Do I receive a clear title?
The Sheriff does not guarantee clear title. A title search is recommended, Sheriff sale information is available in our office at 373 S. High Street, second floor, our website, or in the Tuesday edition of the Daily Reporter newspaper. The prompts on our phone line (614) 525-4231 will direct you to the withdrawl list for the current weeks sale. This line is updated every Monday morning and Thursday afternoon. The Sheriff's office makes every effort to provide information to the public, but due to the current volume, limited information is available over the phone. For questions of legal nature, contact a legal advisor.
Understand that the Sheriff's Office acts in the capacity as an agent for the sale of real estate (properties) in compliance with a court order. Properties are appraised by independent appraisers, advertised, and sold at public auction. Properties are advertised in the Tuesday Edition of the Daily Reporter Newspaper (614) 224-4835 which is available at most newsstands. Public libraries with a newspaper file may also carry this publication for your review. Information is also provided on both the Sheriff's website and on the counter in the Sheriff's Real Estate Office, 373 S. High Street. The ad from the Daily Reporter will provide you with the same information that the Sheriff 's Office has on any given property. The Daily Reporter also has the terms of sale which includes how long you have after the sale before the balance of the purchase price is due to the Sheriff's Office.
What are the steps for a Foreclosure action?
A Foreclosure action that results in the actual sale of the property by the Sheriff is a lengthy process. Key steps in the Process are as follows:
- Complaint Filed: The matter is brought before the court
- Judgment Entry Filed: Judgment/judgments are granted and the property may be sold to recover judgment amounts. (Typically filed 3-9 months after the complaint)
- Praecipe Filed: This order directs the Sheriff to advertise and sell the property. The terms of the sale (deposit amount and time allotted to pay the balance) are specified in this paperwork. The terms of sale are established at the discretion of the Plaintiff's Attorney. The Sheriff cannot authorize an extension of these terms. The property is auctioned at Sheriff sale. Purchasers must be prepared to deliver the deposit at the time of the final bid or the property will be immediately resold.
- Confirmation Filed: This order names the purchaser, orders the deed, the distribution of proceeds, orders lien cancellations, etc. and awards the purchaser the right to file for a writ of possession should anyone be occupying the property.
Once the deed is delivered, it is the purchaser's responsibility to record the deed. This is done by taking the deed to the Auditor's Office 373 S. High Street 20th floor then to the Recorder's Office 18th floor.
The Common Pleas Clerk of Courts Civil Division is located at 373 S. High Street. They are the keeper of records and have the entire case file for each foreclosure case. Their phone number is (614) 525-3621. Responses to questions posed to the Clerk o f Courts office will be limited to the type of paperwork filed. You can access the same information they can provide over the telephone or through their website www.franklincountyclerk.com. To learn the specific content of any case document, you would have to review the actual case file by visiting their office.
What if I am interested in a property that has been vacant for a long period of time and want to find out its' status in the foreclosure process?
Since search options with the Clerk of Courts is by defendant name or case number, you will have to get the name of the current owner of that property. Call the map room at (614) 525-4663 give them the address of the property and they will be able to give you a name. Also, you can access this information yourself by visiting the auditor's website at www.franklincountyauditor.com. Keep in mind until a praecipe is filed, the property will not proceed to sale. Properties are set for Sheriff Sale after the date of praecipe.
My property is set for Sheriff Sale, when must I vacate?
As defendant, you have redemption rights up until the confirmation is filed. The average time for a confirmation to be filed is 30-60 days from the sale date. This means, if you can pay off your mortgage or acquire new financing, you can keep your home. Once the confirmation is filed, you no longer have a right to redeem and the purchaser is awarded a writ of possession. (Some confirmations contain language to award the writ immediately upon filing of the confirmation, others may require that the property be paid for and the deed recorded before the writ can be filed.) This gives the purchaser the right to file paperwork to have the Sheriff notify you to vacate. The Sheriff will notify you, when you need to vacate.
I am leasing a property that is in foreclosure, when must I vacate?
The purchaser may allow you to continue to live in the property or may file for the Sheriff to give you notice to vacate. Legal questions arising from your relationship as a renter/lessee with the defendant in the case, must be addressed by your legal advisor.
Why are some deposits so high?
Deposit amounts are set at the discretion of the Plaintiff's Attorney. The Sheriff has no input in the matter.
Can I put more money down for the deposit than is required?
You are free to deposit funds in excess of the minimum amount, provided the amount does not exceed the purchase price.
