Foreclosure Auction FAQ

/Foreclosure Auction FAQ
Foreclosure Auction FAQ 2017-11-10T08:11:37+00:00

Please be advised that the Private Selling Officer (Auctioneer) can not offer legal advice or provide any representations or warranties related to the property.

Who is selling the property?

The court has appointed a private selling officer to sell the property. The property is not being sold by the county sheriff.  The property is the subject of a foreclosure proceeding.  The property is not an REO property or a “bank owned” property.

What is a private selling officer?

A private selling officer is a resident of Ohio who is licensed as both an auctioneer under Chapter 4707 of the Ohio Revised Code and as a real estate broker or real estate salesperson under Chapter 4735 of the Ohio Revised Code.  Private selling officers are eligible under section 2329.152 of the Ohio Revised Code to sell foreclosed properties by appointment of the court.

Can I inspect the property?

No.  You cannot trespass or disturb the owner or occupant.  Doing so may be a violation of Section 2911.21 of the Ohio Revised Code, which provides criminal penalties for trespassing.  There is no inspection contingency.  If you are the high bidder, you will be required to complete your purchase even if you are unable to inspect the property.

How can I obtain information about the property?

While the PSO has some information, that data has come from public sources and is not guaranteed.  You must conduct your own due diligence about the property.  You may wish to consult the County Auditor’s office or the County Treasurer’s office for information.

You should not contact the sheriff, the plaintiff in the foreclosure action, or the law firm or attorney that represents the plaintiff for information about the property.  The sheriff is not selling the property, and the property is not an REO or a “bank-owned” property.  The law firm involved in the case is subject to client confidentiality and other ethical requirements that limit what the law firm is permitted to say to others.

Do you compensate Real Estate brokers or agents?

In the event of a third-party sale, we are happy to pay a cooperating broker’s fee to a licensed real estate broker if the broker (1) registers the buyer with the PSO at www.gryphonusa.com under the Broker Registration tab (2) completes registration form (a) before there is any interaction between the buyer and the PSO and (b) before the buyer registers to bid on the Website.

Properly registered cooperating brokers will be paid by Private Selling Officer, not by the Title Company at Closing / Deed Transfer.  Please see www.gryphonusa.com for full terms.

What does the title agency do?

The title agency identified by the private selling officer, assists the private selling officer with the collection and disbursement of funds and the recording of private selling officer deeds.

How was the appraisal conducted?

If the property has an appraised value on the property details page, then, unless an exception applies or the Court ordered otherwise, the property was appraised in accordance with section 2329.17 of the Ohio Revised Code.  An appraisal conducted under this section of the Ohio Revised Code does not have to follow customary real estate appraisal requirements.  Such an appraisal does not, for example, have to be done by licensed appraisers and almost never includes an interior inspection of the Property.  The primary purpose of the appraisal is to establish a minimum bid for the auction as a safeguard against an unreasonably low sale price.  You should not rely on the property’s appraised value in deciding whether or how much to bid or as an estimate of the property’s fair market value or as an indication of the condition of the Property.

Should I consult an attorney about the process?

If you have questions about the legal process or the conditions or requirements related to the auction of the property, we do recommend that you consult your own legal counsel.  In deciding whether you should to do this, you should consider this important information:

  • Various federal, state, or local laws may be applicable to the auction of the Property, such as the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the U.S. Service Members Civil Relief Act, and Chapter 2329 of the Ohio Revised Code. These are just examples.  Other federal, state, or local laws may also be applicable.
  • The sale of the Property is subject to confirmation by the court in accordance with applicable provisions of the Ohio Revised Code.
  • The homeowner has the right to redeem the property prior to confirmation of the sale in accordance with applicable provisions of the Ohio Revised Code.
  • The judgment creditor or the court might postpone or cancel the auction at any time.
  • The court might vacate the sale after the auction is completed.
  • If you are the highest bidder, you may be held in contempt of Court if you do not complete your purchase or you may be subject to other consequences, such as forfeiture of the sale deposit.

Where is the auction held?

All auctions are held online at www.privatesellingofficer.com or www.gryphonusa.com.

Auctions are not conducted in person.

How long is the auction open for bidding?

Bidding is required to be open for at least 7 days under section 2329.152 of the Ohio Revised Code however may be open longer.  The originally scheduled end of the auction may also be extended if bidding activity occurs in the final moments of the auction.  If such activity occurs, the end of the auction will automatically be extended for successive fixed periods of time (usually five minutes or less).  This is called “Anti-Snipe Time”.  The auction will end when no bidding occurs during the Anti-Snipe Time.

Can an auction be postponed or cancelled?

Yes.  An auction might be cancelled or postponed for a variety of reasons, including by order of the court.  If an auction is postponed or canceled, a notice of this will be given on the property details page on the website.

Can anyone bid at the sale?

You may bid on a property only if you are able to form a legally binding contract to purchase real property.  Generally, this means you must be the age of eighteen years or more and under no legal disability.  You cannot bid if you are a minor or incompetent or do not have the mental capacity or authority to enter into a contract to purchase real property.  If you register to bid on behalf of an entity, you must have actual authority to legally bind that entity to a contract to purchase real property. To bid, you must also complete the online registration form and comply with the sale deposit requirements applicable to the property.

