Foreclosure Process Overview
In Ohio, all foreclosures are handled through the courts. The typical timeline for an Ohio foreclosure is seven months.
To begin a court foreclosure in Ohio, the appropriate court documents are filed in a local court. The borrower is then given notice of the court filing, usually by certified mail, regular mail, or personal service. If a borrower cannot be located, the lender may publish the notice of the court filing. After the notice has been properly delivered or published, the borrower has 28 days to respond or the court can find them in default. After the court makes its decision, the county clerk issues an order of sale to the sheriff.
The court allows borrowers to pay the debt amount within a certain time. If the borrower fails to pay, the foreclosure process continues.
Notice of Sale / Auction
Before the foreclosure sale, the sheriff must obtain three appraisals and publish an ad in a local newspaper for three weeks. The sheriff then conducts a public auction at the courthouse. The sale price must be at least two thirds of the appraised value, and the property is sold to the highest bidder. After the sale, the court reviews and files an order confirming the sheriff’s sale. The sheriff prepares and issues a deed transferring ownership to the winning bidder.
The borrower has a right to redeem the property at any time before the sale is confirmed by paying the balance owed and court costs.
Legal and Legislative Updates
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in November 2012 that lenders can’t file foreclosure cases until they have the proper paperwork in hand.
The ruling will stop the practice of some foreclosures being granted even though lenders failed to produce vital documentation, said one lawyer who specializes in such cases. Common pleas courts cannot hear foreclosure cases unless they are filed by the lender holding the mortgage interest in the property, the justices said in a unanimous ruling.
The problem is not erased simply by later filing the proper documentation before a judge’s decision, the court ruled. The ruling reversed the 2nd District Court of Appeals in a decision in a Greene County case that conflicted with two other appellate rulings on the need for the “real party of interest” to be part of foreclosure filings.
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