Sheriffs sales

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Sheriff's sales is an auction of properties, for which former owners failed to pay mortgage. In that public auction sellers are usually mortgage lenders, banks, tax collectors who want to recoup money. Property is put to sheriff's sale after the process of foreclosure, when it is certain that former owner is not able to pay.

Sheriff's sales can be great opportunity for investors that look for cheap properties. During the sale different types of properties are offered, e.g. family or multifamily homes, complexes, commercial buildings. The sales are usually frequent (weekly, monthly). The tak place mostly in sheriff's office or at county courthouse. Everyone can bid, but first it is necessary to have certified funds available.


In the past plenty of organisations were established to protect Irish landlords and their associates. Property Defence Assosiation provided sheriff with bailiffs and armed men to protect ‘landgrabbers’ from intimidating or selling farms for rent due. "In a letter to the Freeman’s Journal in January, Earl Fitzwilliam, a founder member of the Property Defence Association, outlined what this latter service entailed: in the case of dishonest tenants who refuse to pay rent and whose cattle and farms are put up for sale by legal process, the Property Defence Association comes forward to bid and ensure a bona fide sale, which, without that aid, cannot take place, as the Land League prohibits anyone from purchasing in these cases." "If the county court judge found in favour of the landlord, he would direct the sheriff to execute the civil bill decree to obtain the debt owed." [1]

Market clearing

"Market clearing, is possible when there is perfect information. At notification of foreclosure, the market has imperfect information likely limited to adjacent neighbors. Once a property is in foreclosure the outcome is either remediation with the lender, sale of property, or sheriff’s sale. Since a short sale is not necessary and sufficient for a foreclosure, market clearing is only possible from a sheriff’s sale when the market has perfect information." [2] "The existence of a unique condominium submarket (Allen et al., 1995) implies the differentiation of valuation methods. Therefore, the relationship between sheriff’s sale and property value is a unique function for every housing submarket, regardless of the result." [3]

Sheriffs salesrecommended articles
Mortgage deedUnencumbered propertyClear titleAbsolute titleCollateral assignmentAbsolute assignmentDistribution In KindBond BankVendor take-back mortgage


  1. Laird, H. (2005). 'Ride rough-shod': evictions, sheriffs' sales and the anti-hunting agitation. Four Courts Press.
  2. Kashian R., Carroll J. D. (2011). The Effect of Sheriff’s Sales on Condominium Sub-Market Property Values The Journal of Regional Analysis & Policy
  3. Kashian R., Carroll J. D. (2011). The Effect of Sheriff’s Sales on Condominium Sub-Market Property Values The Journal of Regional Analysis & Policy

Author: Natalia Pęgiel