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Frequently Asked Questions

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Foreclosure Sale

Q.

Do I have to pay the full amount of my bid the day I purchase?

A.

Yes.

Q.

Can I enter the residence I plan to purchase?

A.
  • No, if the residence is unoccupied.
  • Yes, if the residence is occupied and you get permission to enter from the residents.
Q.

Does the sheriff have keys to the residence?

A.

No. And the Sheriff’s Office cannot give permission for you to enter a residence.

Q.

How do I pay for a purchase at a sheriff’s sale?

A.

The payment must be in the form of a cashier’s check. You may write a personal check for the purchase price if it is accompanied by a letter of guarantee from the bank in which you are writing the check. You must then go to the bank, receive a cashier’s check and present it to the Sheriff. You will then get your personal check back.

Q.

What happens if I am the highest bidder and change my mind about buying the property?

A.

Pursuant to the Code of Iowa, 626.85, the judgment holder may proceed against you for the amount you bid. If the judgment holder does not wish to proceed against you, the sale will be treated as a nullity and the sheriff will then proceed as mandated by the Code of Iowa.

Q.

How does the bidding start?

A.

The judgment holder almost always starts the bidding. Generally, the judgment holder bids in writing a plaintiff’s bid on judgment. This bid is usually given to the sheriff before the day of the sale. The judgment holder’s bid, if given to the sheriff prior to the sale, is considered a sealed bid and will not be disclosed until the sale is called.

Q.

If I purchase at a sheriff’s sale, who is responsible for back property taxes?

A.

Taxes stay with the property. If you made the purchase, you are now responsible for the taxes.

Q.

If I purchase and there is a redemption period, when do I get a sheriff’s deed?

A.

If you purchase property with a redemption period, you will be issued a certificate of purchase. When the redemption period is up, you may then return the original certificate of purchase to the sheriff and you will then receive a Sheriff’s Deed. It is very important that you do not lose the original certificate of purchase. If you lose it, you will not receive a sheriff’s deed until you get a court order directing the sheriff to issue you a duplicate certificate of purchase. (626.96) If you fail to have a sheriff’s deed issued within 8 years after the date of issuance of the certificate of purchase, the sheriff’s sale will be cancelled. (626.97)

Q.

What does redemption period mean?

A.

If the sale notice indicates there is a redemption period; that is the amount of time that the defendant or other stating agency has right to redeem the real estate after the sale. If the defendant or other stating agency makes redemption, this must be completed at the Lyon County Clerk of Court’s Office.

Q.

If I purchase and there is a redemption period, can I enter the property before the redemption period is up?

A.

This is a question for your attorney.

Q.

When I get a sheriff’s deed, what do I do next?

A.

That is a question for your attorney.

Q.

If I get a sheriff’s deed and there are people living there, how do I get them out? Do I have to go through the eviction process?

A.

These are questions for your attorney.

Q.

What is the difference between a Special Execution and a General Execution?

A.
  • In a Special Execution, the court directs what the sheriff shall sell.
  • In a General Execution, the plaintiff directs the sheriff what to sell.
    • If the plaintiff directs the sheriff to sell real estate pursuant to a General Execution, the sheriff sells only the right, title and interest that the defendant has in the real estate. Before bidding for any real estate at a sheriff’s sale, it is wise to consult an attorney.
Q.

If I purchase at a sheriff’s sale, what names(s) and how should I have them typed on the sheriff’s deed or certificate of purchase?

A.

This is a question for your attorney.

Q.

If I purchase property at a sheriff’s sale, do I get clear title?

A.

Clear title is not guaranteed to real property sold at a sheriff’s sale.

Jail

Q.

When can I visit?

A.

Jail visitation is determined by what housing unit the inmate is assigned to. The inmate can contact their family/friends and tell them what days and time visitation falls on.

Q.

Who can visit the inmates?

A.

Anybody can visit the inmate as long as they meet the following criteria:

  • They have not been incarcerated in the Lyon County Jail during the last 90 days.
  • They are on the inmate’s visitors list.
  • If they are a minor they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • They must be able to present a VALID ID.
Q.

What can I bring the inmates?

A.

No items may be brought into the Lyon County Jail by the public. Inmates do have the ability to purchase necessary items through the commissary. Books may be brought in, but they will then be donated to the jail library.

Q.

I have to serve time, how do I make arrangements?

A.

Call the Lyon County Jail at 712-472-8356 to make the required arrangements.

Q.

I need to get fingerprinted for a job or background check, when can I have that done?

A.

Call the Lyon County Jail at 712-472-8356 to make the necessary arrangements. There is a fee to be which can be paid directly to the jail once the fingerprinting is complete.

  • $10.00 if you have your own fingerprint print card
  • $15.00 if we supply the fingerprint card.
Q.

How do I contact an inmate?

A.

You may either visit the inmate during the appropriate visitation hours or the inmate may contact you via phone using a calling card purchased through commissary.

Q.

How do I get money to an inmate?

A.

Money may be sent to the inmate via US mail in either a check (payable to the inmate) or money order. The Lyon County Jail will cash said money and deposit it into the inmates commissary account.

Q.

My car was towed, how do I get it out of impound?

A.

Once the car is released per arresting officer’s direction, the owner, driver, or owner’s representative may pay* the tow bill and pick up the car.
*The Sheriff’s Department does not accept checks or credit cards.
 

Q.

How do I leave an inmate a phone message?

A.

In case of emergency contact the jail and they will deliver a message.

Q.

What is an inmate’s Bond?

A.

Bond is the amount of money needed to post in order for an inmate to be released. The bond amount is set by either the Iowa State statute or by a magistrate. Once bond is set, the inmate may be released upon the Lyon County Jail receiving the proper bond amount. The money may come from the inmate, family/friend, or a bail bondsman. Cash only unless it is through a bondsman.

Q.

When can an inmate be released?

A.

The magistrate must see the inmate within 24 hours. In case of a domestic arrest, the inmate is required to see the magistrate before being released. Any person charges with an alcohol related offense, must serve a minimum 8 hours.

Q.

How can I apply for Work Release?

A.

To be eligible for work release the inmate must be serving more than a 14 day consecutive sentence and must have prior approval from the court.

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