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Frequently Asked Questions

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Sheriff Sales

Q.

Can I enter the residence I plan to purchase?

A.

No, if the residence is unoccupied.
Yes, if the residence is occupied and you get permission to enter from the residents.

Q.

Can the Sheriff’s Office recommend an attorney?

A.

Absolutely not.

Q.

Does the Sheriff’s Office have keys to the residence?

A.

No. In addition, the Sheriff’s Office cannot give permission for you to enter a residence.

Q.

How does the bidding start?

A.

The judgment holder almost always starts the bidding. Generally, the judgment holder bids in writing a plaintiff’s bid on judgment. The judgment holder’s bid, if given to the Sheriff prior to the sale, is considered a sealed bid and will not be disclosed until the sale is called.

Q.

If I get a Sheriff’s Deed and there are people living there, how do I get them out? Do I have to go through the eviction process?

A.

These are questions for your attorney.

Q.

If I purchase and there is a redemption period, can I enter the property before the redemption period is up?

A.

This is a question for your attorney.

Q.

If I purchase and there is a redemption period, when do I get a Sheriff’s Deed?

A.

If you purchase property with a redemption period, you will be issued a Certificate of Purchase. When the redemption period is up, you may then return the original Certificate of Purchase to the Sheriff and receive a Sheriff’s Deed. If you lose the original Certificate of Purchase, you will not receive a Sheriff’s Deed until you get a court order directing the Sheriff to issue you a duplicate Certificate of Purchase. (626.96) If you fail to have a Sheriff’s Deed issued within 8 years after the date of issuance of the Certificate of Purchase, the Sheriff’s Sale will be cancelled. (626.97)

Q.

If I purchase at a Sheriff’s Sale, what name(s) and how should I have them typed on the Sheriff’s Deed or Certificate of Purchase?

A.

This is a question for your attorney.

Q.

If I purchase at a Sheriff’s Sale, who is responsible for back property taxes?

A.

Taxes stay with the property. If you made the purchase, you are now responsible for the taxes.

Q.

If I purchase property at a Sheriff's Sale, do I get clear title?

A.

Clear title is not guaranteed to real property sold at a Sheriff's Sale.

Q.

What does redemption period mean?

A.

The redemption period is the amount of time after the sale that the defendant has the right to redeem the real estate.

Q.

What happens if I am the highest bidder and change my mind about buying the property?

A.

Pursuant to the Code of Iowa, 626.85, the judgment holder may proceed against you for the amount you bid. If the judgment holder does not wish to proceed against you, the sale will be treated as a nullity and the Sheriff’s Office will then proceed as mandated by the Code of Iowa.

Q.

When I get a Sheriff’s Deed, what do I do next?

A.

This is a question for your attorney.