- Associated Press - Friday, October 9, 2015

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - The number of foreclosures in Ward County has spiked this year, with more flood-affected properties showing up among the tax delinquencies.

The Ward County Auditor’s Office earlier this year sent notices to owners of 411 properties that registered tax delinquencies for a third straight year, putting them into the foreclosure process. That compares with 287 properties that entered foreclosure in 2014.

The Ward County Commission this week accepted appraisals that will serve as the minimum bid prices for 52 parcels scheduled to be sold at foreclosure auction on Nov. 17, the Minot Daily News reported (https://bit.ly/1VIEFoV ).

“This is the largest list I have seen,” County auditor Devra Smestad said. Last year, 23 properties were listed for foreclosure auction.

Souris River flooding in 2011 damaged or destroyed more than 4,000 homes and other structures in Minot, causing nearly $700 million in damage. Nearly half of the Minot properties on the foreclosure list were affected by flooding, according to Tax Director Ryan Kamrowski.



Of the 52 properties scheduled for auction, only three are abandoned structures that owners appear to have walked away from, he said. Owners of flooded properties with tax delinquencies more commonly are awaiting a potential buyout for a flood protection project.

Processing foreclosures has become a significant task for the county. Officials sent out 837 certified letters earlier this year to owners, mortgage holders and others with interest in the three-year-delinquent properties. This does not include letters to owners who occupy the properties; those letters are delivered by the sheriff’s office.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, https://www.minotdailynews.com

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