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RACINE COUNTY — A proposed law change involving the sheriff’s foreclosure process could save Racine County officials a lot of headaches, a county official said.

Currently, when a foreclosure goes through a sheriff’s sale, the buyer ends up getting a copy of the new deed in hand. From there, the buyer is supposed to bring that deed to the Register of Deed’s Office for it to get filed.

However, Racine County Register of Deeds Tyson Fettes said, that doesn’t always happen. When it doesn’t, it causes problems down the line.

If the new deed doesn’t get filed, the tax bill goes to the old owner and, inevitably, doesn’t get paid. In some cases, tax interception can start.

“Then it’s coming from the wrong person,” said Fettes, who was in Madison on Thursday testifying before a state Senate committee about the need for a law change to help fix the problem.

Senate Bill 175 proposes a small change that would make a big difference, Fettes said.

Under the proposed bill, the Clerk of Courts Office would hand the deed to the Register of Deeds Office directly, removing the obligation from the new owner.

Fettes said the law allows that to happen in Milwaukee County, but the proposed change would expand that practice to the rest of the state.

“It’s common sense and good government,” Fettes said.

He said the proposal has already passed the Assembly and just got a Senate hearing.

Fettes is hopeful it will be in effect soon to help simplify the process.


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