in section forty-four of this article. Thereafter such real estate shall be subject to disposition pursuant to section forty-four of this article, and subsequent sections.

(b) In order to redeem the person seeking redemption must pay to the auditor such of the following amounts as may be due: (1) The taxes, interest and charges due on the real estate on the date of certification to the auditor or the discovery of the nonentry, with interest at the rate of twelve percent per annum from the date of such certification or discovery; (2) all taxes assessed thereon for the year in which the certification occurred or nonentry was discovered, with interest at the rate of twelve percent per annum from the date on which they became delinquent, except when such taxes are currently due and payable to the sheriff; (3) all taxes except those for the current year which would have been assessed thereon since the certification had the certification not occurred, or which, in case of nonentered lands, would have been assessed thereon had the land been properly entered, with interest at the rate of twelve percent per annum from the date on which such taxes would have become delinquent: Provided, That in the case of nonentered lands, the owner shall not be liable for more than the taxes and interest which would have become due and payable during the ten years immediately preceding the date of the discovery of the nonentry.

(c) In computing the amount due under subdivision (3), subsection (b) of this section on real estate certified to the auditor by the sheriff, the auditor shall use as the basis for computation the classification and valuation placed thereon by the assessor for each year since the sale. If such valuation and classification have not been made, he shall use the last valuation and classification appearing on the property books. In computing the amount due under subdivision (3), subsection (b) of this section on nonentered real estate, the auditor shall use as the basis for computation such classification and valuation as may, at the request of the auditor or the person redeeming, be certified to the auditor by the assessor as the classification and valuation which in his opinion would be proper for each year of nonentry.

(d) Redemption of an undivided interest included in a group assessment shall not be permitted until the applicable provisions of section nine or ten of article one of this chapter have been complied with, except that instead of presenting the assessor's certificate to the sheriff as therein provided, the person redeeming shall present it to the auditor, who, after making the necessary changes in the land book, and in the record of delinquent lands kept in his office, shall compute the taxes due on the part or interest redeemed.


WVC 11A-3-39 §11A-3-39. Certificate of redemption issued by auditor; recordation.

(a) Upon payment of the sum necessary to redeem, the auditor shall execute a certificate of redemption in triplicate, which certificate shall specify the real estate redeemed, or the interest therein, as the case may be, together with any changes in respect thereto which were made in the land book and in the record of delinquent lands, shall specify the year or years for which payment was made, and shall state that it is a receipt for the money paid and a release of the state's lien against the real estate redeemed. The original certificate shall be retained in the files in the auditor's office, one copy shall be delivered to the person redeeming and the second copy shall be mailed by the auditor to the clerk of the county commission of the county in which the real estate is situated, who, after making any necessary changes in his record of delinquent lands, shall note the fact of redemption on such record, and shall record the certificate in a separate volume provided for the purpose.

The fee for issuing the certificate of redemption shall be ten dollars or seven and one-half percent of the total taxes, interest and charges due, whichever is greater.

(b) All certificates of redemption issued by the auditor in each year shall be numbered consecutively and shall be filed by the clerk of the county commission in numerical order. Reference to the year and number of the certificate shall be included in the notation of redemption required of the clerk of the county commission. No fee shall be charged by the clerk for any recordation, filing or notation required by this section.


WVC 11A-3-40 §11A-3-40. Compulsory redemption at election of auditor.

The auditor, if he so elects, may at any time compel redemption of any nonentered lands or real estate certified to the auditor by the sheriff. In order to collect from the owner of such real estate an amount sufficient for redemption, he may use any of the methods provided in article two of this chapter for collection of taxes by the sheriff.


WVC 11A-3-41 §11A-3-41. Auditor to report redemptions to county officers; disposition of redemption money; credit of state taxes to proper fund.

(a) The auditor shall report monthly to the sheriff, the assessor and the clerk of the county commission of each county all land in such county which was redeemed in his office during the preceding month. The assessor shall enter the fact of such redemption in the land book in his office. The clerk shall file and index the report in a separate volume provided for the purpose.

(b) Between August fifteenth and August thirty-first of each year, the auditor shall report to the sheriff of each county for inclusion in his next September delinquent list all tracts of land redeemed from the auditor, which after certification to the auditor have been reported to him by the sheriff as suspended from sale, if the taxes for the year or years of suspension were not collected by the auditor. The sheriff shall be charged with such taxes and shall account for them as is required in the case of current taxes. Instead of making this report, the auditor may collect the taxes due for the year or years of suspension. Upon collection thereof he shall issue a second certificate of redemption, and such certificate shall be a release of the state's lien for such taxes.

(c) The auditor shall each month draw his warrant upon the treasury, payable to the sheriff of each county, for that part of the taxes, interest and charges received by him upon the redemption of the property included in his report, which was owing to any of the taxing units in such county. The sheriff shall account for and pay over such money as if it had been paid to him for redemption before sale.

Upon collection of delinquent taxes due the state, the auditor shall credit them to the proper fund.


WVC 11A-3-42 §11A-3-42. Lands subject to sale by deputy commissioner.

All lands for which no person present at the sheriff's sale, held pursuant to section five of this article, has bid the total amount of taxes, interest and charges due, and which were subsequently certified to the auditor pursuant to section eight of this article, and which have not been redeemed from the auditor within eighteen months after such certification, together with all nonentered lands, all escheated lands and all waste and unappropriated lands, shall be subject to sale by the deputy commissioner of delinquent and nonentered lands as further provided in this article. References in this chapter to the sale or purchase of certified or nonentered lands by or from the deputy commissioner shall be construed as the sale or purchase of the tax lien or liens thereon.


WVC 11A-3-43 §11A-3-43. Officers to report lands subject to sale.

(a) Whenever an assessor, sheriff, clerk of the county commission or county surveyor learns of the existence within the county of any nonentered land, he shall promptly report that fact to the auditor, together with his information relating thereto. The assessor, as escheator, shall likewise report all lands which escheat to the state.

(b) Whenever the deputy commissioner learns of the existence of any waste and unappropriated lands within his county, except lands lying under the bed of a navigable stream, he shall direct the county surveyor, or some other competent surveyor, to make a survey, plat and report thereof, listing all discovered claims of title thereto. For his services in making the survey, plat and report, the surveyor shall be entitled to a fee of fifty dollars, and such additional compensation as the deputy commissioner may recommend and the auditor approve, to be paid out of the operating fund for the land department in the auditor's office.


WVC 11A-3-44 §11A-3-44. Auditor to certify list of lands to be sold; lands so certified are subject to sale.

On or after the first day of May and on or before the first day of October of each year, the auditor shall certify to the deputy commissioner of each county a list of all lands in the county subject to sale under this article. He shall note the fact of certification on the land record in his office. Upon completion of the list for certification, a charge of twenty-five dollars shall be added to the taxes, interest and charges already due on each tract listed, to cover the costs incurred by the auditor in the preparation of the list, and in the event of sale or redemption, the same shall be collected and paid into the operating fund provided for in this article.

