Polk County selling 10 surplus properties by electronic bid

Published 4:27 pm Thursday, February 1, 2018

COLUMBUS-Polk County has 10 properties it currently owns through foreclosure that are up for electronic sale.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners declared the properties surplus during its January meeting and agreed to put them out for bid on govdeals.com.

Polk County Tax Administrator Melissa Bowlin said the properties have been acquired through foreclosure over the last several years. She said when the auctions on each property occurred, there were no bidders. Once an auction is held and there are no bidders, the parcel is transferred into the county’s name so the property can be declared surplus and sold, according to Bowlin.

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Minimum bids have been added to each parcel to cover the taxes owed on the properties as well as the attorney costs.

Commissioner Ray Gasperson said the fees for the law firm who does the auctions, compared to normal closing costs, seem pretty high.

Bowlin said the fees are standard and is different for each parcel depending on what type of work has to be done on the parcel. She said there are fees for each step in the process and it depends on how far in the foreclosure process the firm gets, such as how many notifications they send.

Bowlin said the total minimum bid cost includes the amount of back taxes owed and back taxes, and added that selling the parcels will put them back on the county’s books, meaning, new taxes can be collected on the properties.

Commissioner Myron Yoder asked how far back in taxes these properties go.

Bowlin said some properties go back 7-8 years.

County attorney Jana Berg said one reason the county is doing these parcels differently is in the past if the properties were not sold at auction, the law firm never transferred the properties into the county’s name. Now, if there’s no bidder, the county makes the first bid and if there’s no competing bidder, the county wins the bid and the property is transferred into the county’s name. This way, Berg said, the county owns the soil.

Commissioner chair Jake Johnson said it seems like this is one of the smartest things the county has done.

“It’s just good house cleaning,” Johnson said.

Kania Law Firm recorded deeds transferring the ownership of the 10 properties to the county on Dec. 4, 2017, according to Bowlin.

See the chart below for a list of properties for sale. The bidding can be done at govdeals.com beginning next week.


Parcel       Acreage         Location/Township

T1-A3             0.06                Lyle St.-Tryon inside

T1-A4             0.16                Lyle St.-Tryon inside

T2-C10           0.19                Howard St.-Tryon inside

T2-C4             0.35                Howard St.-Tryon inside

T8-I13            0.19                Howard St.-Tryon inside

P48-191         0.76                Cherokee Circle-Tryon outside

P29-251         3.64                Chesterfield Dr.-Coopers Gap

P42-37           0.55                Bradley Turn-White Oak

P69-40           1.36                Burt Blackwell Rd.-White Oak

P69-49           0.26                Burt Blackwell Rd.-White Oak