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Sheriff's sales deal with mortgage foreclosures and judgments

Every month, the Madison County Sheriff's Department conducts a sale of properties where banks and lending institutions have regained possession.

Fifteen properties will go up for auction at the Jan. 24 Sheriff's Sale starting at 10 a.m. in the council chambers of the Madison County Government Center.

The properties listed for sale have either been foreclosed for failure to make mortgage payments or have an unpaid court-ordered judgment placed on them.

Deena Watkins is the administrator of the Sheriff's Civil Office that oversees the sales each month.

Watkins said the properties are listed for mortgage foreclosure or when a property has been listed as collateral on a debt.

She explained the legal notice has to be published 30 days before the sale and must appear for three consecutive weeks.

Depending on the property's location, the legal notice appears in The Herald Bulletin, Elwood Call Leader or Pendleton Post.

The bank asks for the properties to be included in the sale by filing necessary paperwork with the Madison County Clerk's Office, Watkins said.

Since taking the job as administrator, Watkins said the annual numbers of properties included in the Sheriff's Sale have been declining.

She said in 2018 there were 341 properties up for sale and that number dropped to 266 in 2019.

On average, 50% of the properties sell, Watkins said.

She said it costs $350 to list a property and the county general fund receives $225 of the fee.

Last year, the county received $62,000 through the Sheriff's Sale process and the total paid back on the judgments was $5.5 million.

Watkins explained the final sale price is assessed against any judgments on the property and the difference is still owed to the bank or lending institution.

"The sale is an auction," Watkins said of the process. "The bank or lending institution submits the first bid."

Once the initial bid is made, a potential buyer has to submit a bid $1 higher and it then increases in $100 increments.

Tribune Content Agency