2329.153 Official public sheriff sale web site; integrated auction management system.

(A) Not later than ninety days after the effective date of this section, the department of administrative services shall solicit competitive sealed proposals for the creation, operation, and maintenance of the official public sheriff sale web site and an integrated auction management system. The official public sheriff sale web site and integrated auction management system shall be a single statewide system for use by all county sheriffs in accordance with the requirements of this section.

(B) The official public sheriff sale web site shall meet the following minimum requirements:

(1) The web site shall have a domain name relevant to the judicial sale of real property.

(2) The web site shall be limited to the judicial sale of real property located in this state.

(3) The web site shall not charge a fee for members of the public to view properties for sale.

(4) The web site shall allow each county sheriff to add text, images, or graphics to the web site for the purpose of identifying the county or sheriff conducting the sale.

(5) The web site shall include industry-standard features and functionality, including user guides, online financial transaction device payments, anti-snipe functionality, watch lists, electronic mail notifications, maximum bid limits, automatic incremental bidding, and search and map features that allow users to search by county, zip code, address, parcel number, appraised value, party name, case number, and other variables relevant to the judicial sale of real property. As used in this section, "financial transaction device" has the same meaning as in section 301.28 of the Revised Code.

(6) The web site shall include features that allow for the cancellation of sales as required by law or court order and the postponement of sales in accordance with divisions (E)(2) and (3) of this section.

(7) The web site shall provide a secure payment processing system that accepts online payments for property sold via the web site and, in an efficient and cost effective manner, transfers those payments to the appropriate county official or account.

(8) The web site shall include the ability for an attorney or law firm to enter a bid in a representative capacity.

(9) The web site shall be integrated with the auction management system described in division (C) of this section.

(C) The auction management system shall meet the following minimum requirements:

(1) The auction management system shall have a role-based workflow engine to assist in conducting sales on the web site, capturing data, complying with all relevant laws, and managing administrative processes related to the judicial sale of real property in a timely, secure, and accurate manner.

(2) The auction management system shall record the data necessary to meet the reporting requirements of section 2329.312 of the Revised Code.

(3) The auction management system shall be able to generate documents required by the court ordering the sale or related to the judicial sale of real property.

(4) The auction management system shall be able to record fees, costs, deposits, and other money items with the objective of ensuring an accurate accounting of moneys received and disbursed in each judicial sale of real property.

(5) The auction management system shall be integrated with the web site described in division (B) of this section.

(D) The license fee for the creation, operation, and maintenance of the official public sheriff sale web site and integrated auction management system shall be determined using a per-transaction license fee model or a per-use license fee model. The addition of a property to the official public sheriff sale web site or the auction management system shall each be deemed a transaction for purposes of determining the license fee. The license fee applicable to each judicial sale of real property shall be taxed as costs in the case. No additional license fees shall be assessed to the county sheriff.

(E)

(1) Not later than one year after the effective date of this section, in all cases in which the sheriff is ordered to conduct a judicial sale of real property, the following shall occur:

(a) For residential property, the sale may be conducted on the official public sheriff sale web site for a five-year period beginning on the date the online system is fully operational. After this five-year period sales shall be conducted on the official public sheriff sale web site.

(b) For commercial property, the sale may be conducted on the official public sheriff sale web site.

All sales conducted on the official public sheriff sale web site shall be open for bidding for at least seven days.

(2) If the sale of the real property is to be conducted on the official public sheriff sale web site, the judgment creditor may instruct the sheriff to postpone the sale of the real property one time for up to one hundred eighty days after the initial sale date. Upon receiving such instruction for postponement, the sheriff shall postpone the sale of the property by announcing on the official public sheriff sale web site that the sale is postponed and giving notice of the rescheduled sale date. This announcement shall be deemed to meet the notice requirement of section 2329.26 of the Revised Code.

(3) If the judgment creditor does not wish to postpone the sale of the real property, the judgment creditor may instruct the sheriff to cancel the sale of the property. Upon receiving this instruction, the sheriff shall cancel the sale of the property by announcing on the official public sheriff sale web site that the sale is canceled. This announcement shall remain posted on the official public sheriff sale web site until at least the end of the seven-day bidding period described in division (E)(1) of this section.

(4) If the sale of the real property is postponed or canceled according to divisions (E)(2) and (3) of this section, all bids made on the real property prior to the postponement or cancellation of the sale shall be void.

(F) Pursuant to their authority in section 9.482 of the Revised Code, counties may elect to enter into a shared services agreement relating to the judicial sale of real property on the official public sheriff sale web site. The shared services agreement may seek to improve efficiency and reduce costs in the judicial sale of real property by consolidating administrative functions and processes.

Added by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 390, §101.01, eff. 9/28/2016.