Foreclosure proceedings not uncommon in Belmont County

More than 200 Belmont County homeowners went through foreclosure proceedings in 2013, with about half of these stemming from a failure to pay taxes, and the remainder resulting from non-payment of mortgages, Belmont County officials report.

The office of County Treasurer Kathy Kelich facilitates tax foreclosures in the county, and she estimates there were about 100 in Belmont County last year. There were two sheriff’s sales scheduled each year in the county, with about 50 homes being auctioned.

Mortgage foreclosures in the county during 2013, meanwhile, totaled 132, according to information provided by the Belmont County Recorder’s Office.

Kelich said it is hard to determine why the county has had a high number of foreclosures.

“I don’t know the turmoil they might be experiencing,” she said. “They just can’t afford their mortgages or taxes.”

Her office typically waist for two years of tax non-payment before beginning foreclosures proceedings. The information is sent to the County Prosecutor’s Office, then forwarded on to the County Sheriff’s Department for scheduling of a sheriff’s sale.

The office typically waits for at least 50 properties to go up for foreclosure before having a sheriff’s sale, Kelich said. This saves on the cost of legal advertising for each property.

The homeowner has 30 to 60 days to redeem their property from foreclosure. Even if the property is purchased at sheriff’s sale, the homeowner has until the new deed is filed by the purchaser to make arrangements, she said.

Any liens filed on the property remain with the property after purchase.

The process of handling mortgage foreclosures is similar, with the Belmont County Auditor’s Office serving as broker for the state.