Lake County tax-delinquent property auction takes in $3.4 million

2012-03-30T18:15:00Z 2012-03-30T18:46:13Z Lake County tax-delinquent property auction takes in $3.4 millionBy Bill Dolan, (219) 662-5328

CROWN POINT | Lake County Commissioners made a killing in real estate this week.

Their two-day auction of tax-delinquent properties, which ended late Thursday, racked in almost $3.4 million, Lake County Attorney John Dull said.

Dull praised Don Guernsey, owner of Valparaiso-based Onyx Electronics, for conducting the successful sale of 1,184 parcels of land throughout the county — more than 20 percent of what was offered to about 800 real estate speculators who packed the Sydney Garner Auditorium at the Lake County Government Complex.

"Bidding was active and the amount of our sales exceeded our expectations," Dull said.

He said the auctions brought in $2.38 million in sales of property certificates — tax liens that winning bidders can convert into ownership papers if the previous owners fail within 120 days to redeem their property by paying overdue taxes and fines.

Dull said the county reaped another $1 million from taxpayers who did redeem their properties before the sale began Wednesday.

He said the commissioners were so encouraged by this week that they intend to schedule another tax sale later this summer.

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