Who should the cashier's check (for deposit) be made payable to?
The Sheriff's Office recommends that the cashier's check be made payable to yourself. If you are not the successful bidder, you can deposit the check back into your account.
The ad for a property I am interested in was in last week's Daily Reporter, but not this week's. What happened?
The property was probably withdrawn or a bankruptcy filed which puts an immediate hold on sale proceedings. You can verify this by checking the clerk's website.
If no one is living in a property I purchased, can I start renovations right after the sale?
The confirmation (see above) awards the purchaser possession of the property. Until it is filed, any investment in the property is risky for two reasons 1.) you do not own the property and have not been awarded a right to possession 2.) the defendant can still redeem the property.
Where do I pick up the keys to the property I purchased at Sheriff Sale?
There are no keys for these properties.
When will my closing be scheduled?
The Sheriff has nothing to do with closing. Financing and closing must be arranged by the purchaser. Since the Sheriff is not involved in the closing, the Sheriff's Office will not sign any settlement statements or closing documents.
Where can I get a copy of the appraisal?
The Sheriff's Office is not provided with a copy of the appraisals. Therefore, it is recommended that lenders do their own appraisal, once the property is vacated.
I am a defendant in a foreclosure action and am entitled to a portion of the proceeds. How do I acquire these funds?
If there is no distribution in your name in the confirmation filed, check the confirmation for funds to be held by either the clerk or the Sheriff's Office. In order to have the excess funds paid, you must obtain an order from the court, signed by the judge assigned to your case, directing the clerk or sheriff to disburse the excess funds to you.
Why does the auditor's appraisal of a particular property differ from the Sheriff Sale appraisal?
The Auditor's appraisal is done by law and is completed by a contract mass appraiser who appraises all property in Franklin County for tax purposes. Appraisers appointed by the court only appraise the specific property being sold. Since an appraisal is an opinion of value, it may vary.
Can my title company pay for and pick up my deed?
A title company can pick up your deed as long as they present a title company check payable to the Sheriff of Franklin County to pay off the balance of the purchase price. However, once a deed is paid for, a purchaser must provide written authorization before anyone else can pick up their deed.
If I want to pay off the balance of a purchase price, can I bring a check to the Sheriff's Office?
A Cashier's check payable to the Franklin County Sheriff is required to pay the balance for a property purchased at Sheriff Sale. The Sheriff's Office will also accept a title Company check as long as it is made payable to the Franklin County Sheriff.
Will I get my deposit back, if a redemption is filed on a property that I purchased at Sheriff Sale?
Deposit refunds are set up for payment immediately upon receipt of the court order to set aside the sale and refund the purchaser's deposit. Checks are prepared on the following Tuesday. Checks payable to more than one payee, must be signed for by all payees, before the check will be released.
Can I use my refund check from the Sheriff's Office to make a deposit at a future Sheriff Sale?
No. A cashier's check is required for all deposits at Sheriff Sale.
If I do not complete the purchase of a property that I put a deposit on at Sheriff Sale, will I get my money back?
Failure to follow through with the purchase of a Sheriff Sale property may result in all or part of your deposit being forfeited.
Do I need a real estate agent to bid for me at a Sheriff Sale?
No. It is a public auction.
Do I need to register for the sale?
No. There is no registration required.
Can I see the inside of properties set for Sheriff Sale?
No. Properties purchased at Sheriff Sale are not available for inspection.
Can I have someone bid on a particular property in my absence?
Yes. Just insure that you provide the substitute bidder with specific information as to how the property is to be deeded, the tax mailing address you want included in the deed, and a name and daytime phone number of someone to contact, when the deed is ready.
If I give the wrong deed information at the sale, can I change it after the sale?
Since the only way deed information can be changed after the sale is by court order, making sure how you want the property deeded before the sale is very important. The delivery of the deed may be delayed for failure to provide accurate information.
Do you prepare survivorship deeds?
No. A standard Sheriff's Deed will be issued.
What happens to properties that do not sell?
Sometimes the property will be reappraised or a court order to reduce the amount of the starting bid will be obtained. The property will be set for a subsequent sale.
How can I find out what happened to a property that went to Sheriff Sale?
Sale results are published in the Thursday edition of the Daily Reporter Newspaper, available in the Sheriff's Real Estate Office, 373 S. High Street about half an hour after the sale, or on the Web Site. Sales are every Friday beginning at 9:00 A.M., 373 S. High Street, except for Franklin County holidays.