Sheriff Sales are conducted at the Ottawa County Courthouse, located at 315 Madison Street, Port Clinton, Ohio on the first floor in Room #100. Sales are held on Fridays at 10:00 a.m. Sheriff Sales are advertised for 3 consecutive weeks in the Friday edition of the Port Clinton News Herald.

The properties cannot be sold for less than 2/3 of the appraised amount, unless otherwise noted in the newspaper advertisement in the Port Clinton News Herald.

Due to House Bill 390, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office requires the following as a deposit at the time of the sale. The lienholder (Plaintiff) is not required to make a deposit.

Required deposits for Sheriff Sales:

For properties appraised less than $10,000 a deposit of $2,000 is required.
For properties appraised at $10,000-$200,000 a deposit of $5,000 is required.
For properties appraised greater than $200,000 a deposit of $10,000 is required.

We will accept cash or certified bank check payable to yourself or to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office. NO personal checks, business checks or credit cards are accepted. Bidders MUST have payment with them at the time of bidding. Bidders will NOT be permitted to leave and return with payment.

If there is no purchaser for the first Sheriff sale then due to House Bill 390, there will be a second date of sale (which will be advertised in the first publication). At this second sale, there will be no set minimum bid. If sold at second sale, the purchaser shall be responsible for costs, allowances, and taxes that the proceeds for the sale are insufficient to cover.

All sales are conducted by verbal auction with the property being sold to the highest bidder. The final bid is accepted by the Sheriff results in a legally enforceable contract under Ohio Law.

If the property has not been appraised (i.e a tax sale) then the deposit will be 10% of the starting bid. NO deposit will be less than $1,000. This amount will need to be given to the Sheriff Deputy as soon as all of the sales for the day are completed. If you do not have the money to put down at the time of the sale, then you cannot bid on the properties. We will accept cash or certified bank checks for deposit. The remainder of the money will be due in 30-90 days depending on how long the paperwork (confirmation of sale) takes to get filed. If you cannot complete the purchase for any reason, you may be cited for Contempt of Court and could lose your deposit.

The Sheriff’s Office does not have information on liens and taxes. It is the responsibility of the purchaser to check into properties for back taxes, delinquent utility bills, liens, and/or additional costs. You are urged to consult with an attorney if you have questions. The Sheriff’s Office cannot give legal advice. The purchaser shall be responsible for costs, allowances, and taxes that the proceeds of the sale are insufficient to cover.

The Sheriff’s Office has NO keys for the properties being sold.

Potential buyers may NOT enter the property. The property still belongs to the original owner. The bank owns the mortgage on the property, however they do not own the property and that is why it is going through a Sheriff Sale. The bank may bid on the property so they can put the deed into their name and then they can sell the property to recoup their money. Understand your bank may say they need an inside appraisal done. This CAN NOT be done! Please have your financing in order prior to the sale. The appraisal is based on the exterior view of buildings only. Neither the Sheriff’s Office nor any affiliates have access to the inside of the said property. You may only enter the property once the court has confirmed the sale, you have paid for the property IN FULL, you have received the deed and the deed has been recorded and conveyed. Until that time you may NOT enter the property, change locks, have occupants removed, mow the yard, etc. Entering the property WITHOUT permission of the owner or occupant is a violation of ORC 2911.21 and is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.

After the confirmation has been filed, the final payment has been made and received the deed, you may contact the occupants and advise them they need to vacate the premises. If they still refuse to vacate then the buyer needs to file a Writ of Possession with the Ottawa County Clerk of Courts and in turn the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office will serve the occupants with an order to vacate. If they still refuse to vacate, the buyer then needs to contact a moving company and a locksmith and the moving company will move out the old occupants at the buyer’s expense. The Sheriff’s Office will only stand by to keep the peace while this occurs.

ATTENTION-THIS PUBLICATION IS PROVIDED AS A COURTESY ONLY. Information contained should not be considered a full legal description or offering or binding in anyway. Full legal descriptions may be found at the Ottawa County Recorder’s Office in the courthouse, located at 315 Madison St., Port Clinton, OH. We are not responsible for errors/omissions; use this publication at your own discretion and risk. The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office is not responsible for defects or omissions in advertising, condition of property (i.e: mold, mildew, foreign objects, etc.), outstanding debt, liens, mortgages, and unpaid utilities.

Deputy Kendra Dosh
Deputy Rhonda Reiter
Phone: 419-734-6824     Fax: 419-734-6876

What is a Sheriff Sale?

Sheriff Sales are a sale of real estate ordered by the Court to satisfy a Judgment Entry against a Defendant. The proceeds of the Sale will be used to satisfy a debt to the Plaintiff. Usually this happens when a Defendant defaults on a Mortgage or Loan Payment. Until the Sheriff receives the “Order of Sale” from the Court, they are not involved in any of the foreclosure or court proceedings. After the Order of Sale is issued, the Sheriff merely acts as an arm of the court to appraise, advertise and sell the property. The Civil Deputy executing the sale cannot act as a real estate agent, loan officer, title or lien examiner or attorney. Questions regarding legal issues and Sheriff Sales should be addressed to an attorney or legal professional. All Sheriff Sales are “Buyer Beware” and all property sold “As Is”. Regulations governing Sheriff Sales can be found in the Ohio Revised Code and local Court Rules.

Where are the listed properties?

Sales are advertised for 3 consecutive weeks (always on Fridays), in the Port Clinton News Herald and the Beacon. A Sheriff Sale list may also be picked from the Sheriff’s Office on the 3rd floor of the Courthouse. Additionally, the list is available for download on our webiste. When the list is updated, new sales are added to the end of the list and selling prices are listed for properties as they are sold.

