Ohio Foreclosure Laws

Ohio is a lien theory state and as such the primary instrument of security is the mortgage, and the property itself secures the loan. The only way a mortgage lien may be dissolved is by means of the judicial foreclosure process. In the judicial foreclosure process the lender is compelled to go to court to obtain an order to repossess the property. The county court in the jurisdiction in which the property is situated is where the complaint must be filed heard and finalized.

A judicial foreclosure takes a good deal longer than the non-judicial process and in Ohio this can take anything from 150 to 180 days if the matter is uncontested. This means that the borrower has not laid a counter claim. The borrower is also able to seek delays, and make request for hearings to be adjourned, and if they are appealing for bankruptcy this delays the process even longer.

When the lender has filed the complaint the borrower has 28 days to file an answer, if they do not respond the case is adjudicated, and the foreclosure decree issued. Appraisals of the property must be provided by 3 disinterested parties and it may not sell for less than 2/3 of the appraisal value.

The Sheriffs office handles the foreclosure sale at the county courthouse. Once the sale has taken place the courts decide if the sale was handled legally and they issue a conformation. As soon as confirmation is received from the courts there are no rights of redemption. Deficiency judgments are allowed if the property sells for less than the amount owed on the underlying loan, and there is a two year enforceability on the deficiency judgment. The borrower has to agree to an extended time in which to enforce the deficiency.

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