How does a foreclosure sale work?

Reasons vary for those who purchase homes, lots
Kevin Passon

Every second Wednesday of the month, Shawano County Chief Deputy Ty Raddant or another high ranking official with the sheriff’s office presides over foreclosure sales in the lobby of the county courthouse.

In February, about a dozen people stood or sat quietly waiting for 9 a.m. to roll around and for the proceedings to begin.

It’s more laid back and quieter than a typical auction, and you won’t hear high-speed bid calling rolling off Raddant’s tongue.

The presiding officer begins by reading the court order for the foreclosure sale, and then asking the plaintiff or his or her representative for an opening bid.

That’s when the bidders can call out.

On Feb. 14, the first active sale was for W5863 North Beach Blvd., Shawano. The judgement was for $76,964.97, and the plaintiff’s opening bid was a low $31,480.41. Seconds later, a second bid for $42,000 was made, and in less than a minute, the sale was complete.

Things didn’t happen quite as fast for the second property, a home at 708 S. Lincoln St., Shawano, with a judgement of $38,407.99. The plaintiff’s opening bid was higher than the judgement this time at $44,342.83.

The next bid simply rounded the amount to the next full dollar, followed by a handful of bids, each increasing by $50, at which point the first bidder dropped out and a third bidder entered.

Sitting at a bid of $44,650, the two bidders went back and forth 20 times, each adding $50, sometimes $100 or more, until the final bid of $47,000 was accepted.

Ryan and Ashley Engel, owners of Wolf River Holdings, purchased the North Beach Boulevard property.

“We haven’t bought a foreclosure before even though we’ve been here,” Ryan Engel said. “We’re not new to the game. We’ve been doing this for about five years now.”

“We usually find them off market for dirt cheap,” Ashley Engel added.

Over the years, the couple has purchased about 20 properties.

“We own a dozen rental properties in the area,” Ryan Engel said. “We’re always looking to buy. Either we find them and fix them and sell them … or we keep them. We put renters in there.”

This latest property is close to home for them.

“It’s about a mile and half from our house, so getting back and forth is easy enough to fix it up,” Ryan Engel said.

He is a licensed and insured contractor. He brings in professional help when needed, including HVAC and electrical assistance.

Ashley Engel, who can also perform much of the repair work, handles the books for the company.

Immediately after the sheriff’s sale, the prospective buyer must make a down payment equal to at least 10% of the purchase price made in the form of cash, money order, cashier’s check or certified check. Once the court confirms the sale, the remainder is due within 10 days. Failure to post the remaining balance due will result in the forfeiture of the down payment to the plaintiff.

All property is sold “as is” and subject to all real estate taxes, accrued and accruing, special assessments, if any, penalties and interest, and any existing first in time mortgages or leasehold interests. The buyer must also pay all transfer and recording fees and the cost of title evidence.