Sheriff's Foreclosure Sale

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(Please note that the Sheriff’s Sale List is updated on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays)

One of the functions of the Sheriff's Office is to conduct the sale of real property after foreclosure proceedings have been completed.

Foreclosure sales are for real property only; the Sheriff's Office does not know if any structures are on the property. Further, we cannot give permission for prospective bidders to enter and inspect any structure that may be located on the property to be sold.

All properties sold at auction at the Sheriff's Office are advertised Tuesday in the Trenton Times and the Trentonian. Advertisements appear once a week for four consecutive weeks prior to the initial date of sale.

In addition to newspaper advertisements, notices of sale are posted for public viewing here on the WEB site (click here) or outside the Sheriff's Office, on the first floor, 175 South Broad Street, Trenton, New Jersey.

The Sheriff's Office does not have a list, for general distribution, of the properties to be sold. Persons interested in properties can make their own lists from newspaper legal advertisements.

Sales of property are "open-type" auction sales (no sealed bids). An opening bid of $100 is bid on the first round by the plaintiff. All subsequent bids must begin at $100 over the upset and continue at $500 increments. The property is sold to the highest bidder.

The successful bidder, upon full payment of the bid, will receive a Sheriff's Deed. This deed does not give clear title to the property. In order to obtain clear title, one must satisfy all outstanding liens and encumbrances. If a purchaser does not complete the sale he can be held liable for his deposit.

If you are interested in a particular piece of property, we recommend a title search before you actually bid. Title searches are conducted by private firms. Their telephone numbers may be found in the yellow pages of the telephone directory. A fee is charged. You may also do your own title search.

If you are the successful bidder on a piece of property, you are required to post a deposit of 20% on the total bid price. It must be paid by certified check, treasurer's check, or cash. It must be paid immediately following the signing of the Conditions of Sale.

The balance of the bid is payable and due on the 30th day from the date of sale. Lawful interest is charged on the balance due from the 11th to the 30th day.

If the property you purchased is occupied, it is your responsibility to have the occupants removed.

Deed recording fees must be paid by the purchaser to the County Clerk's office when the deed is recorded.

Rights of Defendants

In most cases, the property, even after the sale, can be redeemed by the owner for a period of 10 calendar days from the date of sale.

The Sheriff has the discretionary right to make two adjournments of the sale, and no more, not exceeding two weeks for each adjournment. In order to request an adjournment a defendant must: be named on the Writ of Execution, show ID verifying identity and submit a letter requesting the adjournment with a fee of $28 in cash, money order or certified check for EACH of his two adjournments. In the case of a defendant’s attorney we require your letter to state that you represent the defendant’s in addition to the reason for adjournment. We will also accept an attorney check.

All fees and commissions that are collected by the Sheriff's Office are turned over to the General Treasury of the County of Mercer.

To speed your inquiry on a specific piece of property, it is helpful if you refer to the property by its address or docket number, which appears in the legal advertisement. Please feel free to contact the Sheriff's Sales Office at (609) 989-6144 or 989-6102.

Sales are conducted Wednesday at 2 p.m.

Sheriff Sale Procedures

  • All foreclosures are subject to special conditions. The Sheriff's conditions are as follows:
  • The highest bidder to be the purchaser.
  • The purchaser must pay 20% of the purchase price in cash, certified check, cashier's check, or treasurer's check, at time of purchase with balance due in thirty days.
  • If the purchaser fails to comply with any of the conditions of sale, the property will be sold a second time, the former purchaser being held responsible for all losses and expenses, and deposit to be retained by the Sheriff to be disbursed by court order.
  • Sold subject to restrictions of record which are unknown to me and unpaid taxes or assessments and such state of facts as an accurate survey would disclose.
  • A deed to be delivered to the purchaser within 30 days from date of sale, with lawful interest calculated on the balance due, from the 11th day after sale, until balance is paid.
  • Immediately upon the conclusion of sale, should the successful bidder fail to sign the conditions of sale and pay the 20% deposit as required herein, the Sheriff shall immediately resell the property without further public advertisement.
  • Sheriff's fee and commissions are taken from the struck off purchase price. All Sheriff's Sales are sold subject to a first and second mortgage, if any, and any Municipal, State or Federal liens, if any.