Escheated lands and waste and unappropriated lands shall be listed separately. The list shall be arranged by districts and, except in the case of waste and unappropriated lands, alphabetically by the name of the owner. The list shall state as to each item listed the information required by section thirty-five of this article to be set forth in the land record in the auditor's office, and shall specify as to each tract listed as delinquent or nonentered the amount of taxes and interest due or chargeable thereon on the date of certification, the publication and other charges due, with interest, and the total currently due. The specification of taxes due or chargeable shall as to delinquent land commence with those for nonpayment of which it was sold, and as to nonentered land with those properly chargeable to it for the first year of nonentry, subject to the provisions of the proviso set forth in subsection (b), section thirty-eight of this article.

All items certified to each deputy commissioner shall be numbered consecutively. All subsequent entries, applications or proceedings under this article in respect to any item shall refer to its number and the year of certification. All tracts, lots, or parcels certified to the auditor as a unit may be treated by the auditor as a single item for purposes of certification. Subject to the provisions of this section, the auditor shall prescribe a form for the list and shall provide in such form adequate space to show the subsequent history and final disposition of each item certified.

The list shall be made in triplicate. The auditor shall keep the original and send one copy to the clerk of the county commission and one to the deputy commissioner. The clerk of the county commission shall bind his copy in a permanent book to be labeled "Report of State Commissioner of Delinquent and Nonentered Lands" and shall note the fact of the certification of each item on his record of delinquent lands. Such copies shall become permanent records, and shall be preserved as such in the offices of the auditor and the clerk of the county commission.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 45 §11A-3-45. Deputy commissioner to hold annual auction.
(a) Each tract or lot certified to the deputy commissioner pursuant to the preceding section shall be sold by the deputy commissioner at public auction at the courthouse of the county to the highest bidder between the hours of nine in the morning and four in the afternoon on any business working day within one hundred twenty days after the auditor has certified the lands to the deputy commissioner as required by the preceding section. The payment for any tract or lot purchased at a sale shall be made by check or money order payable to the sheriff of the county and delivered before the close of business on the day of sale. No part or interest in any tract or lot subject to such sale, or any part thereof of interest therein, that is less than the entirety of such unredeemed tract, lot or interest, as the same is described and constituted as a unit or entity in said list, shall be offered for sale or sold at such sale. If the sale shall not be completed on the first day of the sale, it shall be continued from day to day between the same hours until all the land shall have been offered for sale.

(b) A private, nonprofit, charitable corporation, incorporated in this state, which has been certified as a nonprofit corporation pursuant to the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code, as amended, which has as its principal purpose the construction of housing or other public facilities and which notifies the deputy commissioner of an intention to bid and subsequently submits a bid that is not more than five percent lower than the highest bid submitted by any person or organization which is not a private, nonprofit, charitable corporation as defined in this subsection, shall be sold the property offered for sale by the deputy commissioner pursuant to the provisions of this section at the public auction as opposed to the highest bidder.

The nonprofit corporation referred to in this subsection does not include a business organized for profit, a labor union, a partisan political organization or an organization engaged in religious activities and it does not include any other group which does not have as its principal purpose the construction of housing or public facilities.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 46 §11A-3-46. Publication of notice of auction.
Once a week for three consecutive weeks prior to the auction required in the preceding section, the deputy commissioner shall publish notice of the auction as a Class III-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the county.

The notice shall be in form or effect as follows:

Notice is hereby given that the following described tracts or lots of land in the County of ___________, have been certified by the Auditor of the State of West Virginia to _________________, Deputy Commissioner of Delinquent and Nonentered Lands of said County, for sale at public auction. The lands will be offered for sale by the undersigned deputy commissioner at public auction in (specify location) the courthouse of ______ County between the hours of nine in the morning and four in the afternoon, on the ______ day of _____________, 19___.

Each tract or lot as described below will be sold to the highest bidder. The payment for any tract or lot purchased at a sale shall be made by check or money order payable to the sheriff of the county and delivered before the close of business on the day of the sale. If any of said tracts or lots remain unsold following the auction, they will be subject to sale by the deputy commissioner without additional advertising or public auction. The deputy commissioner sale may include tracts or lots remaining unsold from a previous auction not required by law to be readvertised and described for this subsequent auction of those same tracts and lots. All sales are subject to the approval of the auditor of the state of West Virginia.

(here insert description of advertised lands to be sold)
Any of the aforesaid tracts or lots may be redeemed by any person entitled to pay the taxes thereon at any time prior to the sale by payment to the deputy commissioner of the total amount of taxes, interest and charges due thereon up to the date of redemption. Lands listed above as escheated or waste and unappropriated lands may not be redeemed.

Given under my hand this _______ day of ______________, 19_____.

_____________________________ Deputy Commissioner of Delinquent and Nonentered Lands of _____________________ County.

The description of lands required in the notice shall be in the same form as the list certifying said lands to the deputy commissioner for sale. If the deputy commissioner is required to auction lands certified to him in any previous years, pursuant to section forty-eight of this article, he shall include such lands in the auction without further advertisement, with reference to the year of certification and the item number of the tract or interest.

To cover the cost of preparing and publishing the notice, a charge of thirty dollars shall be added to the taxes, interest and charges due on the delinquent and nonentered property.


WVC 11A-3-47 §11A-3-47. Redemption prior to sale.
Any of the delinquent and nonentered lands certified to the deputy commissioner may be redeemed, prior to the auction, by the owner of such land or any other person entitled to pay the taxes thereon, by payment of the taxes, interest and charges due. The deputy commissioner shall prepare an original and five copies of the receipt, give to the person redeeming the original receipt, retain one copy for his files and forward one copy each to the sheriff, auditor, assessor and the clerk of the county commission, each of whom shall note the fact of such redemption on their respective records of delinquent lands. Any person redeeming the interest of another shall be subrogated to the lien of the state on such interest as provided in section nine, article one of this chapter.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 48 §11A-3-48. Unsold lands subject to sale without auction or additional advertising.
If any of the lands which have been offered for sale at the public auction provided in section forty-five of this article shall remain unsold following such auction, or if the auditor refuses to approve the sale pursuant to section fifty-one of this article, the deputy commissioner may sell such lands at any time subsequent to such auction, without any further public auction or additional advertising of such land, to any party willing to purchase such property. The price of such property shall be as agreed upon by the deputy commissioner and purchaser, subject to approval by the auditor as provided in section fifty-one of this article.


WVC 11A-3-49 §11A-3-49. Purchase by owner or deputy commissioner or other officers prohibited; co-owner free to purchase at sale.

(a) It shall be illegal for an owner, in whose name any real estate was certified to the auditor or was subjected to the authority of the auditor because of the nonentry thereof, or his heirs or assigns, or his or their agent, to purchase such real estate at sale provided in section forty-five or forty-eight of this article. No deputy commissioner, sheriff, clerk of the county commission or circuit court, assessor, nor deputy of any of them, shall directly or indirectly become the purchaser, or be interested in the purchase of any real estate at the sale. Any such person or officer so purchasing shall for each offense forfeit one thousand dollars, to be collected as other forfeitures are collected. The sale of any real estate, or the conveyance of such real estate by tax deed, to one of the persons or officers named in this section shall be voidable at the instance of any person having the right to redeem until such real estate reaches the hands of a bona fide purchaser.

