Commencing a foreclosure action? Has a foreclosure been filed against you? Contact the Real Estate lawyers at Katz, Pryor & DiCuccio, LLP today.

A foreclosure action occurs where a creditor exercises their lien rights on a piece of property that has been collateralized by a debtor, seizing the property and selling it. Most commonly, this occurs in the context of a mortgage on real property. In Ohio, a mortgage lender must go to court and file what is known as a “judicial foreclosure” proceeding. There, a Court will issue a final judgment in foreclosure and order of sale, and the property will be sold in a publicly noticed foreclosure sale, often referred to as a “sheriff’s sale”. The proceeds of this sale are used to pay down the debts owed by the debtor.

However, foreclosures do not just occur in the context of mortgage. In Ohio, many different types of lien-holders have the right to institute foreclosure actions; judgment liens and mechanics’ liens are two common examples. But, regardless of the type of foreclosure, certain processes and procedures must be followed in order for a Court to issue a final judgment in foreclosure. Generally, those procedures are as follows:

  1. A foreclosure complaint is filed in the county court where the defendant has 28 days to file an answer otherwise a default judgment is entered. If an Answer is filed the case is adjudicated by dispositive motion or trial. Once adjudicated a foreclosure decree is entered and the sheriff is directed to sell the property by foreclosure sale.
  2. Three disinterested freeholders must provide an appraisal or estimate of the value of the property being foreclosed. The property cannot be offered for less than 2/3 of the appraisal.
  3. The foreclosure sale must be advertised thirty (30) days in advance of the sale and such advertisement must occur once per week for three (3) consecutive weeks before the sale.
  4. The Sheriff handles foreclosure sales in Ohio and these sales take place at the county courthouse. After the sale, the sheriff will return a writ of execution indicating the sale has taken place and the court will determine if the sale has been undertaken legally which is called a confirmation. Once a confirmation takes place any right of redemption is extinguished and a deed is issued to the purchaser.

It is important that you obtain experienced and knowledgeable counsel, whether you are prosecuting or defending a foreclosure action.  Are you interested in commencing a foreclosure action? Has a foreclosure been filed against you? Contact the lawyers at Katz, Pryor & DiCuccio, LLP today.