Allen Superior Court seeks to return $282K in foreclosure surplus funds

Dozens of former Allen County property owners are entitled to surplus funds following the foreclosure of their homes, the Allen Superior Court announced Tuesday. The court is now seeking to locate those property owners and return the funds.

The Allen Superior Court has established a system to return money owed to former property owners in 72 foreclosure cases. Already, more than $305,000 in surplus funds — the difference between the amount owed to the foreclosing institution and the amount the property sold for at a sheriff’s sale — to former owners in 27 cases.

That leaves unclaimed surpluses ranging from less than $200 to nearly $50,000 in 45 cases. The cases were discovered during a review of past foreclosure cases the court undertook during the COVID halt of many court proceedings, including mortgage foreclosure proceedings.

“The pandemic presented us with incredible challenges, but also this important opportunity,” Allen Superior Judge Jennifer DeGroote, who hears foreclosure cases, said in a statement. “Our staff took the initiative to go back and track down dozens of people who had money waiting for them. This is the first time Superior Court has done this and the results have been remarkable so far.”

About $282,000 remains for return in the 45 cases in which the court has been unable to contact the former property owner or their heirs. Court staff sent notices to the parties in those cases but received no response.

Hoosiers can find a list of the Allen County foreclosure cases with surplus funds online, which includes case numbers, the amount of surplus funds being held and other information.

“It has been an ambitious undertaking already to find so many former property owners and return the money they are due,” Judge Craig J. Bobay, administrative judge of the Allen Superior Court’s Civil Division, said in a statement. “We encourage those who have been though a foreclosure to take a look at their records and review the list we have posted online. We want to do more, but we need help.”

Typically, the clerk of the courts holds surplus funds from a sheriff’s sale until it is claimed. A court order is needed to claim the funds.

If the money remains unclaimed, it can be turned over to the Indiana Attorney General’s Unclaimed Property Division after five years.

Anyone with a past foreclosure case or their heirs can check the list for their case number. Case numbers can be obtained through mycase.in.gov.

Individuals who believe they have a claim can submit a letter to the Allen County clerk, which must include the original foreclosure case number. Letters can be mailed to Allen County Clerk of the Courts, 715 S. Calhoun St., Room 200A, Fort Wayne, 46802.

Questions can be directed to [email protected].

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