Sheriff sales in the area have shown swift increases within the past three years. Recently there have been a growing number of foreclosures on homes across the state and also within the county. In 2000, Muskingum county sold 173, in 2001 it increased to 203 and this year foreclosed properties are already at 40 in only a two month period. In Guernsey county sheriff’s sales on homes increased fifty-four percent from the previous year and are also on pace to exceed last year’s total. This is a process that the county sheriff’s office is very familiar with and the foreclosing of area property is public knowledge. Dan Marks, Community Relations officer of the Muskingum county Sheriff’s Office says much of the sheriff’s sales in the area can be attributed to slow economic conditions, layoffs and simply an interest in low price housing for remodeling. Property foreclosures in Noble county increased forty percent in one year, it ranks right behind Guernsey and Muskingum counties.