(b) Any co-owner, except a coparcener, in the absence of satisfactory proof of a fiduciary relationship, shall be entitled to purchase at the sale for his own account the interest of any, or all, of his co-owners in any real estate, without being required to hold such interest or interests under a constructive trust. There shall be a prima facie presumption against such constructive trust.


WVC 11A-3-50 §11A-3-50. Receipt to purchaser for purchase price.
The deputy commissioner shall prepare an original and two copies of the receipt for the purchase money. He shall give the original receipt to the purchaser and shall file one copy thereof with the clerk of the county commission and one copy thereof with the sheriff, each of whom shall note the fact of such sale on their respective records of delinquent lands. The heading of the receipt shall be:

Memorandum of real estate sold in the county of ____________ on this ______ day of __________, 19____, by ______________, the deputy commissioner of delinquent and nonentered lands of said county.

Except for the heading, the auditor shall prescribe the form of the receipt.
WVC 11A-3-51 §11A-3-51. Deputy commissioner to report sales to auditor; auditor to approve sales.

Within fourteen days following the auction required by section forty-five of this article, and within fourteen days of any sale pursuant to section forty-eight of this article, the deputy commissioner must report such sales to the auditor. The report must include the year that the land was certified by the auditor for sale, the item number of the land on the list certifying the land for sale, the amount of taxes, interest and charges due on such land at the time of the sale, the quantity of the land, the name and address of the purchaser and the purchase price. The report shall be filed with the auditor. The auditor may prescribe the form of the report.

As soon as possible after receiving the report, the auditor shall determine whether the sale is in the best interest of the state and shall either approve or disapprove the sale. The auditor shall then note such approval or disapproval and, if disapproved, the reasons therefor, on the report, and return a copy to the deputy commissioner. The original shall be retained by the auditor. The deputy commissioner shall provide a copy of the report approved or disapproved by the auditor to the sheriff and to the county clerk.

If the auditor shall disapprove any such sale, the deputy commissioner shall forthwith refund the purchase price to the purchaser. The land shall then be again subject to sale pursuant to sections forty-five and forty-eight of this article. If the auditor approves the sale, the purchaser shall immediately commence the steps to obtain a deed, as provided in section fifty-two of this article.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 52 §11A-3-52. What purchaser must do before he can secure a deed.
(a) Within forty-five days following the approval of the sale by the auditor pursuant to section fifty-one of this article, the purchaser, his heirs or assigns, in order to secure a deed for the real estate purchased, shall:

(1) Prepare a list of those to be served with notice to redeem and request the deputy commissioner to prepare and serve the notice as provided in sections fifty-four and fifty-five of this article;

(2) When the real property subject to the tax lien was classified as Class II property, provide the deputy commissioner with the actual mailing address of the property that is subject to the tax lien or liens purchased; and

(3) Deposit, or offer to deposit, with the deputy commissioner a sum sufficient to cover the costs of preparing and serving the notice.

(b) If the purchaser fails to fulfill the requirements set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, the purchaser shall lose all the benefits of his or her purchase.

(c) After the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section have been satisfied, the deputy commissioner may then sell the property in the same manner as he sells lands which have been offered for sale at public auction but which remain unsold after such auction, as provided in section forty-eight of this article.

(d) If the person requesting preparation and service of the notice is an assignee of the purchaser, he shall, at the time of the request, file with the deputy commissioner a written assignment to him of the purchaser's rights, executed, acknowledged and certified in the manner required to make a valid deed.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 53 §11A-3-53. Refund to purchaser of payment made at deputy commissioner's sale where property is nonexistent.
If, within forty-five days following the approval of the sale by the auditor, the purchaser discovers that the property purchased at the sale is nonexistent, the purchaser shall submit the abstract or certificate of an attorney-at-law that the property is nonexistent. Upon receipt of the abstract or certificate, the deputy commissioner shall cause the moneys so paid to be refunded. Upon refund of the amount bid at a deputy commissioner's sale, the deputy commissioner shall inform the assessor that the property does not exist for the purpose of having the assessor correct the error. For failure to meet this requirement, the purchaser shall lose all benefits of his purchase.


WVC 11A-3-54 §11A-3-54. Notice to redeem.
Whenever the provisions of section fifty-two of this article have been complied with, the deputy commissioner shall thereupon prepare a notice in form or effect as follows:

To _____________________________________

You will take notice that ___________________, the purchaser (or _____________, the assignee, heir or devisee of ____________, the purchaser) of the following real estate, ___________________, (here describe the real estate sold) located in ________________, (here name the city, town or village in which the real estate is situated or, if not within a city, town or village, give the district and a general description) which was __________________ (here put whether the property was returned delinquent or nonentered) in the name of __________________, and was sold by the deputy commissioner of delinquent and nonentered lands of _________________ County at the sale for delinquent taxes (or nonentry) on the ______ day of _________________, 19____, has requested that you be notified that a deed for such real estate will be made to him on or after the ______ day of _____________, 19____, as provided by law, unless before that day you redeem such real estate. The amount you will have to pay to redeem on the ________ day of __________________,19__ will be as follows:

Amount equal to the taxes, interest and charges due on the date of sale, with interest to ______________ .........$_________

Amount of taxes paid on the property, since the sale, with interest to _______________ ..........$_________

Amount paid for title examination and preparation of list of those to be served, and for preparation and service of the notice with interest to ______________ ..........$_________

Amount paid for other statutory costs (describe) _________________________________________________________________ _________________................... $_________

Total ......................... $_________

You may redeem at any time before _________________ by paying the above total less any unearned interest.

Given under my hand this ________ day of __________________, 19_____.

_________________________________ Deputy Commissioner of Delinquent and Nonentered Lands

______________________ County,

State of West Virginia

The deputy commissioner for his service in preparing the notice shall receive a fee of ten dollars for the original and two dollars for each copy required. Any costs which must be expended in addition thereto for publication, or service of such notice in the manner provided for serving process commencing a civil action, or for service of process by certified mail, shall be charged by the deputy commissioner. All costs provided by this section shall be included as redemption costs and included in the notice described herein.


WVC 11 A- 3 - 55 §11A-3-55. Service of notice.

     As soon as the deputy commissioner has prepared the notice provided for in section fifty-four of this article, he shall cause it to be served upon all persons named on the list generated by the purchaser pursuant to the provisions of section fifty-two of this article. Such notice shall be mailed and, if necessary, published at least thirty days prior to the first day a deed may be issued following the deputy commissioner's sale.

     The notice shall be served upon all such persons residing or found in the state in the manner provided for serving process commencing a civil action or by certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice shall be served on or before the thirtieth day following the request for such notice.

     If any person entitled to notice is a nonresident of this state, whose address is known to the purchaser, he shall be served at such address by certified mail, return receipt requested.

