Sheriff's Sales of Real Property

Sheriff’s Sales are “judicial foreclosures” (or executions) on real property to satisfy a money judgment.  The order to sell comes from the Superior Court Clerk’s Office.  The Sheriff’s Office only sells the judgment debtor’s interest in the real estate and the property is subject to all existing liens and encumbrances.  The Sheriff’s Office has limited information about the sale property and bidders are encouraged to exercise due diligence.

The property sold may have a redemption period from zero to twelve months.  “Redemption” means the property owner may pay back the amount of the bid at the sale, plus interest and fees and subsequently retain ownership of the property.  The redemption process is governed by the Revised Code of Washington (RCW 6.23). The Sheriff’s Office cannot give legal advice.  If you have further questions about the redemption process, please refer to the RCW or consult legal counsel.

When scheduled, Sheriff’s Sales of Real Property are held on Friday mornings at 10:00 a.m. in the front lobby of the Cowlitz County Hall of Justice.  Information regarding upcoming Sheriff’s Sales is published in the Daily News on Friday, once a week, for four consecutive weeks prior to each Sale of Real Property.  It is also posted in the Lobby of the Cowlitz County Hall of Justice, the third floor of the Cowlitz County Administration Building and at the location of the Sale property.

Frequently, the Sheriff’s Office will receive a “credit bid” for the sale property.  A credit bid is placed by the entity who represents the plaintiff in the case.  If the Sheriff’s Office receives a credit bid, this dollar amount is where the bidding will start.  The credit bid is usually submitted to the Sheriff’s Office a day or two before the date of sale.

The highest bidder must submit payment for the sale property by 12:00 p.m. on the day of the sale.  Payment is to be made in full by cash or cashier’s check payable to the Cowlitz County Superior Court Clerk.  Once payment has been accepted, the Sheriff’s Office will issue the purchaser a Certificate of Sale.

After the redemption period has expired, the Sheriff’s Office will issue a Sheriff’s Deed for the property.  In order for a Sheriff’s Deed to be issued, the following items are required.

  • The redemption period must have elapsed
  • Payment to the Sheriff’s Office in the amount of $50.00 (cash or check)
  • Original Certificate of Sale that has been recorded with the Cowlitz County Auditor
  • A copy of the Order Confirming Sale