For many, January 2020 feels like a lifetime ago, and in so many ways, it is. As the country re-opens, so does the world of foreclosures. In light thereof, a couple of notable changes to Indiana foreclosure law are worth mentioning.
Indiana Trial Rule 9.2 Affidavits
Indiana Trial Rule 9.2 amendments requiring affidavits in support of certain first legal actions took effect just as the world was shutting down. As a result, both foreclosing plaintiffs and their counsel wondered if the amendments applied to mortgage foreclosure actions. Thankfully, the Indiana Supreme Court ended the speculation by issuing an order specifically exempting mortgage foreclosure actions from the trial rule requirement. This change is now reflected in Indiana Trial Rule (A)(2)(d).
2022 Indiana Legislative Session
2022’s short legislative session has adjourned, and of note to foreclosing parties are the newly added statutory provisions related to sheriff sale process and fees. House Bill 1048 overwhelmingly passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support on March 8, 2022. As of this writing, the bill is headed to the governor for signing.
The bill provides authorization for sheriffs to conduct sheriff sales electronically, something the state statutes were previously silent on. Additionally, the bill increased the maximum amount charged by sheriffs from $200 to $300. The two provisions are not interdependent, and sheriffs may charge the increased fee regardless of how the sale is conducted, as long as the fee represents the actual costs incurred. Notably, the bill specifically restricts auction providers from adding additional costs for any online sheriff sale process service platforms.
Despite its many advantages, it’s unclear how many Indiana sheriffs may be considering online technology in the immediate future. Even so, the bill sets the framework for innovating the sheriff sale process, a positive step for several Indiana lawmakers who want to embrace technology in the right context and with proper guardrails.