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Oklahoma Amends Statute Regarding Sheriff’s Appraisals

Posted By USFN, Tuesday, October 15, 2019

by Kim Pogue Jenkins, Esq.
Baer & Timberlake, P.C.
USFN Member (OK)

Foreclosure attorneys in Oklahoma may see a change in the method Sheriffs employ for appraisal of real property prior to Sheriff’s Sale. The Oklahoma Legislature amended 12 O.S. §759, effective November 1, 2019.

Prior to the amendment, a Sheriff was directed to appoint three disinterested persons who have taken an oath of impartiality to make an appraisal upon actual view of the real property. While retaining this provision, the amended statute provides an alternate option for the Sheriff to appoint a “legal entity” to make the appraisal. The legal entity must also provide an affidavit of impartiality and make its appraisal upon actual view. However, the appraisal of the legal entity “shall be developed by the legal entity using at least three independent, credible sources, each of which has estimated the real value of the subject property independently.” All other provisions of §759 remain unchanged.

Effects of the new statute are uncertain. It is possible that the appraisal by a legal entity could be less expensive. Should a Sheriff choose to appoint a legal entity instead of the three disinterested persons, foreclosure attorneys might be required to amend their appraisal forms provided to the Sheriff. Additionally, the requirement that the legal entity base its appraisal on “credible sources” could provide a means for defense counsel to challenge the validity of the appraisal.

While it remains undetermined at this time which Sheriffs may be considering the alternative “legal entity” appraisal, the Sheriff of one major county in Oklahoma is examining implementation of the new option.

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