Friday, January 23, 2015

Could the County Owe You Money?

Many people don't know it, but if they've lost their home in a foreclosure, they could have money coming to them.

When the public trustee sells the property at auction, sometimes there is money leftover once all liens on the property have been satisfied. It's not often, since homeowners who are in financial trouble can rack up debt in the form of tax liens, HOA judgements and other penalties once they stop paying their bills. In the current market, however, property values are increasing so quickly that some auction sales are yielding more than is owed to creditors.

State law requires Public Trustee offices to try to contact the former owner to refund the leftover proceeds. They must send a letter to the owner's last known address - usually the home that was foreclosed on - as well as publish an ad in the local paper for five weeks. As you can probably guess, few people ever get the letter or see the ads, and the money goes unclaimed. Counties retain overbid proceeds for five years, after which they send it to the Great Colorado Payback Program, where there are no time limits for filing a claim.

If you think your foreclosed home appreciated to the degree that there might have been leftover money after the auction sale, contact the county in which the property was located. It could mean a little good news after a period of bad luck.

I would love to help you with your real estate journey. 
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