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Posted on Jan 8, 2015

Foreclosed land up for auction Friday

About 49 properties located around Grant County are up for sale on Friday at the county’s annual tax foreclosure sale.

The annual event puts up for auction parcels of land and homes that have not paid their property taxes and are now under the jurisdiction of Grant County. Treasurer Darryl Pheasant will serve as auctioneer on Friday.

The auction is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in commissioners hearing room of the Grant County Courthouse.

“It is a very involved process,” Pheasant said of the auction.

The treasurer’s office starts the delinquency process each year around July. This year, nearly 1,000 parcels were eligible, Pheasant said. On Monday that was down to 52, and Pheasant expected those numbers to be even lower by Friday’s auction.

When a property owner does not pay his taxes for three years, then the county treasurer begins the foreclosure process. So all of the properties up for auction are at least three years behind on their taxes.

First a certificate of delinquency is filed with Grant County Superior Court and all parties with a recorded legal interest in the parcel are served with a notice and summons. Once the certificate is filed, the owner with the recorded interest can pay the delinquent taxes, interest, penalties and foreclosure costs to get the property out of foreclosure, according to information from the county.

The treasurer’s office has been updating the list of tax foreclosure parcels this week as property owners are given one last chance to come in and pay those taxes that are due. Several properties are in foreclosure because their owners died and did not have an estate plan in place, Pheasant said. In some cases, the probate process was too expensive for relatives of the deceased property owners, he said.

Some of the homes are worn down, Pheasant added. The parcels are located throughout the county, he said.

Last year, the auction sold 21 parcels and recovered more than $1 million for the county and its taxing districts, Pheasant said. Among the parcels last year were two pieces of farmland that alone generated $840,000, he said. It is not typical to see farmland in the auction, he added.

Each of the parcels has a minimum bid. Any money that comes in above the county’s foreclosures costs, called a surplus, can be returned to the previous title owner, who has three years from the date of the sale to make a claim for the surplus, Pheasant said.

This year, one of the parcels is owned by someone currently incarcerated, Pheasant said. So, if the county is able to sell the parcel on Friday and the final bid has a surplus, the previous owner can apply for the money to pay off his outstanding fees, he said.

Pheasant expects a packed room, with some 60 people in attendance. He tells participants to bring only cash or cashiers checks. All properties must be paid for immediately upon their sale. Pheasant does not move onto the next parcel up for auction until the one just sold is paid for.

 

— By Jill FitzSimmons, editor@qvpr.com

 

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