     If the address of any person entitled to notice, whether a resident or nonresident of this state, is unknown to the purchaser and cannot be discovered by due diligence on the part of the purchaser, the notice shall be served by publication as a Class III-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the county in which such real estate is located. If service by publication is necessary, publication shall be commenced when personal service is required as set forth above, and a copy of the notice shall at the same time be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the person to be served. The return of service of such notice, and the affidavit of publication, if any, shall be in the manner provided for process generally and shall be filed and preserved by the auditor in his office, together with any return receipts for notices sent by certified mail.

     In addition to the other notice requirements set forth in this section, if the real property subject to the tax lien was classified as Class II property at the time of the assessment, at the same time the deputy commissioner issues the required notices by certified mail, the deputy commissioner shall forward a copy of the notice sent to the delinquent taxpayer by first class mail, addressed to "Occupant", to the physical mailing address for the subject property. The physical mailing address for the subject property shall be supplied by the purchaser of the property, pursuant to the provisions of section fifty-two of this article. Where the mail is not deliverable to an address at the physical location of the subject property, the copy of the notice shall be sent to any other mailing address that exists to which the notice would be delivered to an occupant of the subject property.
WVC 11A-3-56 §11A-3-56. Redemption from purchase; receipt; list of redemptions; lien; lien of person redeeming interest of another; record.

(a) After the sale of any tax lien on any real estate pursuant to section forty-five or forty-eight of this article, the owner of, or any other person who was entitled to pay the taxes on, any real estate for which a tax lien thereon was purchased by an individual, may redeem at any time before a tax deed is issued therefor. In order to redeem, he must pay to the deputy commissioner the following amounts: (1) An amount equal to the taxes, interest and charges due on the date of the sale, with interest thereon at the rate of one percent per month from the date of sale; (2) all other taxes thereon, which have since been paid by the purchaser, his heirs or assigns, with interest at the rate of one percent per month from the date of payment; (3) such additional expenses as may have been incurred in preparing the list of those to be served with notice to redeem, and any title examination incident thereto, with interest at the rate of one percent per month from the date of payment, but the amount he shall be required to pay, excluding said interest, for such expenses incurred for the preparation of the list of those to be served with notice to redeem required by section fifty-two of this article, and any title examination incident thereto, shall not exceed two hundred dollars; (4) all additional statutory costs paid by the purchaser; and (5) the deputy commissioner's fee and commission as provided by section sixty-six of this article. Where the deputy commissioner has not received from the purchaser satisfactory proof of the expenses incurred in preparing the notice to redeem, and any examination of title incident thereto, in the form of receipts or other evidence thereof, the person redeeming shall pay the deputy commissioner the sum of two hundred dollars plus interest thereon at the rate of one percent per month from the date of the sale for disposition pursuant to the provisions of sections fifty-seven, fifty-eight and sixty-four of this article. Upon payment to the deputy commissioner of those and any other unpaid statutory charges required by this article, and of any unpaid expenses incurred by the sheriff, the auditor and the deputy commissioner in the exercise of their duties pursuant to this article, the deputy commissioner shall prepare an original and five copies of the receipt for the payment and shall note on said receipts that the property has been redeemed. The original of such receipt shall be given to the person redeeming. The deputy commissioner shall retain a copy of the receipt and forward one copy each to the sheriff, assessor, the auditor and the clerk of the county commission. The clerk shall endorse on the receipt the fact and time of such filing and note the fact of redemption on his record of delinquent lands.

(b) Any person who, by reason of the fact that no provision is made for partial redemption of the tax lien on real estate purchased by an individual, is compelled in order to protect himself to redeem the tax lien on all of such real estate when it belongs, in whole or in part, to some other person, shall have a lien on the interest of such other person for the amount paid to redeem such interest. He shall lose his right to the lien, however, unless within thirty days after payment he shall file with the clerk of the county commission his claim in writing against the owner of such interest, together with the receipt provided for in this section. The clerk shall docket the claim on the judgment lien docket in his office and properly index the same. Such lien may be enforced as other judgment liens are enforced.


WVC 11A-3-57 §11A-3-57. Notice of redemption to purchaser; moneys received by sheriff.
(a) Upon payment of the sum necessary to redeem, the deputy commissioner shall promptly deliver to the sheriff the redemption money paid and the name and address of the purchaser, his heirs or assigns.

(b) Of the redemption money received by the sheriff pursuant to this section, the sheriff shall hold as surplus to be disposed of pursuant to section sixty-four of this article an amount thereof equal to the amount of taxes, interest and charges due on the date of the sale, plus the interest at the rate of one percent per month thereon from the date of sale to the date of redemption.


WVC 11A-3-58 §11A-3-58. Distribution to purchaser.
(a) Where the land has been redeemed in the manner set forth in section fifty-six of this article, and the deputy commissioner has delivered the redemption money to the sheriff pursuant to section fifty-seven of this article, the sheriff shall, upon delivery of the sum necessary to redeem, promptly notify the purchaser, his heirs or assigns, by mail, of the redemption and pay to the purchaser, his heirs or assigns, the following amounts: (1) The amount paid to the deputy commissioner at the sale; (2) all other taxes thereon, which have since been paid by the purchaser, his heirs or assigns, with interest at the rate of one percent per month from the date of payment; (3) such additional expenses as may have been incurred in preparing the list of those to be served with notice to redeem, and any title examination incident thereto, with interest at the rate of one percent per month from the date of payment, but the amount which shall be paid, excluding said interest, for such expenses incurred for the preparation of the list of those to be served with notice to redeem required by section fifty-two of this article, and any title examination incident thereto, shall not exceed two hundred dollars; and (4) all additional statutory costs paid by the purchaser.

(b) (1) The notice shall include:

(A) A copy of the redemption certificate issued by the deputy commissioner;

(B) An itemized statement of the redemption money to which the purchaser is entitled pursuant to the provisions of this section; and

(C) Where, at the time of the redemption, the deputy commissioner has not received from the purchaser satisfactory proof of the expenses incurred in preparing the list of those to be served with notice to redeem and any title examination incident thereto, the deputy commissioner shall also include instructions to the purchaser as to how these expenses may be claimed.

(2) Subject to the limitations of this section, the purchaser is entitled to recover any expenses incurred in preparing the list of those to be served with notice to redeem and any title examination incident thereto from the date of the sale to the date of the redemption.

(c) Where, pursuant to section fifty-six of this article, the deputy commissioner has not received from the purchaser satisfactory proof of the expenses incurred in preparing the notice to redeem, and any title examination incident thereto, in the form of receipts or other evidence thereof, and therefore received from the purchaser as required by said section and delivered to the sheriff the sum of two hundred dollars plus interest thereon at the rate of one percent per month from the date of the sale to the date of redemption, and the sheriff has not received from the purchaser such satisfactory proof of such expenses within thirty days from the date of notification, the sheriff shall refund such amount to the person redeeming and the purchaser is barred from any claim thereto. Where, pursuant to section fifty-six of this article, the deputy commissioner has received from the purchaser and therefore delivered to the sheriff said sum of two hundred dollars plus interest thereon at the rate of one percent per month from the date of the sale to the date of redemption, and the purchaser provides the sheriff within thirty days from the date of notification such satisfactory proof of such expenses, and the amount of such expenses is less than the amount paid by the person redeeming, the sheriff shall refund the difference to the person redeeming.