The attorney representing the Plaintiff will have his own conditions of sale.

We strongly urge anyone who is not familiar with Sheriff's Sale Procedures to seek legal advice and to have a Title Search run on the property before bidding on any property. The search will reveal if there are outstanding liens, which the bidder would assume if he is the highest bidder.

Sheriff's Sales are held as an open auction. The Attorney for the Plaintiff will start the bidding at $100.00. The bidding will continue until the highest bid is reached, and the highest bidder will be the purchaser. The Plaintiff's attorney normally does not allow the bid to go for less than the Judgment amount due his client. He will bid until he has reached his Upset Price. An Upset Price is the total of the Judgment due, interest, attorney's costs, Sheriff's fees, advertising costs and commissions. Once the attorney has reached his Upset Price he may stop bidding and the highest bidder, thereafter, will be the successful bidder.

The Sheriff’s Sales are held on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. at:

Mercer County Sheriff’s Office,
175 South Broad Street,
Trenton, New Jersey

The Sheriff's Sales are advertised for four weeks every Tuesday in the Trenton Times and the Trentonian prior to sale. On the fourth and final week of advertising, the property is sold on that Wednesday if the sale has not been adjourned. The Plaintiff's attorney may adjourn as many times as is necessary for any reason.

If you are planning to attend a Sheriff's Sale, you should check the Sales Notices posted on the WEB site (click here ) before or on sale date, to be sure the sale has not been adjourned, placed in Bankruptcy stay or cancelled.

This office will post a notice of sale on the property during the week of the first advertising. Our office does not enter the premises being sold for any other reason. Until the sale is final, the defendant (owner) has all rights and privileges of privacy to his property. A bidder wishing to approach the owner to see the property before the sale, is advised that he is on his own.

The owner of the property may at anytime, prior to sale, try to save his home or property in several ways. He may try to reinstate his delinquent amount owed, pay the judgment in full, obtain another loan, etc. He may also try to sell the property in order to pay the Judgment and at the same time profit from the proceeds. The defendant has a 10 day Redemption Period after the sale during which time he may object to the sale through the courts or redeem the property. The bidder, in this case, would receive his 20 percent deposit back.

The Sheriff's sale deed will be prepared and ready in approximately 30 days after the sale. The balance due on the sale must be paid no later than 30 days after sale, in accordance with the conditions of sale. It's the responsibility of the purchaser to record the deed in the Registrar of Deeds office. It is the sole responsibility of the purchaser to notify the owner he has purchased the property and now holds the deed to the property. If the defendant does not voluntarily leave the property, the purchaser must apply to the court for a Writ of Possession. Our office will serve the Writ upon the defendant which will advise him to vacate the premises within a particular period of time. If the defendant has not vacated by the stated tentative date, the Sheriff's Office will set a final date to have a moving van sent to the property and have the defendant's personal belongings removed and stored in a place of safe keeping. The costs of the moving and storage is the responsibility of the purchaser. A Writ of Possession is not necessary if the property is vacant before, during or after the sale.

Surplus Funds

Surplus Funds are defined as the amount of funds collected over the judgment amount, fees, costs and commissions that are due to the plaintiff and Sheriff. Surplus funds are generated when a third party purchaser buys the property for more than the upset amount. The main function of surplus funds is to pay any junior lien holders. Any funds left over after these lien holders are paid would be available to the defendant.

This can be ascertained by checking if the amount the property was sold for is more than the amount of the judgment. An example of this would be - Sold for is $150,000 & judgment is $120,000, there would be a possibility that there is a surplus.

The Sheriff's Office sends any surplus funds to the New Jersey State Superior Court, c/o Trust Fund Unit, after the purchaser has paid the balance of the purchase price, fees are deducted, and all financial transactions are finalized. This means that the funds are not readily available immediately following the sale, as there are instances when the Trust Fund Unit may not receive these funds for up to 2 months after the sale.

If you are the homeowner with a foreclosure case in our office and you believe there was a surplus from the sale of your home, you can contact our office or you can contact the Trust Fund Unit directly at 609-292-4012.

More Information

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