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Property foreclosure policy approved by Commissioners

June 25, 2014 by

Lake County’s Board of Commissioners approved a new policy related to tax foreclosure land sales during its June 18 meeting.

This document places responsibility for any and all personal property unto the buyer of the property.

The policy serves to address the issue of how to address abandoned items found on a newly-purchased parcel of property purchased through the annual land sale.  Examples that were provided included old vehicles and mobile homes that are titled in another person’s name.

The challenge presented in these instances is that the new land owner cannot get rid of the articles of property that are not legally in their possession of which to dispose.

The new property owner also does not wish  or is often unable to bear the burden of unpaid back taxes incurred by the perpetrating abandoner of such items.

Through the Summary Seizure process, the back taxes may be removed and ownership transferred to the owner so that the abandoned property may be disposed with according to correspondence to  the county’s legal counsel, Jim Bailey, from Lake County Property Appraiser Dave Knowles.

The cost to the landowner is a $55 state title transfer fee paid to the county.

Commissioner Brad Winters said that this policy had been presented to the board as an approach to all land sale transactions in the future.  Winters also suggested that Bailey, discuss the policy with Lake County Planning Dir. Darwin Johnson and Tax Assessor Larry Reeder, due to concerns of potential exposure for the county.

Bailey said that there may be instances in which additional attention may be required due to additional complexities, such as multiple articles of abandoned property.

He also said that Reeder could be notified to bring summary seizures before the Commissioners in the future for approval on a case-by-case basis.

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