How to Buy Foreclosed Homes in Ohio – Process of Foreclosure


Understanding Ohio's New Foreclosure Procedures

Gone are the days of bidding on a foreclosed property at a Sheriff sale on the courthouse steps. Ohio’s foreclosure procedures have been updated to comply with changes in the foreclosure law. The biggest change is any residential property that is ordered sold from a residential mortgage loan foreclosure, must be held online. Ohio has authorized an auction website called Realauction to hold the online public auction.

All bidders are required to register to participate in a Sheriff sale. Any information the bidder provides is under penalty of perjury. If a buyer is an individual, the buyer must disclose his/her name, mailing address (which cannot be a P.O. Box), telephone number, email address and financial transaction device information. For legal entities, the purchaser must disclose the entity’s legal name, trade name, state, and date of formation, status with Secretary of State, mailing address, telephone number, and financial transaction device information.

To get a bidding number, the bidder must submit a deposit based on the total deposit requirements for each property on which the purchaser will bid. Below are the new deposit requirements:

  • If the appraised value of the property is less than or equal to $10,000, the deposit requirement is $2,000
  • If the appraised value is greater than $10,000 but less than or equal to $200,000, the deposit requirement is $5,000
  • If the appraised value is greater is greater than $200,000, the deposit requirement is $10,000.

All deposits can be remitted by wire transfer or ACH debit transfer.  Wire transfer deposits must be received by 5 pm 2 business days before the auction. ACH debit transfer deposits must be initiated by 4pm five business days before the auction.

The auction takes place online and the bidder need only a computer with Internet access. On the date/time of the sale, the bidder accesses the auction by entering his/her username and password. Bids must be made in whole dollar amounts, up to your preset “highest acceptable bid.” Although bidders can always raise their bid during the auction, they cannot cancel, lower or withdraw their bid. At the end of the sale, the bidder will be notified via email if they are the high bidder. The website will also contain the auction results.

If you are the high bidder, it will take approximately 2 months to complete the sale. First, the court must confirm the sale, which will be within 30 days of the sale date. The Plaintiff then has 7 days to prepare the deed and deliver to the Sheriff’s office. Final payment is due within 30 days of the confirmation of sale. The Sheriff’s office then has 14 days from the date of payment to record the deed. If you fail to make the final payment, you may have to forfeit your bid.

All auctions are “as is, where is” and Sheriff’s office recommends all bidders perform a title search and consult with an attorney prior to placing a bid. A complete list of the requirements discussed above and additional information can be located on the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office website.

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