Frequently Asked Questions


Legal advice regarding Sheriff Sales

You must contact your personal attorney for legal advice regarding the Sheriff’s sale of real estate.


What are the steps in a foreclosure process?

FORECLOSURE PROCESS In Ohio, your mortgage lender must go through the court system in order to foreclose on your home. As a homeowner, this means you have the right to contest a foreclosure complaint filed against you. If a foreclosure complaint is filed against you, you should consult an attorney right away.

A foreclosure action that results in the actual sale of the property by the Sheriff is a lengthy process.  Key steps in the process are as follows:

COMPLAINT FILED:  The matter is brought before the court.  There is a judicial review on all complaints that are filed. 

JUDGEMENT ENTRY FILED:  Judgment(s) are granted and the property may be sold to recover judgment amounts.  Typically filed 3-9 months after the complaint. 

PRAECIPE FILED:  This order directs the Sheriff to advertise and sell the property according to the terms set by the court and Ohio revised code.  The Sheriff cannot exercise an extension of these terms. 

PUBLIC AUCTION:  The property is auctioned at Sheriff’s sale.  Purchasers must be prepared to deliver a deposit at the time the officer in charge of the sale accepts the bid.  If the deposit is not available, the bidding will be re-opened until a successful bidder is found that has the required deposit.  The successful bidder must complete the purchaser information form as required by the Ohio Revised code at the time of the deposit. 

CONFIRMATION FILED:  The confirmation is prepared by the attorney of record.  This order names the purchaser, orders the deed preparation, the distribution of proceeds, orders lien cancellations, etc., and awards the purchaser the right to file for a Writ of Possession should anyone be occupying the property.  The confirmation process usually takes 30-45 days. The confirmation must be approved by the court.  

REDEMPTION PERIOD: The time between the sheriff’s sale and the confirmation is called the “Redemption Period.” The Redemption Period may be as long as 90 days or as short as a couple of days. You have the right to buy back your home during the redemption period. If you choose to do so, you will owe any fees and costs incurred as a result of the foreclosure.

DEED RECORDED:  The Ohio Revised Code makes the Sheriff’s Office the agent of the purchaser for the purpose of recording and transferring the deed. 

EXECUTION OF WRIT:  You will be given a notice by the sheriff that you must leave your home. The amount of time varies by county.


What is the first step once the sale is issued to the Sheriff?

APPRAISE: 

After the Clerk has issued the Order Of Sale to the Sheriff  the first step is to appraise the property or use the previous appraisal amount if directed in the praecipe to do so. Most appraisals are done from the outside of the buildings as neither the Deputy Sheriff or the appraisers can forcibly enter a home to determine the appraisal value. A minimum bid will be used if it is set by the court in certain cases. 

The property will then be advertised for 3 consecutive weeks in either the Morning Journal or Chronicle Telegram.  The sales ad will list the sale date and possible 2nd sale date should there be no bid on the 1st sale date. 


Can the property be viewed prior to the scheduled sale?

No. The properties advertised at Sheriff sales are not available for inspection. The defendant is in a foreclosure action is still the legal owner of the property. The Lorain County Sheriff’s Office does not have keys for the properties that are being sold. We have no access to the interior of the homes. Any attempt to view the property without the owner’s permission can be a violation of the Criminal Trespassing law of the Ohio Revised Code.


How much was the property appraised at and where do you obtain a list of sales?

Once the appraisal is complete the Lorain County Sheriff’s Civil Division prepares the legal notice with all the pertinent information, The Sheriff’s Department is ordered to advertise in the local newpaper.  The Northern portion of the County is advertised in the Lorain Morning Journal, and the Southern portion of the County is advertised in The Chronicle Telegram. The advertisement runs three consecutive Fridays, in the legal notice section of each newspaper. You may also view the list available at www.loraincountysheriff.com. on the Sheriff sales page.  A list to view is also located at Lorain County Sheriff’s Civil Division located the Justice Center, 225 Court Street, Rm 104, Elyria, Ohio.