WVC 11A-3-59 §11A-3-59. Deed to purchaser; record.
If the real estate described in the notice is not redeemed within the time specified therein, but in no event prior to thirty days after notices to redeem have been personally served, or an attempt of personal service has been made, or such notices have been mailed or, if necessary, published in accordance with the provisions of section fifty-five of this article, following the deputy commissioner's sale, the deputy commissioner shall, upon the request of the purchaser, make and deliver to the person entitled thereto a quitclaim deed for such real estate in form or effect as follows:

This deed, made this ______ day of _________________, 19____, by and between ___________, deputy commissioner of delinquent and nonentered lands of _____________ County, West Virginia, grantor, and __________________, purchaser (or ____________________ heir, devisee, assignee of _______________________, purchaser) grantee, witnesseth, that

Whereas, in pursuance of the statutes in such case made and provided, ____________________, deputy commissioner of delinquent and nonentered lands of ____________________ County, did, on the _______ day of ________________, 19_____, sell the real estate hereinafter mentioned and described for the taxes delinquent thereon for the year(s) 19______, (or as nonentered land for failure of the owner thereof to have the land entered on the land books for the years ___________, or as property escheated to the State of West Virginia, or as waste or unappropriated property) for the sum of $____________________, that being the amount of purchase money paid to the deputy commissioner, and ___________ (here insert name of purchaser) did become the purchaser of such real estate, which was returned delinquent in the name of _______________ (or nonentered in the name of, or escheated from the estate of, or which was discovered as waste or unappropriated property); and

Whereas, the deputy commissioner has caused the notice to redeem to be served on all persons required by law to be served therewith; and

Whereas, the real estate so purchased has not been redeemed in the manner provided by law and the time for redemption set forth in such notice has expired.

Now, therefore, the grantor for and in consideration of the premises recited herein, and pursuant to the provisions of Article 3, Chapter 11A of the West Virginia Code, doth grant unto ____________________, grantee, his heirs and assigns forever, the real estate so purchased, situate in the County of _____________, bounded and described as follows: _____________________________ (here insert description of property)

Witness the following signature:

________________________________________

Deputy Commissioner of Delinquent and Nonentered Lands of _______________ County

Except when ordered to do so as provided in section sixty of this article, the deputy commissioner shall not execute and deliver a deed more than thirty days after the purchaser's right to the deed accrued.

For the preparation and execution of the deed and for all the recording required by this section, a fee of fifty dollars and the recording expenses shall be charged, to be paid by the grantee upon delivery of the deed. The deed, when duly acknowledged or proven, shall be recorded by the clerk of the county commission in the deed book in his office, together with the assignment from the purchaser, if one was made, the notice to redeem, the return of service of such notice, the affidavit of publication, if the notice was served by publication, and any return receipts for notices sent by certified mail.


WVC 11A-3-60 §11A-3-60. Compelling service of notice or execution of deed.
If the deputy commissioner fails or refuses to prepare and serve the notice to redeem as required in sections fifty-four and fifty-five of this article, the person requesting the notice may, at any time within two weeks after discovery of such failure or refusal, but in no event later than sixty days following the date the person requested that notice be prepared and served, apply by petition to the circuit court of the county for an order compelling the deputy commissioner to prepare and serve the notice or appointing a commissioner to do so. If the person requesting the notice fails to make such application within the time allowed, he shall lose his right to the notice, but his rights against the deputy commissioner under the provisions of section sixty-seven of this article shall not be affected. Notice given pursuant to an order of the court or judge shall be valid for all purposes as if given within the time required by section fifty-five of this article.

If the deputy commissioner fails or refuses to prepare and execute the deed as required in the preceding section, the person requesting the deed may, at any time after such failure or refusal, but not more than six months after his right to the deed accrued, apply by petition to the circuit court of the county for an order compelling the deputy commissioner to prepare and execute the deed or appointing a commissioner to do so. If the person requesting the deed fails to make such application within the time allowed, he shall lose his right to the deed, but his rights against deputy commissioner under the provisions of section sixty-seven of this article shall remain unaffected. Any deed executed pursuant to an order of the court shall have the same force and effect as if executed and delivered by the deputy commissioner within the time specified in the preceding section.

Ten days' written notice of every such application must be given to the deputy commissioner. If, upon the hearing of such application, the court is of the opinion that the applicant is not entitled to the notice or deed requested, the petition shall be dismissed at his costs; but, if the court is of the opinion that he is entitled to such notice or deed, then, upon his deposit with the clerk of the circuit court of a sum sufficient to cover the costs of preparing and serving the notice, unless such a deposit has already been made with the deputy commissioner, an order shall be made by the court directing the deputy commissioner to prepare and serve the notice or execute the deed, or appointing a commissioner for the purpose, as the court or judge shall determine. The order shall be filed with the clerk of the circuit court and entered in the civil order book. If it appears to the court that the failure or refusal of the deputy commissioner was without reasonable cause, judgment shall be given against him for the costs of the proceedings, otherwise the costs shall be paid by the applicant.

Any commissioner appointed under the provisions of this section shall be subject to the same liabilities as the deputy commissioner. For the preparation of the notice to redeem, he shall be entitled to the same fee as is provided for the deputy commissioner. For the preparation and execution of the deed, he shall also be entitled to a fee of fifty dollars and recording expenses to be paid by the grantee upon delivery of the deed.


WVC 11A-3-61 §11A-3-61. One deed for adjoining pieces of real estate within the same tax district.

Whenever one purchaser at the tax sale has purchased tax liens on two or more adjoining pieces of real estate within the same tax district, or undivided interests therein, charged with taxes for the same year, or years, he, his heirs or assigns, may request the deputy commissioner to execute a separate deed for each adjoining piece of real estate within the same tax district, or undivided interest therein, or separate deeds for some and one deed for the remainder, or one deed for all, as he or they may prefer. Every deed for two or more adjoining pieces of real estate within the same tax district, or undivided interests therein, shall describe each piece of real estate and each undivided interest separately.


WVC 11A-3-62 §11A-3-62. Title acquired by individual purchaser.

(a) Whenever the purchaser of any tax lien on any real estate sold at a tax sale, his heirs or assigns, shall have obtained a deed for such real estate from the deputy commissioner 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, unless such person is one who, being required by law to have his interest separately assessed and taxed, has done so and has paid all the taxes due thereon, or unless the rights of such person are expressly saved by the provisions of section forty-nine of this article or section two, three, four or six, article four of this chapter.

The tax deed shall be conclusive evidence of the acquisition of such title. If the property was sold for nonpayment of taxes, the title so acquired shall relate back to the first day of July of the year in which the taxes, for nonpayment of which the real estate was sold, were assessed. If the property was sold for nonentry pursuant to section thirteen of this article, or escheated to the state, or is waste and unappropriated property, the title shall relate back to the date of sale.

(b) Any individual purchaser to whom a tax deed has been issued may institute and prosecute actions to quiet title in any such real estate conveyed thereby. Such action may be maintained for all or any one or more of the lots or tracts conveyed.


