Foreclosure auction in Minneapolis this weekendby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — A two-day auction on foreclosed homes comes to the Minneapolis Convention Center this weekend.
People looking to buy foreclosed properties have to register and provide a $5,000 cashier's check as earnest money for each property they bid on.
Carolyn Olson, director of the nonprofit Greater Metropolitan Housing Corp., says her group has been instructed to bid on four properties for the city of Minneapolis.
"It's a difficult process for the city to get approved to go buy houses at auction, so they just ask us to do it. And they give us a maximum amount of what they want us to bid. If it goes more than that, we just say, fine - we won't buy it."
The corporation buys foreclosed homes and pays for rehab or demolition. Then it resells the renovated or rebuilt homes.
Olson says there are several different reasons the city wants certain properties.
"They might be bad properties next to something the city has already done. Might be part of the cluster project that they're working on with some of the non-profits and they want to control that property," said Olson.
The Hennepin County Sheriff's office says there were 655 foreclosure sales in October, a 17 percent increase over October 2007.
Olson says foreclosure auctions like this one are fast-paced and loud. She says properties often sell at a rate of one every minute and a half.