What is required of the potential buyer to bring the day of sale?

On the day of sale the buyer is required to bring with him/her a photo ID and a cashier’s check for the required deposit on the property.  If the property was appraised a deposit amount based on the deposit schedule will be due if you are the successful bidder.  The check should be made payable to the Lorain County Sheriff. Deposit Schedule:  10% down up to a maximum of $10,000.00 for minimum bid cases. $2,000.00 deposit if appraisal is lesser than or equal to $10,000.00$5,000.00 deposit if appraisal is equal to $10,000.01 to $200,000.00$10,000.00 deposit if appraisal is greater than $200,000.00. The office staff will have the purchaser information form and will assist you in it’s completion if you are the successful bidder. Please know in advance on who’s name the deed will go into as this information will be required. There is no preregistration required at this time. 


How does the payment process for real estate purchased at Sheriff’s sale work?

Payment for real estate purchased at the Sheriff’s sale may be made by cashiers check, at the time of sale as follows:

 If the property was appraised a deposit amount based on the deposit schedule will be due if you are the successful bidder. The check should be made payable to the Lorain County Sheriff.
Deposit Schedule:
10% down up to a maximum of $10,000.00 for minimum bid cases.
$2,000.00 deposit if appraisal is lesser than or equal to $10,000.00
$5,000.00 deposit if appraisal is equal to $10,000.01 to $200,000.00
$10,000.00 deposit if appraisal is greater than $200,000.00. 

If the property is a minimum bid then. 
1. Bidding must be limited to $100.00 increments or multiples there of.
2. Bids that are less than $1,000 requires full payment of the sale price.
3. Bids between $ 1,000 & $ 10,000 require payment of $1,000 towards the sale price.
4. Bids over $10,000 require payment of 10% of the sale price up to a maximum deposit of $10,000.00.
5. All checks should be made out to the Lorain County Sheriff.  

The balance that is due must be paid by Bank Check only (no personal checks accepted for balance). The unpaid balance of the purchase price shall be due and payable to the Sheriff within 30 days from the date of the sale but also being subject to the confirmation order. See office staff for further details. The purchaser shall be required to pay interest on said unpaid balance at 10% per annum from the date of the confirmation of the sale to the date of payment of the balance unless the balance shall be paid within 30 days from the date of confirmation of sale, otherwise the purchaser may be adjudged to be in contempt of court. If you cannot complete the purchase for any reason, you may be cited for Contempt of Court, which could result in a substantial amount (perhaps all) of your payment (or more) assessed to cover court cost, etc. 

The purchaser will be given credit for any taxes that are paid towards the purchase price. The purchaser is also given a credit towards taxes prorated for the current year to the date of the sale. 


How are minimum bids established on tax cases?

Tax cases have a minimum bid that is established before the sale date. They are not appraised and the dollar amount you see in the newspaper or website is only for the back taxes and does not include court costs. The minimum bid at the time of the sale will include the taxes and court costs. 

2329 .36( c) Of the Ohio Revised Code requires successful bidders to pay recording and conveyance fees to the Sheriff for Sales. These fees will be assessed above the bid and will be included in the final balance.

2329.21 The purchaser shall be responsible for those costs, allowances, and taxes that the proceeds of the sale are insufficient to cover.


Are the properties guaranteed a clear title and warrantied in any way?

All sales are at Caveat Emptor (“let the buyer beware”), and no warranties are expressed or implied. The Sheriff’s Office does not guarantee a clear title to any property. Check the court file located in the office of the Clerk of Courts, First Floor or the Lorain County Justice Center for the title report.

FEDERAL TAX LIENS – These are not erased with the sale of the property. You can check to see if there are any federal tax liens on the property by checking with the County Recorder’s office on the 1st floor of the county administration building. They are located at the corner of Third Street and Middle Avenue.


