In Indiana, when a home is foreclosed by a bank for nonpayment of the mortgage the county sheriff is tasked with selling that home via a public auction. These sales are usually attended by bank representatives as well as members of the general public who purchase distressed properties for both personal and investment reasons. While on the surface these sales may seem to be simple events, there is a considerable amount of effort required before the auction can take place.
How foreclosures result in sheriff sales
In Indiana, foreclosure sale auctions are processed by the county sheriff – a process that is often labor-intensive for members of the sheriff’s office staff. Tasks include the legal documentation that establishes the location and description of the foreclosed property, the identification of the defendants in the proceedings, and providing relevant information regarding all parties involved. Indiana law also requires public notice in the form of newspaper advertisements, published once per week for three weeks, beginning 30 days prior to the auction date. Notices must also be posted at the county courthouse, and the sheriff must serve the defaulted borrower with notice of the sale. Sales are held monthly or bimonthlydepending on volume.
Because of the volume of legal documents and notices that accompany foreclosed properties, a significant portion of time is spent by the staff in a sheriff’s department, often to the detriment of other duties. In all counties, foreclosure management can consume a large portion of time and attention.
In 16 Indiana counties, however, sheriff sales are managed by Lieberman Technologies, resulting in a significant time and labor savings for the sheriff office staff.
The role of Lieberman Technologies
In assuming the role of sheriff sale manager for client counties, Lieberman Technologies organizes the entire process for foreclosure sale auctions. A dedicated staff at Lieberman answers all calls and inquiries from both attorneys and the public, prepares all necessary documents, updates the website daily, mails all notices and organizes all paperwork, and broadcasts all information required. On the day of the sale, Lieberman staff conducts the sale using a proprietary software suite that displays the progress of the bids during the sale, and also processes all paperwork involved with winning bids. Lieberman also collects all monies from the winning bids and deposits it in the sheriff’s account. Follow-up paperwork is also provided to the sheriff’s office after the sale.
The centerpiece of this sheriff sale process is the proprietary software used to run the sales each month. This software tracks the necessary paperwork required before the sale takes place, and provides an electronic record of the sale as it is being conducted. Along with the dedicated staff at Lieberman, this software streamlines the process and allows the sheriff’s office to focus on other areas of service for the community.
Sheriff sale clerk Connie Rich of the Wabash County Sheriff’s Office sees the positives of working with Lieberman to administrate sheriff sales: “Lieberman does all the Sheriff Sale work for us; we just serve the notices and show up at the sale to complete the paperwork. Attorneys and the public like it because everything is online, which eliminates a lot of phone calls coming through our office. We couldn’t be happier with Lieberman and the Sheriff Sale process. It is a win-win situation for everyone.”
While the sheriff in each county still maintains responsibility for conducting sales, those who use Lieberman Technologies have alleviated a burden from their staff.
“It used to take 20 hours of my time a week keeping up with all the paperwork, phone calls, and the variety of duties,” says Kim Dewitt of the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office. “Now I attend the Sheriff Sale once a month. Lieberman Technologies puts all their data online for us every day so we don’t even have to update our website. Our staff can now concentrate on other projects and duties.”
Lieberman currently administrates sheriff sales for 17 counties in Indiana. Through our partnership with these sheriffs, Lieberman Technologies has been able to make a labor-intensive process run more smoothly for all parties involved.
Says Vanderburgh County’s DeWitt: “Lieberman Technologies has given us the opportunity to pursue the Sheriff’s visions of enhanced service in addition to a variety of other projects and has provided a savings to our community, both in manpower and in service!”