Our firm receives many inquiries from parties who intend to bid at a foreclosure sale. Foreclosure sales most often occur when a party is unable to pay a mortgage encumbering a property, and a foreclosure judgment is obtained by the lender. What happens next? A foreclosure sale, or auction, is scheduled by the lender. This must be properly noticed by having all parties served with the Notice of Sale, as well as having the Notice published in a general circulation publication, which the Court will order, such as the Journal News in Westchester.
Once all notices have been given, the sale is usually held in the lobby of the Courthouse of the Supreme Court in the County in which the foreclosed property is located. Most courthouses in New York State set aside a specific area or room in their building to hold such auctions, which are open to all members of the public. Prior to the auction date, it is wise for potential bidders to have experienced counsel review the terms of sale.
The sale is then conducted by the Referee for the foreclosed property. The Referee is an individual, usually an attorney, who has been appointed by the Court to conduct the auction and transfer the property after a judgment of foreclosure has been obtained by the lender, who is the plaintiff in the foreclosure lawsuit. The Referee’s role is to prepare all documents, conduct the auction sale, and then prepare the property transfer documents and convey all funds to the lender after the auction.