When and where do the Sheriff’s sales take place?

Sheriff sales are held on designated Wednesdays, beginning at 10:00 a.m. for Civil Cases and 10:45 a.m. for Tax cases. They are conducted by a verbal auction with the property sold to the highest bidder. The final bid that is accepted by the Sheriff results in a legally enforceable Contract under Ohio Law. Sheriff sales take place in the Lorain County Transportation and Community Center, 40 East Ave, Elyria, Ohio. Please call or check the Sheriff’s website prior to sales as many sales are cancelled on the day prior to the sale. 

This new temporary sale location will be STANDING ROOM ONLY and will be utilized until we transition to the States Sheriff sale website.

Face coverings are required to enter the building.
We ask that only those who are bidding attend the sales. In addition to a verbal notice we want everyone to raise their hand to signal a bid.
We ask that attorneys please use remote bidding if possible. 
Social distancing is expected during the sales. 
Do not come to bid if you are ill or have a fever. 
You must have proper identification and the appropriate cashier’s check before bidding. 

All Sheriff Sales in the State of Ohio will be transitioning to a web based sale service. Lorain County will still hold tax sales at the designated physical sale location.  On site location bidding will no longer be in effect when this transition has occurred.  More information will be posted on our website when the Lorain County Sheriff make this change. 


Who is responsible for Current and Delinquent Real Estate Taxes?

PLEASE NOTE: THE PURCHASER TO PAY CURRENT AND DELINQUENT REAL ESTATE TAXES PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF THE SHERIFF’S DEED.  PLEASE TAKE THIS INTO CONSIDERATION WHEN BIDDING.  

The purchaser will be given credit for taxes that were paid towards the purchase price. 

2329 .36( c) Of the Ohio Revised Code requires successful bidders to pay recording and conveyance fees to the Sheriff for Sales. These fees
will be assessed above the bid and will be included in the final balance.
2329.21 The purchaser shall be responsible for those costs, allowances, and taxes that the proceeds of the sale are insufficient to cover.


After purchasing a property how do I go about removing the current occupants?

Upon receipt of the deed, if occupants still reside on the premises whom you do not wish to remain, and they will not leave voluntarily you may wish to proceed with steps to secure an eviction through the Municipal Court having jurisdiction or post a fee to the Common Pleas Clerk of Courts & request a Writ of Possession (Restitution). If you request a Writ of Possession (Restitution), in the event the person(s) do not voluntarily move, you will be required to have a mover scheduled for an eviction to move & place the personal property into storage in Lorain County, at your cost.

A locksmith will also be required to enter the property for the removal of any occupants or items. 


How is the sale price for a Civil Case determined?

The property is appraised and the starting bid is 2/3rd’s of that amount. Real estate cannot be sold for less than 2/3 of its’ appraised value, unless it is otherwise stated in the newspaper advertisement for such sale.


What do I do with the Sheriff’s deed given me after the sale?

Once the Sheriff Sale has been confirmed and the Deed is prepared, the Lorain County Sheriff Civil Division will notify the buyer with all the relevant information to completing the transaction of the sale.


Who is responsible for the sale’s description?

The Sheriff’s Department relies on information submitted to it by the Plaintiff in preparation for the Sheriff’s sale and deed. It is the purchaser’s responsibility to check the real estate and its legal description for any encroachments and/or deficiencies in order that the Sheriff’s deed complies with the Standards for Land Conveyances in Lorain County. 

Copies of these Standards for Land Conveyances are available in the office of the Lorain County Auditor. 

PLEASE note that starting with the sale ads of 03-25-2009 the legal description of the property will not be included on the sale ad. A complete description of the legal can be found at the following locations.
1. Lorain County Clerk of Courts – 225 Court Street, Elyria Ohio – room 109 (case file)
2. Lorain County Recorder’s Office – 226 Middle Ave, Elyria Ohio
3. Lorain County Recorder’s Website – www.loraincounty.com/recorder