Can I access properties?

The property belongs to the defendant until it is sold, the sale confirmed by the Court, and deed is recorded. People may still be living in these homes so you CANNOT trespass on the property. Understand your bank may say they need an inside appraisal done, this CAN NOT be done. You will need to have your financing in order prior to the sale as you will only have 30 days after the confirmation of sale to pay the balance due. The Sheriff Deputy has no contact or information on the Defendant or on the condition or layout of the house. The Sheriff’s Office does not have keys to the house.

What is the appraised value?

Three independent real estate agents are taken to the property to determine a fair market value of the home. Often a walk-through of the home is not possible. The Ohio Revised Code requires only that three free holders of the County impartially appraise the property at its true value in money. Bids start at two-thirds of the appraised value and it cannot be sold for less than that unless ordered by the Court.

How do I bid?

Sales are held on Fridays at 10:00 a.m. in Room 100, first floor of the Ottawa County Courthouse. No pre-registration is necessary, just appear at 10:00 a.m. and bid if you so desire. Have your financing in order before you bid! All successful bids are legally binding offers to purchase that property, and failing to complete the sale can result in contempt of court actions.

What happens at the sale?

At 10:00 a.m. a list of any properties withdrawn from sale is read. Then the Deputy will read the specifics of the property for sale and open bidding at twothirds of the appraised value. If you wish to place a bid, simply verbally voice your bid out loud. The bid must be in whole dollar amounts. The Deputy will acknowledge the bid. If no further higher bids are received after acknowledging the bid three times, the property is declared sold to that highest bidder. The bank normally has a representative at the sale bidding to protect the bank’s interests.

The Sheriff’s office does not know how much this is or who is bidding for the bank, nor can the Sheriff’s Office help arrange a deal between the bank and another party.

What if I am the highest bidder?

The Deputy will record the name/address of the bidder and the name/address to be drawn on the deed. The buyer will receive a receipt of his deposit. Please have the information for the deed with you, as that information will be filed with return of the sale to the court.  

Required deposits for Sheriff Sales:

For properties appraised less than $10,000 a deposit of $2,000 is required.
For properties appraised at $10,000-$200,000 a deposit of $5,000 is required.
For properties appraised greater than $200,000 a deposit of $10,000 is required.

We will accept cash or certified bank check payable to yourself or to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office. NO personal checks, business checks or credit cards are accepted. Bidders MUST have payment with them at the time of bidding. Bidders will NOT be permitted to leave and return with payment.

What happens after the sale?

A return is made to the Court by the Sheriff’s Office affirming the facts of the sale and the buyer information. The Plaintiff’s attorney prepares an “Order of Confirmation” and submits it to the Court to be signed by the Judge. Until the Order Confirming Sale is signed and filed with the Court, and the Notarized deed is signed by the Sheriff giving you title, you have no right to enter or move-in to the property. Confirmation of the Sale usually takes thirty days but can take less or more time. Liens of record are usually addressed and/or released in this order, but a title exam is usually a good idea to guarantee all liens are properly addressed and/or released from the property you are buying. Again, this is the buyer’s responsibility; the Sheriff’s Office has no information on these issues.

How are proceeds distributed?

The order confirming sale directs what the Sheriff is to pay out of the proceeds. Normally paid are Clerk of Court costs (including Sheriff Fees, Appraiser fees, advertising costs, etc….), delinquent taxes, ; and possibly sanitary engineer outstanding bills, and the remaining balance is paid to Plaintiff. It should be noted that in regards to sanitary engineer billing, they certify only outstanding bills up to the day of sheriff sale. The buyer may be required to pay minimum billing for the months following the sale until the deed transfers. The plaintiff’s attorney prepares this Order and the dollar amounts included may or may not be accurate as of the time of confirmation. It is recommended the buyer be aware of what is being paid and what is owed in delinquent taxes, delinquent utility bills and other outstanding costs that they may be liable for if left unpaid. An attorney can advise on steps you may take to prevent this, these steps may include contact with plaintiff’s attorney to verify what is being requested in the Order of Confirmation and/or filing a request with the Court for further items to be paid from the proceeds before the remaining balance is turned over to the Plaintiff. The Sheriff’s office simply pays out what is ordered by the Court and cannot give advice on what should or should not be paid.

What happens when the sale is confirmed?
You will be notified when the Sale is confirmed. When this is ready, you will bring in the remaining balance due and at that time, or within 30 days. You will be notified when the deed is ready for pick up. When you receive the deed it has already been properly filed and recorded and you have legal right to the property. This is a simple exchange and not a “Closing” as done with financial institutions.
What if people still reside in the property?

Again, these questions are best answered by an Attorney as they are civil related remedies. A “Writ of Possession” may be filed with the court (check Common Pleas Clerk’s Office for fees required to do this). This Writ will order the Sheriff to take possession of the property and turn it over to the new buyer. Typically it is not necessary to go to this extreme and expense. Measures can be taken by the buyer to notify the current residents that the property has been sold and they can usually work out an agreement that they will vacate by a certain date. A copy of the Judgment Entry and the Order Confirming Sale is often useful if provided to the current resident. Writ of Possessions are applicable to the Defendant only, and if there are tenants renting the property, this becomes a civil landlord-tenant issue that must be remedied in other ways. Again, the Sheriff’s Office cannot give you legal advice. It only executes Orders of the Court that direct them to do a specific action.

Ottawa County Sheriff's Office - Sheriff Stephen J. Levorchick
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