Sheriff's Sales Procedure

 

Please note: The information on this page and the following sales page is a summary of the auction procedure. Be sure you have read this page and the fine print on the next page before proceeding. We recommend that you seek advice from a professional about the full process of auctions and sales before attending an auction to place a bid. Go to the Sheriff's Sale Listings if you have read the instructions on this page.

One of the functions of the Cape May County Sheriff's Office is to conduct the sale of real property after foreclosure proceedings have been completed. The following information will be beneficial to those who would like to bid on properties but are unfamiliar with the conditions and manner of sale.

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

All properties are auctioned at the Old Historic Court House at #11 North Main Street (Route 9) in Cape May Court House every other Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. (Next to the Cape May County Superior Court Building)

Foreclosure Sales are advertised in the Atlantic City Press , Ocean City Sentinel, Cape May County Herald, and the Cape May Star and Wave. In addition to the newspaper advertising, notices of sale are posted for public viewing at the Sheriff's Office in Cape May Court House. The Sheriff's Office does not have a list of properties to be sold for general distribution. Persons interested in following up on these properties must make their own lists for checking legal advertisements in the newspapers.

Sales of property are "open type" auction sales (no sealed bids). A minimum of $100 is bid on the first round by the Plaintiff.  All subsequent bids are for a minimum of $1,000 each. The property is sold to the highest bidder as determined by the Sheriff and is final. If a dispute arises as to who succeeds as the highest bidder and the Sheriff is unable to determine the successful bidder and the dispute cannot be resolved by the Sheriff, the property will be re-sold. 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 a clear title, one must satisfy all outstanding liens and encumbrances.

If a purchaser does not complete the sale or 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 the deposit to be retained by the Sheriff to be disbursed by a court order.

If you are interested in a particular property, we recommend you have a Title Search done before you actually bid. Title Searches are conducted by private firms. A fee is charged for this service. We also recommend you check with the Municipal Tax Office for back taxes. The judgment figure does not include interest, costs and Sheriff's fees to be added.

If you are the successful bidder on a property, you are required to post a deposit of 20% of the total bid price in cash or certified check immediately after the close of that sale. To determine what funds you may need as a deposit, you must ascertain what your highest bid will be and then make out a CERTIFIED CHECK or cash for 20% of that amount. Certified checks should be made out to "The Sheriff of Cape May County". Credit cards and personal checks will NOT be accepted.

The balance of the bid is payable within 30 calendar days from the date of the sale, with lawful interest calculated on the balance due, from the 11th day after sale, until the balance is paid. If the property you purchase is owner occupied, it is your responsibility to have the occupants removed by virtue of a writ of possession. If it is tenant occupied, you must file for an eviction through Landlord/Tenant Court.

Deed recording fees must be paid by the purchaser to the County Clerk when the deed is recorded. In most cases, the property, even after the sale, can be redeemed by the owner for a period of 10 calendar days, an announcement to that effect will be made prior to the sale of the property.

There are times when the sale of property is not completed on the date advertised because of adjournments or bankruptcies.

Your Rights

  • A homeowner may, at any time prior to the sale, try to save his home or property interest in several ways. He/She may try to reinstate the delinquent amount owed, pay the judgment in full, obtain another loan, etc

  • ADJOURNMENTS: EFFECTIVE JULY 29, 2019 pursuant to L.2019, c.71 - The Plaintiff’s attorney is entitled to adjourn the foreclosure sale two (2) times per docket number, for a 28-day period, totaling 56 days. The Defendant is also entitled to two (28) day adjournments per docket number, granted by the Sheriff. A written letter is required to request each adjournment. One (1) additional (28) day adjournment may be granted if both the Plaintiff and Defendant agree to it in writing. It is the responsibility of the Defendant to obtain permission in writing from the Plaintiff or Plaintiff’s attorney. It is recommended the Defendant contact the Plaintiff’s attorney at least one (1) week prior to the sale date to ensure the Plaintiff has sufficient time to review your 3rd adjournment request. Thereafter, the Defendant may petition the court for an “emergent stay”.

  • A $28.00 fee will be charged for each adjournment. We request the fee be paid in exact cash, check or money order.

  • Adjournments are granted at the sheriff’s discretion. The decision is based on the information supplied in the written request. Adjournments are NOT automatically granted.

  • A homeowner has a ten day period after the sale during which time he/she may redeem the property. Redemptions may be extended only as a result of a court order.

 

To print a copy of the Postponement Request Form CLICK HERE

Are you a tenant of a property in foreclosure?

Tenants can’t be evicted solely because the property where they live is in foreclosure or has been foreclosed.

Until ownership of the property changes or you are otherwise informed by the court or the mortgage holder, you should continue to pay rent to the landlord or to a rent receiver, if one is appointed by the court. You should keep receipts or cancelled checks of your rent payments. If you are not sure how or where to pay rent, save your rent money so that you will have it when the owner demands it.

Non-payment of rent is grounds for eviction.

Foreclosure alone is generally not grounds to remove a bona fide residential tenant. Tenants who want to stay in their homes can be removed only through a court process. With limited exception, the New Jersey "Anti-Eviction Act" protects residential tenants' rights to remain in their home. This law includes protection for tenants who do not have written leases.

It is unlawful for anyone to try to force you to leave your home outside the court process, including, shutting off utilities or failing to maintain the premises.


Additional Resources

See the Civil Help section on our links page for Foreclosure and Financial Help sites.

You may e-mail Questions about Sheriff's Sales to Sheriff's Sales e-mail

 

Go to the Sheriff's Sale Listing page.


Revised on October 15, 2020

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