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Tax Sale Information

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State Summary

Oregon is a deed state. Properties are subject to foreclosure by the county when they are delinquent for 3 years. After a 2-year redemption period, the county acquires the deed and may sell it at public auction to the highest bidder. The following information is quoted from the “Disposition of Tax Foreclosed Properties” link on the Multnomah County Division of Assessment, Recording and Taxation website,

“Upon acquisition by Multnomah County all tax foreclosed real property is first made available to the former owner of record for re-purchase for not less than the accrued taxes, interest, and charges. If the former owner does not repurchase the property, it is then reviewed by the Greenspace Review Committee to determine the suitability for public use as open space, parks, or natural areas and given the appropriate designation. At the same time, the list of foreclosed properties not repurchased is reviewed by the Affordable Housing Development Review Committee to determine if any of them are suitable for construction of a dwelling.

The tax-foreclosed properties not repurchased are then made available to government agencies for their review and possible acquisition. After the completion of this process, the remaining properties are then made available to qualified non-profit corporations or governments through the County’s Affordable Housing Development Program for low income housing purposes. At the same time the list of available properties are also made available through the County’s Greenspaces Program to qualified non-profit corporations or governments for use as open space, parks, or natural areas. After the Board of County Commissioners has deliberated and decided to grant or deny the requests for properties, the balance if any, of the foreclosed properties that are deemed to be marketable are made available for sale at a public auction.

A public auction of foreclosed properties is typically held once a year. All auctions are oral and open to the public. The only acceptable forms of payment are cash or cashier’s check. The property is sold to the highest bidder who meets or exceeds the minimum price. There is no assignment purchasing allowed and no tax certificates are issued. All properties are sold ‘as is’. Properties that do not sell at the public auction are placed on a future public auction or disposed of as otherwise provided by law.

The County may enter into a private sale of certain tax-foreclosed properties if 1) the property is valued at less than $15,000 and 2) the local planning and zoning jurisdiction determines that the parcel is not suitable for the construction or placement of a dwelling. The County’s policy with respect to properties that qualify for private sales is to first offer them to adjacent property owners.”

Some of the larger counties in Oregon have maps and assessment information online. On Multnomah County’s website you can get aerial photos, along with assessment, zoning, planning, flood plain information and more. For smaller counties you will have to go to the assessor’s office for this information. Some counties will do your research for a fee. You may also want to do a title search on the property at the county clerk’s office. As with most deed sales, no warranty or title insurance is conveyed with the deed.

Summary courtesy of Joanne Musa's State Guide