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Upcoming Changes To Indiana Sheriff's Sales

In this year’s Indiana legislative session, the General Assembly enacted House Bill 1048, which becomes effective July 1, 2022. Here are some of the changes that will impact Indiana foreclosure law.

Electronic sales. HB 1048 amended I.C. 32-29-7-3 to provide that sheriff’s sales may be conducted electronically as long as they comply with all other sale requirements under the statute. Electronic sales include the ability for sheriffs to receive electronic payments for the real estate. The amended statute says nothing further about the electronic sale process. Thus, the local sheriff’s offices will set up their own rules and regulations related to such things as bidding procedures and closing on the sales. The new law would appear to open the door for an online auction to be conducted by a private auctioneer in conjunction with I.C. 32-30-10-9.

Fees. I.C. 32-29-7-3(j) increases the sheriff’s sale administrative fee from $200 to $300 “for actual costs directly attributable to the administration of the sale….” The fee is payable by the plaintiff and is due before the sale.

Bad actors. HB 1048 added I.C. 29-7-4.5. This is the so-called “bad actor” or “slum lord” measure that caught the attention of the media this year. The language of the new law is quite dense and does not apply to plaintiffs or lenders foreclosing on mortgages but only to third-party bidders. Essentially, the act attempts to exclude certain third parties from participating in sheriff’s sales who, for example, are delinquent in the payment of real estate taxes on other property they own.

    Affirmation. To that end, the new I.C. 32-29-7-4.6 provides that any person bidding at a sheriff’s sale must sign a statement that says:

Indiana law prohibits a person who owes delinquent taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest, or costs directly attributable to real property under IC 6-1.1 from bidding on or purchasing property at a sheriff's sale. I hereby affirm under the penalties for perjury that I am not prohibited from bidding under IC 32-29-7-4.5 and that I do not owe delinquent taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest, costs directly attributable to real property under IC 6-1.1, amounts from a final adjudication in favor of a political subdivision, any civil penalties imposed for the violation of a building code or county ordinance, or any civil penalties imposed by a county health department. I also affirm that I am not purchasing property on behalf of or as an agent for a person who is prohibited from bidding under IC 32-29-7-4.5. I further acknowledge that a person who knowingly or intentionally provides false information on this affidavit commits perjury, a Level 6 felony.

    Foreign Businesses. Moreover, the new I.C. 32-29-7-4.7 prohibits non-Indiana businesses from bidding at an Indiana sheriff’s sale. This rule does not apply to a party foreclosing on a mortgage, however, such as a plaintiff lender or a defendant mortgagee.
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Part of my practice includes representing parties in connection with sheriff’s sales. If you need assistance with a similar matter, please call me at 317-639-6151 or email me at john.waller@dinsmore.com. Also, don’t forget that you can follow me on Twitter @JohnDWaller or on LinkedIn, or you can subscribe to posts via RSS or email as noted on my home page.


Criminal Restitution Order Is Like A Tax Lien

United States v. Ervin 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7344 (N.D. Ind. 2022) dealt with a criminal conviction and resulting order to pay restitution.

Why is a criminal case the subject of a post on Indiana Commercial Foreclosure Law? Because the Court’s opinion reminds us that a "restitution order is a lien in favor of the government on 'all property and rights to property' of the defendant and is treated as if it were a tax lien." United States v. Sayyed, 862 F.3d 615, 618 (7th Cir. 2017) (quoting 18 U.S.C. § 3613(c)).

The Court further stated that “while there is certain property that is exempt, the statutory language applies broadly and is intended to reach every interest in property that a taxpayer might have.” Thus, a restitution order permits the government to "step[] into the defendant's shoes" and acquire his or her rights to property.

Who enforces the lien arising out of a restitution order? Federal law empowers the United States Attorney’s Office to do so. 18 U.S.C. § 3613.

I’ve written about tax liens on several occasions. Here are links to a few of those posts:

Happy St. Patrick’s Day,

John
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I represent parties involved in real estate and loan-related disputes. If you need assistance with a similar matter, please call me at 317-639-6151 or email me at john.waller@dinsmore.com. Also, don’t forget that you can follow me on Twitter @JohnDWaller or on LinkedIn, or you can subscribe to posts via RSS or email as noted on my home page.


Indiana Legislation Proposed To Shut Bad Acting Landlords Out Of Foreclosure Sales

Indiana House Bill 1048 proposes to some adjustments to the sheriff's sale process.  Here is the latest synopsis of the bill:

Allows the sheriff to conduct a public auction electronically. Prohibits certain persons and entities from purchasing a tract at a sheriff's sale. Requires each person bidding at a sheriff's sale to sign a statement containing a notice of the law and certain affirmations. Raises the amount that a sheriff can charge for administrative fees from $200 to $300.

Click here for the latest version of the bill.  

The bill has been in the news because it targets "slum lords," in the words of the Indianapolis Star (article for subscribers only).  Here is a link to a free article from WFYI: Lawmakers make move to shut bad acting landlords out of online foreclosure sales

I'll keep my eye on this bill and summarize the enacted version after the 2021 legislative session.

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I represent parties in connection with foreclosure cases and sheriff’s sales. If you need assistance with a similar matter, please call me at 317-639-6151 or email me at john.waller@dinsmore.com. Also, don’t forget that you can follow me on Twitter @JohnDWaller or on LinkedIn, or you can subscribe to posts via RSS or email as noted on my home page.