What do the revisions to Ohio’s foreclosure procedures mean for creditors?
Ohio House Bill 390, signed into law by Governor Kasich June 28, 2016 and put into effect September 28, 2016, will set the precedent for the future of the foreclosure process nationwide. After years in the making, the bill is designed to reduce the foreclosure process of vacant and abandoned homes from two to three years to about six months.
This reform will alleviate many of the issues communities have seen with vacant foreclosed homes. By speeding up the process, risks of vandalism, squatters, and depreciating home values are drastically reduced. With this bill in place, vacant homes won’t experience nearly as much deterioration and will be brought to market much quicker.
Who are Private Selling Officers?
The new laws create the title “Private Selling Officer” and establish procedures for their appoint- ment in lieu of a sheriff, thereby replacing the practice appointing auctioneers to conduct fore- closure sales. The courts do not have the discretion to deny the appointment of a private selling officer if requested by the mortgage holder.
The new laws will also require the sheriff to obtain the appraisals for the private selling offer and have the order of sale issued. The private selling officers will have the ability to market the property. Private selling officers must be Ohio residents and licensed as a both an auctioneer and a real estate broker or real estate salesperson in Ohio.
Do all properties qualify under this bill?
Only foreclosure sales on vacant and abandoned properties can be accelerated if the mortgage holder can submit sufficient evidence to the court that the property is either vacant or abandoned.
After filing the foreclosure, the mortgage holder may file a motion to have the property declared vacant or abandoned. The court will hold an oral hearing on the motion. The court must rule on the motion not more than 21 days after the property owner’s answer date has expired. If the judge declares the property is vacant or abandoned, then the sale auction must be held within 75 days of the court’s ruling.