West Virginia

The South Mountain group offers services specific to the state of West Virginia. This page details those services.  West Virginia is an attorney state and all abstracting, legal opinions of title or property reports used to induce the sale of title insurance by SMG are prepared or supervised by independant counsel, licensed in the state, and in good standing with the bar.

Property Taxes:

Tax year: The West Virginia tax year runs January-December of the current year. Taxes are generally paid semi-annually or annually. Taxes are calculated using the assessed value of the property.

West Virginia Tax Collectors by County:

For our comprehensive list of West Virginia Tax Collectors, by county, with contact information for each go to:



County Online Property Tax Information:

Some West Virginia Counties provide helpful websites that allow home owners to view their current tax information, bill and payments online. Go to Google, and type “Property taxes for Berkeley County,” or the county you are inquiring about. Click here to see our list of West Virginia online property tax websites.

Payment of Property Taxes at Closing:

In refinances, most lenders require that taxes are current and up to date and all taxes due within 30-90 days of closing are collected and paid at closing.

The same is true for sales. Additionally, taxes for sales are prorated in such a manner that the seller will pay taxes through settlement, or credit the buyer with the same. From the date of settlement forward, the buyer shall pay taxes.

Be aware, that it can take up to two years for the new owners name to appear on tax bills. However, the purchaser is responsible for all taxes, and other county and state fees, such as water or sewer, from the date of closing. Likewise, all bills prior to closing remain the sellers responsibility.


All closings involving properties with public bills being assessed to it, will be required to pay all such bills current through closing, by the seller, after which said bills will be the responsibility of the buyer. Were possible, these items are prorated on the HUD; in some situations, the seller must contact the county to advice of the pending transaction, and arrange for the change over and payment of final bills.

Failure to pay the above mentioned items in a timely manner can affect the final recording of the deed on the property.

Recording Fees:

Recording fees in West Virginia are based on the number of pages of the document. Deeds are generally 2-3 pages.  Calculations of the Deed of Trust varies greatly because the number of pages of the Deed of Trust range from as few as 5-6 pages or as many as 16-20 pages-not counting any riders. Generally, the recording of a typical deed of trust and riders will cost the borrower 30-40 dollars. Click here for the counties payment schedule for recording instruments.

West Virginia State Excise Tax (aka Stamps Or Transfer Tax):

In sales, the State of West Virginia charges an excise tax for sales transactions based on the consideration. The state and county may each impose the tax, and they are listed below, and are per $1,000 of the consideration (sales price):

Traditionally, the seller pays this tax in West Virginia.

$4.40 Mineral $6.60
$6.60 Mingo $6.60
$4.40 Monongalia $4.40
$4.40 Monroe $6.60
$4.40 Morgan $6.60
$4.40 Nicholas $6.60
$4.40 Ohio $4.40
$4.40 Pendleton $6.60
$4.40 Pleasants $4.40
$6.60 Pocahantas $6.60
$4.40 Preston $6.60
$6.60  Putnam $4.40
$6.60 Raleigh $4.40
$6.60 Randolph $4.40
$4.40 Ritchie   $4.40
$6.60 Roane $4.40
$4.40 Summers $6.60
$4.40 Taylor $4.40
$6.60 Tucker $4.40
$4.40 Tyler $4.40
$4.40 Upshur $4.40
$4.40 Wayne $4.40
$4.40 Webster $4.40
$4.40 Wetzel $4.40
$4.40 Wirt   $4.40
$4.40 Wood $4.40
$4.40 Wyoming $4.40

Determining Property Ownership:

West Virginia does not have a real property data base at this time. Property ownership is best determined by contacting or visiting the Land Records department of the County Circuit Court. Click here for a list of the Circuit Courts for each county in West Virginia. In West Virginia, a title exam used for a real estate transaction must be conducted under the supervision of a licensed West Virginia attorney. Click here for a copy of the West Virginia State Bars opinion regarding title examination inside the State.

West Virginia Title Insurance Rates:

Click here to see a table of West Virginia title insurance rates.

1099 Reporting to the IRS:

At closing, the seller will review a Certification of No Information Reporting if the sale of their property results in proceeds of less than $250,000 as an individual or $500,000 if a married couple.

If the proceeds are higher than this, the seller may chose to have the title company report the 1099 filing to the IRS, or may elect, in writing, to have the tax accountant or attorney do their 1099 filing.

Investment Properties and Commercial Transactions:

If you are buying an investment or commercial property, please notify the title company prior to closing so we can help you meet all counties requirements regarding the same.

1031 Transactions:

If your property is going to be a part of a 1031 exchange, you must also notify the title company prior to closing. Failure to do so could result in transaction not going through an intermediary. Even the failure to correctly follow any of the required steps under the Federal Tax Law regarding 1031 Exchanges, will negate the transaction, and the tax benefits will no longer be available.

Further, a Qualified Intermediary will be provided. At The South Mountain Group, Inc. our intermediary’s are all Certified Public Accountants, and will guide you step by step through the process.

Click here for more information about 1031 Exchanges.

Payoffs of Liens and Judgments:

All current liens against the property must be paid at closing to ensure the first position of your new lenders deed of trust. A title examination ensures that all recorded liens will be found, allowing us to collect for them, as well as to pay them off.

In some instances, the current liens are the expected deed of trusts, such as a first or second mortgage against the property.

Your current lender must provide a payoff. Some lenders will require a signed Release of Information from the borrower in order to provide the title company with this payoff.

You may be contacted to assist in obtaining a final payoff. Although rare, some lenders, contrary to the excepted practice and customary courtesies of most lenders today, will not cooperate in providing a third party with a payoff.

In those situations, you will be asked to contact the lender yourself, to ask for a payoff.

Payoffs are different from the principal balance of a loan in that a payoff includes any prepayment penalties, interest, and fees. A final payoff is a requirement of closing. Payoffs are requested to be good for a minimum of 10 days past your closing date.

Any additional liens found recorded against the property will also need to be collected and paid at closing. Again, you may be asked to provide specific information about any lien, in order for a proper and final payoff of the lien be obtained.

A judgment search is also run for borrowers and sellers and any judgments that affect or could affect the title to the property will be collected and paid at closing.

Because West Virginia does not vest title to married couples as tenants by the entirety, judgments against one spouse or the other will still attach. Any Federal tax lien will attach regardless.

In all other situations, judgments must be paid, with certain exceptions, such as the age of the judgment, or the type of judgment.

Wet Settlement Act:

The Wet Settlement Act applies to residential transactions on 1-4 family residences involving a mortgage, and requires that the lender provide “good funds” to the settlement agent at or before the closing, although the agent may not disburse prior to recording of the instruments, or with express approval by the parties providing the funds for the closing. West Virginia is considered a “Wet Settlement” State.

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