Bulletin: WA000002

Date:
April 04, 1989
To:
All Washington Agents
RE:
Tax Sales

Dear Associates:

The Washington Court of Appeals (Div.3) has ruled that a county is not liable to persons who purchase property at invalid tax sales. Pioneer National Title Insurance Company v. Spokane County, 52 Wash. App. 869, 765 P.2d 36 (1988).

Spokane County sold a vacant lot in 1964 for delinquent taxes. The lot was owned by the state and exempt from taxes.

In 1973 a duplex was built on the lot. In 1981 the state advised the owners of the duplex that the lot was owned by the state. Pioneer Title purchased the property in 1982 and sued the county for damages resulting from the improper tax sale.

The court reaffirmed that there are no warranties with a treasurer's deed and that the county is not liable to persons who purchase at tax sales because "the tax sale buyer is gambling a nominal amount on the validity of title".

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
19.00 Tax Titles
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None