Personal Property Foreclosure

Definition


A form of interest in personal property - typically to secure payment of a loan or the balance of the purchase price where buying "on time"; an action where a secured party can seek return of a property that secures a debt.

Jurisdiction


Magistrate Court has jurisdiction over foreclosures in which the value of the property claimed does not exceed $15,000. Of course, a counterclaim exceeding the jurisdiction of the court may be filed requiring transfer to another court.

Venue


Appropriate in the county where the person in possession of said property or where the secured property is located. Foreclosures may be served personal, notorious, or by tack and mail.

Filing Fee


The filing fee is $95 for one defendant and $50 for each additional defendant per case. If you have a private processor serving the papers, the filing fee is then $45. Checks should be made payable to Magistrate Court.

Procedures for Filing a Foreclosure


The Clerk of Magistrate Court provides forms required for filing a Personal Property Foreclosure (PDF). An applicant may appear in person in the office of Magistrate Court and the clerk will process your paperwork. If you prefer, you may download the form, and mail it in. Mailed forms must be completely filled out and properly signed and notarized. Please attach a copy of the contract that created the security interest or a copy of the rental contract to the Affidavit for Foreclosure of Personal Property.

Answer


A person who has been served with a foreclosure of personal property affidavit has 7 days to file an answer. If an answer is not filed within 7 days the defendant will be in default. An answer may be made in person, emailed to the Magistrate Court or faxed to 912-754-4893. If you choose to fax or submit your answer online, your signature must be notarized. All answers must be received in our office by 5 p.m. on the 7th day after service. Download the Answer/Counterclaim Form (PDF).

Default


If an answer is not filed within 7 days, the defendant is in default. A defendant may bring the case out of default and file an answer from the 8th to 14th day by paying court costs ($95). After 14 days, the plaintiff may Request a Writ of Possession (PDF). Please completely fill out all applicable sections of the form.

Hearing


If a defendant files an answer a hearing will be scheduled within 30 days but no sooner than 15 days from the date of the answer. Both parties will have the right to present evidence and call witnesses. The parties should bring any relevant evidence with them to court; including copies of the contract, receipts, ledgers, photographs or other relevant items.

Witnesses


If a party has witnesses, the party should bring them to the hearing. Written statements may not be accepted as evidence. If assistance is needed to obtain the attendance of witnesses, a Request for Subpoena form (PDF) should be completed and returned to the Clerk of Magistrate Court along with the required fee. For the courts to serve the subpoena the fee is $25; if you serve the subpoena the fee is $1.