Debt Collection Lawsuits: What is a Sheriff Sale?
Debt Collection Lawsuits: What is a sheriff sale?
A sheriffs sale is simply where someone takes a judgment to the sheriff and tells them they want to sell the Defendant’s car, house, etc.
Then the sheriff sets up the sale.
It works like a foreclosure sale, where they auction off the property and sell it to the highest bidder.
Once the property is sold, that money goes towards paying off any liens that are on the house first.
For example, let’s say you have a $200,000 house, you only owe $5,000 on it, and you have a $10,000 judgment on it.
If the property is sold for $30,000, then $5,000 will pay off the mortgage, some will be given to you as an exemption, and the rest will go towards the judgment until it’s paid off.
We’ve seen situations where someone has a paid for house, and even a paid for mortgage, and these debt collectors will do a sheriff sale to take their house.
Many consumers will say, “No, no, no, this is impossible! Nobody can take my house. This is my castle!”
Unfortunately, they can.
Sheriff sales aren’t as common, but we are seeing more and more of them.
Years ago, we would tell people that it’s possible for a sheriff sale to occur but it was a very small possibility.
We don’t say that anymore.
We’ve seen a lot of collection lawyers do this, even on small judgments.
We had a client who came to us the day before the sheriff sale.
He had a $100,000 house and a $5,000 credit card judgment.
The collection lawyers were going to take his house over a $5,000 judgment. Unbelievable isn’t it?
Sheriff sales are real and should be taken seriously.
They’re devastating when they happen.
If you have a judgment against you and the collectors are talking about a sheriff sale, you should proceed very carefully.
You’re reading this article, which means you are taking this seriously, and we want to commend you for that.
Even if you’ve just been sued, you need to figure out your game plan immediately.
The best way to figure out the best course of action for your unique situation is to get in touch with an attorney.
If you have any questions, you can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447.
Or, if you prefer, you can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you quickly.
We would be glad to help you and answer any questions you may have.
Hope this is helpful to you, and we look forward to hearing from you!
Have a great day.
PS — remember you want to avoid sheriffs sales and the best way to do this is to figure out a way to kill the lawsuit. We recommend getting our checklist for dealing with collection lawsuits and you can also watch our video where we answer over 150 questions about being sued in Alabama.