The Magistrate Court has jurisdiction to handle personal property foreclosures where the value of the property is $15,000 or less. A personal property foreclosure is an action where a secured party can seek return of a property that secures a debt. A personal property foreclosure may also be used by the owner of property that has been rented to another to seek return of the property.
Venue is appropriate in the county where the person in possession of the property resides or in the county where the property is located.
Procedures for Filing a Personal Property Foreclosure
An applicant may appear in person in the office of the Clerk of Magistrate Court, 325 East Washington Street, Suite 240 and the Clerk will assist in the filing of the paperwork. The office provides carbonized forms with the correct amount of copies required for the filing of a personal property foreclosure claim. If you live out of the county and would prefer to have the forms mailed to you, please contact the Clerk of Magistrate Court by phone. The form must be completely filled out 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. Link to Instructions for Filing a Personal Property Foreclosure.
Filing Fee The filing fee is $100 for one defendant, and $50 for each additional defendant per case. Checks should be made payable to the Magistrate Court.
A person who has been served with an affidavit for foreclosure of personal property has 14 days to file an answer. Download the answer form. The answer may be filed in person, by mail, or by fax, but it must be received by the 14th day. If an answer is not filed within 14 days, the defendant is in default, and the plaintiff may file a Request for Writ of Possession.
If a defendant files an answer, a hearing will be scheduled within 30 days of the date of the answer or request, but no sooner than 15 days from 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 lease or contract, receipts, ledgers, photographs, or other relevant items.
Prior to the hearing, the parties will have the opportunity to speak to see if the matter can be resolved without a hearing. A mediator may be provided by the court to assist the parties in discussing the matter, at no additional cost.
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 should be completed and returned to the Clerk of Magistrate Court along with the required fee.