All About: Sheriff Sales in Monroe County


Deputy Matt Hoskins at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is the one who handles any sheriff sales for Monroe County properties. Hoskins has taken classes and has been certified to commence sheriff sales for eight years now. If Hoskins cannot be there, Captain Jefferey Spencer is also well versed in running the sales as well.

How does a property get to a sheriff sale? According to Deputy Hoskins, most of the time it’s from people defaulting on their mortgage loan. In this case, the financial institution holding the loan sends the case off to lawyers who in turn get the sheriff sale scheduled. This can take anywhere from six months to two years before it shows up as a sheriff sale in Monroe County.

Other examples of how a property ends up as a sheriff sale is if the property owner has deceased, is tax delinquent or if there are different liens against the property and haven’t been paid.

How do they come up with a minimum bid? Mostly all sales will have a minimum number that they must get to pay off the mortgage, property taxes, or whatever it maybe. Deputy Hoskins said, “about half of the time, the minimum bid does not change but the other half of the time, as the sale gets closer lawyers dig deeper and sometimes the minimum bid increases and sometimes it decreases.” He said, “the financial institutions only want what left on the mortgage, they don’t want any more than that, as the extra funds involve a vast amount of paperwork and are due the ‘former’ property owner.”

Why do sales get cancelled? Sheriff sales get cancelled often, as the property owner finds out the property if going to be on a sheriff sale they sometimes come up with the money or find a way to delay the sale days or even hours before the sale. Deputy Hoskins said, “they either come up with the money, paperwork is misfiled, or they filed bankruptcy.” There’s about a 25% chance that the sale won’t happen on its scheduled day, according to Hoskins. Deputy Hoskins offered an example of a gentleman who came from Richland Center for a sale that was scheduled to start at 10a.m and at 9:30a.m Hoskins got an e-mail that the sale was cancelled as the property owner came up with the money. Needless to say, when the gentleman from Richland Center arrived to find that out, he wasn’t too thrilled.

How do I find out about what properties will be up for sale? As the properties come in, the sale date with some information on the property is posted on the Monroe County website- click on the Sheriff’s Office tab then the sheriff sales tab and the properties up for sale will be posted there. They are also posted in the Monroe County Justice Center lobby, local post office and/or bank of a town, village, or city. There are currently no sales or pending sales in progress in Monroe County. When they do have properties to sell, they are always scheduled for the first or third Wednesday of the month at 10a.m in the Monroe County Justice Center lobby.

Am I able to see the property before the sale? According to Deputy Hoskins, many times they schedule a walk through at the property before the sale which would also be posted on the county website. Hoskins said however, “the Sheriff’s office cannot give legal advice, the person looking to buy the property has to do their due diligence on the property.”

Are the former owners still living on the property? Deputy Hoskins said that 80% of the time the ‘former’ owners are moved out of the house, but the other 20% of the time people stay there, and whoever buys the property at the sheriff sale is responsible for going through the eviction process, in which Hoskins also handles most evictions in Monroe County.

How does the sale work? “It’s not an auction and I’m not an auctioneer,” said Hoskins. “Most of the time there are only a couple people at the sale, and the vast majority of the time, properties go for just the minimum bid and no more than that. Sometimes there is some bidding back and forth, but it isn’t very often,” he said. Closing measures can take two weeks up to a month before the winning bidder can step on the property.

How do I pay for the property? Deputy Hoskins or whoever is running the sale, before every sale reads a statement that explains the payment information. The statement is as follows: “Properties are being sold as is- properties are subject to all liens, taxes and encumbrances. These are the responsibility of the successful bidder. The buyer is also responsible for real estate transfer tax. 10% of the final bid is due at the time of the sale- if you do not have the funds with you, you cannot bid. Funds must be in the form of cash, cashier’s check, or certified check- made payable to the Clerk of Courts. The balance of the successful bid must be paid to the Clerk of Courts no later than 10 days after confirmation of the sale or the 10% down payment is forfeited to the plaintiff. After confirmation- purchaser will be required to pay recording fees and if desired, the cost of title evidence. No company checks.”

More information: For more information Deputy Hoskins is happy to help people with anything they need, in his power, regarding the Sheriff sales. You can call the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office at 608-269-2117 and ask for Deputy Hoskins.


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