Master Commissioner
Shelby Circuit Court


(1) Is there a list of pending foreclosure cases or of upcoming sales?

There is no list of pending cases or of upcoming sales other than those shown on the link to upcoming sales. When a property is referred to the commissioner’s office for sale, the property is assigned a sale date and an appraisal is ordered; the sale is then posted to this web site. Appraisals are posted approximately two weeks prior to sale. In addition, the sale is advertised in the Sentinel News for three consecutive weeks prior to the sale date. That notice appears in the Classified section on Wednesdays.

(2) Can I purchase the property before the sale?

Yes, but only the owner(s) can sell. The lien holder or mortgage company who brought the action do not own or have title to the property and as such does not have the authority to sell it.

(3) Cash or Credit?

At the time of sale the purchaser has the option of either (1) paying the full price or (2) if paying at least 10% of the purchase price with the right to pay the balance in 30 days. If the purchaser elects to pay less than the full price, they must sign a bond and provide surety (see next question). In addition, the commissioner is obligated to charge the purchaser interest from date of sale at the judgment rate on any unpaid balance until fully paid.

The commissioner accepts personal checks for all payments due the master commissioner’s office.

(4) What do "bond" and "surety" mean?

The law requires that any purchaser who, at the time of sale, pays less than the full amount of the successful bid must sign a “bond” (on a form prepared and supplied by the commissioner) to pay the balance and provide surety for that bond. A “surety” may either be a person, bank, or other entity who agrees unconditionally to pay the balance due should the purchaser, for whatever reason, fail to pay in full within 30 days.

Other person(s) or entities, who are Kentucky residents, may also act as sureties, but only if they are present at the time of sale and prepared to furnish the commissioner a sworn financial statement (on a form supplied by the commissioner) which shows a net worth of at least 2 ½ times the sale price. If a married individual intends to act as surety, their spouse must also sign. Despite the net worth shown, the commissioner has the right and discretion to reject any proposed surety for any reason.

Should a purchaser fail to furnish a surety, the commissioner will report that failure to the court for appropriate action. This may include a resale of the property and a judgment against the original purchaser for any difference in resale value, as well as the court costs incurred as a result of the resale.

(5) Can I see or inspect the property before the sale?

The owner(s) or the occupants of the property are the only persons able to give permission to prospective bidders, but they are under no obligation to do so. If you can get permission or entry from them, then you may inspect the property, but the commissioner’s office cannot assist in this process. Other information regarding the property may be found at the Property Valuation Administrator’s office or at its Web Site at

(6) What does the amount to be raised mean?

That is the amount of any debt owed to the party seeking to satisfy their judgment debt and may or may not have anything to do with the value of the property. Nor is it necessary that the property sell for that amount. Regardless of the purchase price, all liens or claims of the parties in the case will be satisfied and released when the deed passes to the purchaser. Taxes are paid as noted in Question 10.

(7) Must the property bring a certain amount?

No, but prior to the sale, the commissioner is required to have two qualified persons appraise the property. Should the successful bid be less than two thirds (2/3) of that appraisal, the owner(s) of the property have six months in which to reclaim or redeem the property by paying into court the bid amount plus an additional 10% interest. Upon such payment, and the Circuit Court’s approval, the commissioner will reconvey the property to the former owner(s), their successors, or assigns.

(8) Can a sale be canceled?

Yes and they frequently are, but as soon as the commissioner’s office is notified of the cancellation, this Web site will be updated accordingly.

(9) Will I receive clear title?

The commissioner’s office does not warrant or guarantee in any manner that the title is free and clear of encumbrances or defect. However, the purchaser or their attorney has 10 days after the sale to ascertain whether such conditions exist and to file their objections with the Court. If there are any such encumbrances or defects, the sale will be set aside and the purchase money refunded. Within that 10-day period a purchaser is strongly advised to seek the advice of an attorney regarding a title examination.

(10) Who pays the property taxes?

The purchaser shall be required to assume and pay all taxes or assessments upon the property for the current tax year and all subsequent years. All other delinquent taxes or assessments upon the property for prior years shall be paid from the sale proceeds if properly claimed in writing and the holder thereof is a party to the foreclosure. The Master Commissioner warrants only such title as is referred by Court order and does not guarantee that all taxes are paid.

(11) When will I receive a deed and possession of the property?

Due to the time allowed the parties and purchaser to object to the sale or to satisfy themselves that the title is free and clear of defects and of the time needed to secure the necessary Court orders, it generally takes 12 to 15 days before a deed is prepared and ready. During that period, unless otherwise ordered by the court, the purchaser has no right to possession. Even though a deed will not immediately be delivered to a purchaser, they have an equitable and insurable interest in the property and are urged to immediately secure an insurance policy on the property for its full value.

(12) What if somebody is currently living there?

In most cases, the residents voluntarily leave before a deed is given to the successful bidder. Should they then refuse to vacate, the purchaser will need to obtain an order from the Circuit Court ordering them to vacate.

General Information

The Master Commissioner does not have any information regarding the condition of the property, nor does it know if the property is occupied at the time of the sale. Once a property is sold, the sale is confirmed by the Court and the Deed is transmitted to the purchaser, the Master Commissioner has no information regarding the status of the property. The Master Commissioner is not responsible for obtaining keys to the property or maintaining the property. All properties are sold as is with no warranties or guarantees.