WVC 11A-3-63 §11A-3-63. Effect of irregularity on title acquired by purchaser.

No irregularity, error or mistake in respect to any step in the procedure leading up to and including delivery of the tax deed by the deputy commissioner shall invalidate the title acquired by the purchaser unless such irregularity, error or mistake is, by the provisions of section forty-nine of this article or section two, three, four or six, article four of this chapter, expressly made ground for instituting a suit to set aside the sale or the deed.


WVC 11A-3-64 §11A-3-64. Sheriff to receive proceeds of deputy commissioners'

sales and redemptions from the deputy commissioner; disposition.
(a) The sheriff shall receive all proceeds of sales held by the deputy commissioner pursuant to sections forty-five and forty-eight of this article, and all redemption money paid to the deputy commissioner pursuant to this article. All funds to be paid to the deputy commissioner pursuant to sections forty-five, forty-eight and fifty-six of this article shall be paid by check or money order payable to the sheriff of the county. The deputy commissioner shall, immediately upon receipt of any such payment, turn such moneys over to the sheriff.

(b) The sheriff shall keep i-n a separate fund, to be known and designated the "Delinquent Nonentered Land Fund", the proceeds of all redemptions and sales paid to him under the provisions of sections forty-five, forty-eight and fifty-six of this article. Out of the total proceeds of each sale or redemption he shall, in the order of priority stated below, credit the following amount for payment as hereinafter provided: (1) To the deputy commissioner, such part as represents compensation due him under the provisions of section sixty-six of this article and the charge for the cost of preparing and publishing the notice required in section forty-six of this article; (2) to the auditor, such part as represents any charges which were paid by or which are payable to him; (3) to the general county fund, such part as represents costs paid out of such fund for publishing the sheriff's delinquent and sales list and all other costs incurred by the sheriff pursuant to the provisions of this article; and (4) to the auditor for credit to the general school fund, such part as represents all taxes and interest chargeable in respect to any nonentered lands and all surplus proceeds of sale of any waste and unappropriated lands. In addition thereto, surplus proceeds from the deputy commissioner's sale of delinquent and nonentered lands, as well as the proceeds from the sale of escheated lands, shall be held by the sheriff for the periods provided in section sixty-five of this article and section seven, article four of this chapter, and if no claim is made therefore to the sheriff within the time therein specified, such amounts shall be paid to the auditor for credit to the general school fund.

The balance, if any, of the proceeds of the lands sold by the deputy commissioner shall be prorated among the various taxing units on the basis of the total amount of taxes due them in respect to the lands that were sold or redeemed. The amounts so determined shall be credited as follows, for payment as hereinafter provided: (1) To the auditor, such part as represents state taxes and interest; and (2) to the fund kept by the sheriff for each local taxing unit, such part as represents taxes and interest payable to such unit.

(c) All amounts which under the provisions of this section were so credited by the sheriff to the deputy commissioner shall be paid to him quarterly; those credited to the auditor shall be paid to him quarterly; and those credited to the various local taxing units shall be transferred quarterly by the sheriff to the fund kept by him for each such taxing unit.

(d) The tax commissioner, in cooperation with the land department in the auditor's office, shall prescribe the form of the records to be kept by the sheriff for the purposes of this section, and the method to be used by him in making the necessary pro rata distributions.


WVC 11A-3-65 §11A-3-65. Right of former owner to surplus proceeds.

The former owner of any delinquent or nonentered lands sold pursuant to sections forty-five and forty-eight of this article, his heirs or assigns, shall be entitled to the surplus received from the sale over and above the taxes and interest charged or chargeable thereon including all costs of the sale, if his, or their claim be filed in the circuit court of the county in which the land is situated within two years after the date of confirmation of said sale. If no claim is filed with the court within the two years, then such surplus shall be paid by the sheriff to the auditor for credit to the general school fund.


WVC 11A-3-66 §11A-3-66. Compensation of deputy commissioner.
As compensation for his services, the deputy commissioner shall be entitled to a fee of ten dollars for each item certified to him by the auditor pursuant to section forty-four of this article. In addition thereto he shall receive a commission of fifteen percent on each sale or redemption, whichever is greater. A commission received on a sale shall be based on the sale price and a commission received on a redemption shall be based on the total taxes and interest due. Such compensation shall be paid as provided in this article.


WVC 11A-3-67 PART III.

§11A-3-67. Liability of officer failing to perform duty; penalty.

If any officer mentioned in this article shall refuse to perform any duty required of him, he shall forfeit not less than twenty-five nor more than one hundred dollars for each such failure or refusal, unless a different penalty is imposed by the provisions of this article.


WVC 11A-3-68 §11A-3-68. Disposition of lands heretofore purchased by or forfeited to state.

All lands which have been heretofore purchased by the state at a tax sale pursuant to the provisions of the former article three of this chapter and which have not been redeemed from the auditor or certified to t he circuit court for sale as provided in the former article four of this chapter shall be reported by the auditor to the sheriff of the county in which the lands are situated for reentry on the landbooks. Such lands shall be reentered on the landbooks in the name of the person charged with taxes on the land at the time of purchase by the state, and charged with all unpaid taxes thereon, including those taxes which have accrued since such purchase by the state, and all costs charged to such lands arising from the tax sale and purchase by the state. Such lands shall then be subject to disposition pursuant to this article.

All lands which have heretofore been forfeited to the state pursuant to the provisions of former article four of this chapter, and which have not been certified to the circuit court for sale pursuant to such article, shall be deemed nonentered pursuant to section thirty-seven of this article, and shall be subject to redemption and sale as provided herein.

All lands which have heretofore been certified to the circuit court for sale by the deputy commissioner pursuant to the provisions of the former article four of this chapter shall be deemed certified to the deputy commissioner for sale pursuant to section forty-four of this article, and shall be subject to redemption and sale as provided herein. All suits heretofore instituted by the deputy commissioners pursuant to the provisions of the former article four of this chapter, which have not been reduced to judgment for the sale of all lands listed in such suits, are hereby dismissed, and the lands listed in such suits shall be deemed certified to the deputy commissioner pursuant to section forty-four of this article and shall be subject to redemption and sale as provided herein. All lands subject to sale under any court order entered in any such suit, which have not yet been sold pursuant to such order, shall be deemed certified to the deputy commissioner for sale pursuant to section forty-four of this article, and shall be subject to redemption and sale as provided herein. All lands which have been sold prior to the effective date of this act under any court order entered in any such suit shall be deemed sold and any tax deed which has or shall issue for any such land pursuant to the provisions of the former article four of this chapter are hereby confirmed as valid, subject to the discretion of the court as set forth in the former section thirty-one, article four of this chapter: Provided, That if the court refuses to confirm said sale, the land shall be deemed certified to the deputy commissioner for sale pursuant to section forty-four of this article, and shall be subject to redemption and sale as provided herein.


