Sheriff’s Foreclosure Sales
This information is to address questions most often asked regarding Sheriff’s Sales, and explain general procedures regarding foreclosures. If there are specific procedural questions not addressed herein, we would be happy to address them upon further inquiry (other than requests for legal advice). For specific factual information regarding a case, please see the court file for that case at the Clerk’s Office in the Courthouse.
Sheriff’s Sales are held on Fridays at 1:00 p.m. (EST) inside at the Washington County Courthouse, on the ground floor steps, unless the advertisement states otherwise. Properties are bid competitively, beginning at an advertised minimum bid, generally 2/3 of the appraised value.
Appraisals are completed by three individuals, who are residents of Washington County. Local realtors are utilized due to their knowledge of the current value of real estate in this area.
The appraised value may have been established based on an exterior view only of any structure(s) located on the premises. Neither the Sheriff’s Office, nor any affiliates have access to the interior of any structure(s) located on said property.
Sales are advertised in the Marietta Times, Legal Notices. Ads are typically run on Tuesday for three (3) weeks prior to the sale; a potential buyer who regularly reads the Tuesday legal notices should see all applicable sales. The Sheriff’s Office does not send (US mail or e-mail) the list of properties scheduled for sale. Lists are available on our website, or can be picked up at the Sheriff’s Office Civil Division, on the first floor of the annex in the Courthouse.
The full legal description is available in the Washington County Recorder’s Office or online by using the Prior Deed Reference listed in the advertisement. Directions are available at the top of this page.
Tax information can be obtained through www.washingtongov.org then selecting the Washington County Treasurer’s Office under the tab labeled “Your Government”.
Day of Sale
We do not require advanced registration. Our sales start promptly at 1:00 p.m.
The minimum bid is 2/3 of the appraised value. If we do not receive a bid of at least the required 2/3, then we will hold a second sale, on the date advertised for the second sale. On the second sale date, there will be no minimum bid. However, the successful bidder will be responsible for ALL court costs, taxes and fees associated with this foreclosure action. If the purchase price is less than the amount of these expenses, it will be the purchaser’s responsibility to cover the additional costs.
All successful bidders must complete a Purchaser Information Form (available at the top of this page) to submit to the Sheriff’s Office at the time of sale. Immediately following the sale, third-party purchasers must pay the required deposit (certified check or money order) as printed in the advertisement, payable to Washington County Sheriff’s Office. NO PERSONAL CHECKS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Purchasers must have the deposit in hand when they bid on the property. Purchasers will not be allowed time after the sale to obtain the funds.
No deposit is required from the Plaintiff/Lienholder.
Remote Bidding (available to judgment creditors/lienholders only): If you would like to use remote bidding, a fixed bid amount can be emailed to email@example.com and must arrive by 4:30 p.m. on the business day before the sale. Please complete the Remote Bid Form and Purchaser Information Form; both are available at the top of this page. The Sheriff’s Office will confirm the receipt of your bid as soon as possible. We will not confirm receipt of any bids that do not include the Purchase Information Form, or any bids received after the 4:30 p.m. deadline.
Once the sale is complete, we will respond to your email by the close of business on the date of sale with the results of the sale.
The balance of purchase price must be paid within 30 days of Confirmation of Sale by certified check or money order. NO PERSONAL CHECKS.
Estimated Schedule for After the Sale
Day of the sale – Purchaser to pay the required deposit
30 days from the date of sale – Confirmation of sale by the Court, to be submitted by the Plaintiff’s attorney
7 days from the confirmation of sale – deed to be received by Sheriff, prepared by the Plaintiff’s attorney
30 days from confirmation of sale – purchaser to pay balance of the purchase price
14 days from receipt of payment – deed to be filed
Delinquent real property is sold (once it meets certain criteria) by the Washington County Treasurer, through the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office, in accordance with applicable laws regarding tax foreclosures. The Sheriff’s Office holds the auction. Simply put, an action is filed in Washington County Common Pleas Court to foreclose upon the subject parcel(s). A judgment decree in foreclosure is sought; once obtained, the property is advertised and sold at a tax foreclosure auction.
Terms of Sale
For tax foreclosures, a minimum bid will be set, which is the amount of the delinquent taxes, assessments and court costs. A down payment is also set, generally, the amount of the minimum bid. The minimum down payment must be paid the day of the sale in cash, certified check or money order. You must bring the exact change if paying in cash. The balance of the purchase price must be paid at confirmation of the sale.
Failure or refusal to pay for real property after purchase at any Sheriff’s Sale will likely result in forfeiture of the down payment, and subject the buyer to punishment for contempt of court.
Finality of Sales
For tax foreclosures, once property is sold at Sheriff’s Sale, the sale does not become final until the Confirmation Entry is filed, approximately one month later. In other words, the property owner may still come in and redeem the property by paying the delinquent taxes, assessments and court costs. Once the Confirmation Entry is filed, the property owner’s right of redemption is cut off. Please note, there is also the possibility of redemption if there is a federal tax lien. To determine if a federal tax lien exists, and how it will impact the property after the sale, you are urged to conduct your own title search or consult your own attorney.
Possession of Property
Property purchased at Sheriff’s Sale does not truly belong to the purchaser until the Confirmation Entry has been filed with the Court. Therefore, the buyer should NOT exercise any dominion or control over the property, such as demolition, construction, or harassment of tenants. Any such dominion or control is strictly at the purchaser’s risk.
Once the Confirmation Entry has been filed and the purchase price has been paid, the Sheriff’s Office will record the deed. The buyer will receive a Sheriff’s Deed, which will be mailed within a couple of weeks following the deep being recorded.
Condition of Title Following Sale
Generally speaking, in accordance with applicable law, most liens are released when property is sold. This does not include taxes and assessments levied, but not yet due and payable. Please note that the Washington County Sheriff’s Office makes no representations of title in specific situations, and is not a source of title information. If you wish to be certain as to the status of title, you are urged to conduct your own title search or consult your own attorney.
Pro-ration of Taxes
By law, there is no pro-ration of taxes on a property sold at Sheriff’s sale. The law requires taxes and assessments that are “due and payable” to be paid from the proceeds of sale. Since taxes are paid one year in arrears in Ohio, the taxes for the year in which the property is purchased are not actually “due and payable” until the following year. Whereas in most private sales, there is a pro-ration and a credit is given the buyer against the taxes to be paid by him the following year, this is not in accordance with the law governing Sheriff’s Sales. The buyer gets no credit for the calendar year in which the purchase is made. Obviously, early in the year this is of little significance, but as the year progresses the significance becomes greater. Even if, for example, a buyer purchases a property in mid-October and the deed transfers in late December, the buyer will owe the real estate taxes and assessments for the entire calendar year in which he purchased the property when those amounts are due. Please take this into consideration when determining the amount to bid on the property, if it is a concern.
PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is not intended to constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. This information is in general, procedural terms only, is not directed to any specific parcel(s) or situation, and any information contained herein may or may not be applicable in specific situations. If you have questions regarding a specific situation, you are urged to contact your own attorney. If you have questions seeking information about a specific case, please review the case file at the Clerk’s Office in the courthouse.
For additional information or questions, contact Jacinda Carr.