Sheriff’s sale purchase a boondoggle


I bought a house at sheriff’s auction. Big mistake! No, I’m not talking about the condition of the house, all the work cleaning it up or the money I’ve spent on repairs.

After being advertised in the newspaper several times, the auction was Nov. 26, 2019. Although it was listed on the auction ad as $7,615, other people bid on it and I had to pay $34,000 for it.

In the middle of January, 2020, I received a deed — but it wasn’t make out to me; it had a man’s name on it (a man I don’t know). I took it back and on Feb. 3, 2020 I received a correct deed with my name on it. I filed the deed Feb. 3, 2020 with the Champaign County Auditor’s Office. Then, two weeks later, I received a bill for $1,840.57 for back taxes (assessments from the city of Urbana).

To my knowledge, a sheriff’s auction pays a share of the money who whomever has liens on the property — such as banks, Medicaid, back taxes, etc.

I did not think I could be or would be held responsible for past liens.

Now, the county and the city are sending me bills. All the liens were for the previous owner, who died.

What next? Will Medicaid and the state of Ohio send me bills in the thousands of dollars?

I’m a senior citizen on a fixed income. I’ve spent everything I have to fix this place up. No wonder there are so many vacant properties.

Betty E. Spencer

Urbana