WVC 11A-3-69 §11A-3-69. Effect of repeal.
The repeal of the provisions of sections thirty-nine, thirty-nine-a, thirty-nine-b and forty-one, article four of this chapter which was affected by the recodification of this article and article four of this chapter as the result of the enactment of chapter eighty-seven, acts of the Legislature, regular session, one thousand nine hundred ninety-four, shall not be construed to affect any right established or accrued pursuant to those provisions.


WVC 11A-3-70 §11A-3-70. Release of title to, and taxes on, lands on which all

taxes paid for ten years.
In view of the desirability of stable land titles and to encourage landowners to cause their lands to be assessed and pay the taxes thereon, it is the purpose and intent of the Legislature to release all of the state's title and claim and the authority and control of the auditor to any real estate on which all taxes have been paid for ten consecutive years and release all taxes prior to such ten-year period. If, heretofore or hereafter, all taxes due on any parcel of land for ten consecutive years have been fully paid, all title to any such land acquired by the state prior to said ten-year period or all real property tax liens which subject the lands to the authority and control of the auditor prior to said ten-year period shall be and is hereby released to the person who would be the owner thereof but for the title of the state or the real property tax liens which subject the lands to the authority and control of the auditor so released and all unpaid taxes prior to said ten-year period are declared to be fully paid.

Nothing contained in this section shall affect or be held or construed to affect in any way the right or title of a person claiming to any land by transfer as provided in section three, article XIII of the constitution of the state of West Virginia prior to the repeal of said constitutional provision in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-two.

It is the intention of the Legislature that this section shall be both retroactive and prospective.


WVC 11A-3-71 §11A-3-71. Deeds of deputy commissioner conveying coal, oil, gas,

timber and other natural resources.
In any deed by the deputy commissioner in which said commissioner conveys or has heretofore conveyed coal, oil, gas, timber or any natural resources, as certified to him by the auditor of the state to be sold for the benefit of the school fund or as otherwise provided in this article, it shall not be necessary to recite the mining, drilling, cutting or other rights and privileges appurtenant to the same, which were a part of the deed of severance of said natural resources from the surface or other estate; and in cases where any such deeds may have heretofore been made and the rights and privileges were not recited in such deeds, the rights and privileges are hereby declared to have attached and passed by such deeds and all such conveyances are hereby ratified and confirmed.


WVC 11A-3-72 §11A-3-72. Release of taxes and interest.
In view of the great uncertainty and confusion existing in the auditor's records of delinquent lands for the years prior to one thousand nine hundred thirty-six, due to the insufficient and inadequate reports by former school land commissioners and the doubtful status of delinquent or forfeited undivided interests, the Legislature finds that it will be impossible to provide a speedy method for disposing of delinquent and forfeited lands and for conveying to the purchasers of such lands a secure title, unless some action is taken to prevent the certifications and sale of lands which were formerly redeemed from or were sold by such commissioners, but which appear on the auditor's records, as unsold and unredeemed. Wherefore, it is the purpose and intent of the Legislature to release all taxes, interest and charges that may be due on any real estate in this state for the assessment year one thousand nine hundred thirty-five and for all years prior thereto, and all such taxes, interest and charges are hereby declared to be fully paid. If all the taxes due on any land for the assessment year one thousand nine hundred thirty-six and for all years subsequent thereto have been paid, all title to any such land theretofore acquired by the state and any land subject to the authority and control of the auditor shall be and is hereby released.

The auditor, in computing the amount necessary for redemption as provided in section thirty-eight of this article, and in preparing the list of lands for certification to the deputy commissioner as provided in section forty-four of this article, shall use the assessment year one thousand nine hundred thirty-six as the initial year for which taxes are to be charged. He shall specify the year in which the state acquired title, but if such year was prior to the year one thousand nine hundred thirty-six, shall charge no taxes for any year prior thereto, nor shall he charge any interest, fees, penalties or costs for any years prior to the year one thousand nine hundred thirty-six.

Nothing contained in this section shall be held or construed to affect in any way the right of a person claiming title to any land by transfer, as provided in section three, article XIII of the constitution of West Virginia prior to the repeal of said constitutional provision in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-two.


WVC 11A-3-73 §11A-3-73. Release of taxes, interest and charges on land assessed by erroneous description, etc; misdescription, etc., not to result in forfeiture or subject land to the authority and control of the auditor.

In view of the large number of lots, parcels and tracts of land in this state which are entered on the land books by descriptions, or statement of interest or estate, or name of owner, or in a taxing district, which are erroneous or deficient in various particulars and the large number of lots, parcels and tracts of land in this state, and interests and estates therein, which appear on the land books by entries which have been or may be considered to be irregular, erroneous, invalid or void in various particulars because of the way in which the name of the owner, the area, the lot or tract number or reference, the local description, the statement of the interest or estate and other particulars are stated, or because the entries are in the wrong taxing district; and the uncertainty which exists as to whether the payment of taxes thereon prevents the land intended to be assessed from having been forfeited for nonentry or be subject to the authority and control of the auditor pursuant to section thirty-seven of this article; and in view of the necessity for permitting the owners of such land to pay taxes thereon in safety and to relieve from and avoid double payment of taxes on the same land in such cases, it is the purpose and intent of the Legislature to, and it hereby does, release all taxes and charges that may be or become due or unpaid, or considered to be or become due or unpaid, on any such lot, parcel or tract of land in this state for each year that the taxes charged thereon under such entry have been or shall be paid, even though the entry be entirely different in description or otherwise from the land intended or be completely deficient, provided the identity of the land intended by such entry can be ascertained. All title which has been acquired by the state of West Virginia by forfeiture of land or lands which are subject to the authority and control of the auditor because of any such entry for any such year is hereby released and granted to the owner of such land in all cases where the identity of the land intended by such entry can be ascertained. No such entry heretofore or hereafter made for any such year shall constitute, or be considered to constitute, a failure of the owner of such land to have the same entered on the land books and to have himself charged with taxes thereon, or an omission of the same from the land books, or shall result in, or be considered to have resulted in a forfeiture for nonentry of the land or be considered to subject the land to the authority and control of the auditor intended by such entry if the identity of the land intended by such entry can be ascertained. Such identity may be ascertained by any available evidence, parole or written, of record or not of record, including, but not limited to, tracing back prior years land book entries and valuations to a transfer to the present or a former owner, notations on the land books and other records in the office of the assessor for the current and prior years, conveyances to and from the present and former owners, and all pertinent evidence not within the foregoing classes. The provisions of this section are remedial and shall be liberally construed for the relief of landowners.


WVC 11A-3-74 §11A-3-74. Severability.
If any section, subsection, subdivision, subparagraph, sentence or clause of this article is adjudged to be unconstitutional or otherwise invalid, such invalidation shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this article and, to this end, the provisions of this article are hereby declared to be severable.


WVC 11 A- 4 - ARTICLE 4. REMEDIES RELATING TO TAX SALES.


WVC 11 A- 4 - 1 §11A-4-1. Declaration of legislative purpose.

In furtherance of the policy declared in section one, article three of this chapter, it is the intent and purpose of the Legislature to provide reasonable opportunities for delinquent taxpayers to protect their interests in their lands and to provide reasonable remedies in certain circumstances for persons with interests in delinquent and escheated lands.