What is the minimum bid?

The minimum bid is usually two-thirds of the appraised value of the property.  In some cases, however, there is no minimum bid.  The minimum bid, if any, will be included on the property details page.

What if I am the highest bidder?

If you are the highest bidder, you will be required under Ohio law to complete your purchase of the property without any financing, inspection, or other contingencies and without regard to the condition of the property or the occupancy status of the property.

What is the deadline for completing my purchase?

If you are the highest bidder, you must pay the balance due within 30 days of the Court’s confirmation of the sale of the property.  This deadline is required by Section 2329.31 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Will I have to pay a sale deposit?

Yes.  The amount is determined by section 2329.211 of the Ohio Revised Code.  For residential property, the deposit amount varies based on the appraised value of the property.  The amounts are:

Appraised Value of Residential Property Deposit Amount

  • less than or equal to $10,000 = $2,000
  • greater than $10,000 but less than or equal to $200,000 = $5,000
  • greater than $200,000 = $10,000

Is the property vacant?

We do not know.  Keep in mind that you cannot trespass or disturb the owner or occupant.  Doing so may be a violation of Section 2911.21 of the Ohio Revised Code, which provides criminal penalties for trespassing.

Will I need to evict the occupant?

If the property is occupied and the occupant will not vacate willingly you may need to evict.

Will I get clear title to the property?

There are no guarantees that you will receive clear title.  You should conduct a title examination as part of your due diligence obligations.

What if I can’t get financing?

There is no financing contingency.  You will be required to complete your purchase even if you cannot obtain financing.

Can I purchase the property from the plaintiff before the auction begins?

No.  The plaintiff does not own the property.

What if I don’t complete my purchase?

If you default on your obligation to purchase the property as a result of a charge-back or return of the payment of your sale deposit, or if you fail to pay the balance due within 30 days of the court’s confirmation of the sale, or if you otherwise default on your obligation to purchase the property, you are subject to severe consequences, including the following:

  • You may be held in contempt of court under section 2329.30 of the Ohio Revised Code.
  • You may forfeit your sale deposit or be required to pay the amount of the sale deposit to the judgment creditor.
  • You may be held liable for damages calculated as the difference between your purchase price and the purchase price of the property at a subsequent sale plus the costs and attorney fees related to the subsequent sale of the property.
  • Your eligibility to use the our website may be suspended or terminated.

Who is responsible for paying the property taxes?

The payment of property taxes in a foreclosure action is governed by section 323.47 of the Ohio Revised Code.  The court will determine the amount of taxes, assessments, penalties, and interest that must be paid from the proceeds of the sale and will include this amount on the court’s confirmation of the sale.  You will be responsible for paying all other taxes, assessments, and any other items, such as delinquent utility bills, not paid from the proceeds of the sale.

When will I get a deed to the property?

Assuming the sale process has not been postponed or the sale of the property has not been vacated, the private selling officer will execute a deed and instruct the title agency assisting the private selling officer to record the deed only after the court has issued an order instructing the private selling officer to do so and you have paid the balance due on your purchase.  Under section 2329.31 of the Ohio Revised Code, you must pay the balance of the purchase price within 30 days of the court’s confirmation of the sale.  You should check the court’s docket to see the status of the court’s confirmation of the sale.

What if I want to take title in the name of an LLC or other corporate entity?

If you wish to take title in the name of an entity, the private selling officer or the title agency assisting the private selling officer may require additional documentation or information relevant to an entity’s purchase of real property, such as entity formation documents and resolutions authorizing the transaction, all of which must be complete and accurate at the time it is provided.

How will I get the keys?

The private selling officer does not have keys to the property.  You will have to consult a locksmith.

What kind of deed will I get?

You will receive a Private Selling Officer’s deed prepared in accordance with section 5302.31 of the Ohio Revised Code and the Court’s order and signed by the private selling officer.  No warranties of title are made in connection with the conveyance of title.

Will I get title insurance?

If the property is subject to section 2329.191 of the Ohio Revised Code and you are the highest bidder at the auction, you should be covered by a type of title insurance that applies to foreclosure actions.  Section 2329.191 of the Ohio Revised Code requires the plaintiff in a foreclosure action relating to residential property to file a Preliminary Judicial Report (a “PJR”) with the court and to update it with a Final Judicial Report.  The PJR is a guarantee of the record title only and is made for the use and benefit of the guaranteed party, as defined in the PJR, and the purchaser at the judicial sale, subject to all of the exclusions, exceptions, conditions, and stipulations set forth in the PJR.  You should check the Court’s docket to see whether a PJR was filed in the case.

A PJR does not provide the same coverage that an owner’s title insurance policy (an “Owner’s Policy”) provides.  An Owner’s Policy provides greater coverage.  If you wish to obtain additional title insurance coverage, an Owner’s Policy and/or a Lender’s Policy may be available from the title agency assisting the private selling officer (identified on the property details page) or a title agency of your choice.  Any additional title insurance coverage will be solely at your expense.