WVC 11 A- 4 - 2 §11A-4-2. Right to set aside sale or deed when all taxes paid before sale.

Any owner of real estate for which a tax lien was sold for nonpayment of taxes pursuant to the provisions of article three of this chapter, when all taxes thereon had in fact been paid before the sale, his heirs and assigns, or the person who paid the taxes, may, before the expiration of three years following the sale, institute a civil action to set aside the sale and to enjoin the proper official from taking any further steps in the procedure provided in this and the following article, or, if a deed has been delivered to the purchaser, before the expiration of three years following the delivery of the deed, institute a civil action to set aside the deed. If such action is instituted by or on behalf of the owner of an undivided interest which was included in a group assessment but which was separately redeemed as provided in section eighteen, article two of this chapter, the sale or the deed shall be set aside only insofar as it affects his interest.


WVC 11 A- 4 - 3 §11A-4-3. Right to set aside deed improperly obtained.

(a) Whenever the clerk of the county commission has delivered a deed to the purchaser after the time specified in section twenty-seven of article three of this chapter, or, within that time, has delivered a deed to a purchaser who was not entitled thereto either because of his failure to meet the requirements of section nineteen of said article three, or because the property conveyed had been redeemed, the owner of such property, his heirs and assigns, or the person who redeemed the property, may, before the expiration of three years following the delivery of the deed, institute a civil action to set aside the deed. No deed shall be set aside under the provisions of this section, except in the case of redemption, until payment has been made or tendered to the purchaser, or his heirs or assigns, of the amount which would have been required for redemption, together with any taxes which have been paid on the property since delivery of the deed, with interest at the rate of twelve percent per annum.

(b) Whenever the deputy commissioner has delivered a deed to the purchaser after the time specified in section fifty-nine of article three of this chapter, or, within that time, has delivered a deed to a purchaser who was not entitled thereto either because of his failure to meet the requirements of section fifty-two of said article three, or because the property conveyed had been redeemed, the owner of such property, his heirs and assigns, or the person who redeemed the property, may, before the expiration of three years following the delivery of the deed, institute a civil action to set aside the deed. No deed shall be set aside under the provisions of this section, except in the case of redemption, until payment has been made or tendered to the purchaser, or his heirs or assigns, of the amount which would have been required for redemption, together with any taxes which have been paid on the property since delivery of the deed, with interest at the rate of twelve percent per annum.


WVC 11 A- 4 - 4 §11A-4-4. Right to set aside deed when one entitled to notice not notified.

(a) If any person entitled to be notified under the provisions of section twenty-two or fifty-five, article three of this chapter is not served with the notice as therein required, and does not have actual knowledge that such notice has been given to others in time to protect his interests by redeeming the property, he, his heirs and assigns, may, before the expiration of three years following the delivery of the deed, institute a civil action to set aside the deed. No deed shall be set aside under the provisions of this section until payment has been made or tendered to the purchaser, or his heirs or assigns, of the amount which would have been required for redemption, together with any taxes which have been paid on the property since delivery of the deed, with interest at the rate of twelve percent per annum.

(b) No title acquired pursuant to this article shall be set aside in the absence of a showing by clear and convincing evidence that the person who originally acquired such title failed to exercise reasonably diligent efforts to provide notice of his intention to acquire such title to the complaining party or his predecessors in title.

(c) Upon a preliminary finding by the court that the deed will be set aside pursuant to this section, such amounts shall be paid within one month of the entry thereof. Upon the failure to pay the same within said period of time, the court shall upon the request of the purchaser, enter judgment dismissing the action with prejudice.


WVC 11 A- 4 - 5 §11A-4-5. On whose behalf suits instituted; decree when deed set aside.

Any civil action instituted under the provisions of section two, three or four of this article by a person other than the former owner, his heirs or assigns, must be brought on his or their behalf. Whenever the deed in such case is set aside, the decree shall be that all the right, title and interest of the former owner, his heirs or assigns, is revested in him or them.


WVC 11 A- 4 - 6 §11A-4-6. Redemption by persons under disability from purchase by individual.

In addition to and notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, any infant or mentally incapacitated person whose real estate was, during such disability, conveyed by tax deed pursuant to this chapter to an individual purchaser, may redeem such real estate by paying to the purchaser, or his heirs or assigns, before the expiration of one year after removal of the disability, but in no event more than twenty years after the deed was obtained, the amount of the purchase money, together with the necessary charges incurred in obtaining the deed, and any taxes paid on the property since the sale, with interest on such items at the rate of twelve percent per annum from the date each was paid. If such person was the owner of an undivided interest in the real estate sold, he may redeem such interest by paying that proportion of the purchase money, charges, taxes and interest chargeable to his interest; but after a deed has been delivered to the purchaser, he shall not have the right to redeem more than his own undivided interest. If improvements have been made on such real estate after the deed was obtained and before the offer to redeem as herein provided, the person redeeming shall pay to the purchaser, or his heirs or assigns, the value of the improvements at the time of such offer, after deducting therefrom the value of the use of such real estate without the improvements, from the date of the deed to the date of the offer. Upon payment or tender of payment, the purchaser, his heirs or assigns, shall, at the expense of the person redeeming, convey to him by quitclaim deed the real estate so redeemed.

One entitled to redeem under the provisions of this section may, if he is unable or is not willing to pay for the improvements made by the purchaser, elect to relinquish his interest in the property. If he so elects, he shall be entitled to an amount equal to the estimated present value of the land without the improvements less what he would have had to pay to redeem the land had no improvements been made. Upon payment to him of such amount, he shall by quitclaim deed convey the land to the purchaser, his heirs or assigns.

If in any case provided for in this section the parties cannot agree on the amount to be paid, any of them may upon ten days' notice in writing to the other, or others, apply by petition, to the circuit court of the county in which the real estate is situated to have the matter referred to a commissioner to ascertain the proper amount to be paid. Upon confirmation by the court or judge of the report of the commissioner, and upon payment or tender of the amount, if any, so ascertained to be due, the person to whom payment or tender was made, shall execute the quitclaim deed as provided above. In the event of his refusal to do so, the court, or judge, may appoint a commissioner to execute the deed.

If there is a refusal to execute the deed in any case in which there was no dispute as to the amount necessary for redemption, the person entitled to the deed may, upon ten days' notice in writing to the other party or parties, apply by petition to the circuit court for the appointment of a commissioner to execute the deed.


WVC 11 A- 4 - 7 §11A-4-7. Right of creditor of former owner of escheated land.

Any surplus proceeds arising from the sale of escheated land may be applied for by the creditors of the decedent if application is made to the circuit court of the county in which the land is situated within one year after the auditor has confirmed the sale. Upon proper application to the court within such time such surplus may be applied to the satisfaction of the claims of creditors of the decedent who had a lien on the land at the time of his death, or who, being general creditors, have properly proved their claims against his estate and have been unable to obtain payment out of the personalty. In the disposition of such surplus, due preference shall be given to lien creditors. Any part of such surplus thereafter remaining shall be paid by the sheriff to the auditor for credit to the general school fund.


Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
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