ADVISORY: Letter regarding Morris County Sheriff’s Office procedures for upcoming statute changes
What is a Sheriff’s Sale?
A sheriff’s sale is a public auction of real property which takes place at the end of the foreclosure process.
A foreclosure occurs when payments have not been made on a mortgaged property. As a result, the lender files suit in Superior Court to terminate the property owner’s rights of possession so that the lender may sell the property to recover its loss. If the lender prevails, the court then directs the sheriff to schedule the property for sale.
The terms “foreclosure” and “sheriff’s sale” are used interchangeably on this website.
When and Where
Sheriff’s sales are held on Thursdays (excluding holidays) at 2:00 p.m. in the Freeholder’s Public Meeting Room, 5th Floor, Administration and Records Building, Court Street, Morristown, New Jersey.
Sales can and do change at a moment’s notice. To confirm a property’s sale date, please contact the Legal Services Division’s Foreclosure Unit at 973-285-6702. You must have the case number or the defendant’s name for inquiries.
Notice of Sales/Advertisement
All sheriff’s sales for real property are advertised on Fridays in the legal section of the Daily Record for four consecutive weeks prior to the initial date of sale. Sales are also advertised for four consecutive weeks in a second newspaper that serves the area in which the subject property is located.
The Legal Services Division maintains an online database of sheriff’s sales which is continually updated as information changes. While every effort is made to ensure that these listings are accurate and timely, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office does not warrant or guarantee the reliability of same.
Access the Sheriff’s Sales Database
Posting of scheduled sales
A binder of scheduled sales listings is maintained in the lobby of the Legal Services Division for public review.
Location of the Legal Services Division
The Legal Services Division is located at 30 Schuyler Pace, 2nd Floor, in Morristown.
The address for general correspondence is as follows:
Morris County Sheriff’s Office
Legal Services Division
30 Schuyler Place, 2nd Floor
Morristown, NJ 07960
Sheriff’s sales are not for the inexperienced. Prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with the sales process and seek legal advice prior to bidding.
- Foreclosure sales are for real property only; the Sheriff’s Office does not know what structures, if any, are on the property.
- Up until the sale actually takes place, the defendant (owner) is entitled to his privacy therefore, prospective purchasers will not be able to enter or inspect any buildings that may be located on the property to be sold.
- The owner has no legal obligation to allow anyone to examine the property prior to the sale and may not take kindly to uninvited visitors.
- The Sheriff’s Office does not know the conditions of the titles.
- It is strongly recommended that potential bidders determine if any prior liens exist, via use of a title search, since payment of same will be the responsibility of the purchaser. Some liens must be paid no matter when filed, such as tax liens, sewer and water liens, etc.
- The status of a property may change at any time, even after a sale has occurred, by court order.
- Sales of real property are “open type” auctions (no sealed bids).
- A minimum bid of $100.00 is required.
- The property is sold to the highest bidder.
- The successful bidder must pay a minimum of twenty percent (20%) of the total bid price at the time of the sale. This is called a bid deposit.
- The bid deposit must be paid by cash, certified check or Treasurer’s/Bank/Cashier’s check.
- Official bank checks or treasurer’s checks will not be accepted unless accompanied by a letter from the issuing bank stating its check is the equivalent of the aforementioned or if we receive permission from the attorney for the Plaintiff to accept the funds.
- Checks drawn on attorney trust fund accounts will NOT be accepted.
- As there is no guarantee you will win the bid, checks should be made payable to yourself. If you win the bid, you will endorse the check and sign it over to the Sheriff of Morris County.
- If the full bid deposit is not given at the time of the sale, an announcement voiding the sale will be made at the sheriff’s sale and we will immediately proceed to sell the property again.
- The highest bidder shall be the purchaser.
- The third party purchaser must pay 20% of the purchase price at the close of the sale in cash, certified check or cashier’s check. The balance to be paid within 30 days with lawful interest calculated on the unpaid balance from the 11th day after sale. A balance of the bid payoff request is to be submitted in writing prior to requested date of payoff. We will NOT accept payoffs past the 30th day without permission from the plaintiff. There is a $1000.00 cash limit unless prior approval from the Sheriff or designee is obtained.
- Sheriff’s fees and commissions will be deducted from the bid price.
- Immediately upon the conclusion of the sale, should the successful bidder fail to sign the conditions of sale, and if a third party purchaser fails to pay the 20% deposit as required herein, the Sheriff shall resell the property without further public advertisement or notice.
- If the purchaser fails to comply with any of the conditions of sale, the property will be sold a second time. The deposit is to be retained by the Sheriff to be disbursed by court order.
- Property is sold subject to restrictions and easements of record, which are unknown to me and subject to unpaid taxes, or assessments, water and sewer liens if any, and subject to such state of facts as an accurate survey, title search, and physical inspection of the premises would disclose.
- Subject to the rights of occupants or tenants, if any.
- Subject to State and Municipal Ordinances, Statutes and Regulations, including Zoning Ordinances, Federal Laws and Regulations that may apply.
- The balance of the bid is due within thirty calendar days from the date of the sale.
- Additional time is not granted to the purchaser to obtain a mortgage.
- The homeowner has a ten day period after the sale during which time he/she may redeem the property. If this occurs, the purchaser’s bid deposit will be returned.
- Interest is charged on the balance due beginning on the eleventh day after the sale.
- If the balance is not paid on the 30th day, the property may be sold a second time without further advertisement. The purchaser will be held responsible for all losses and expenses but will receive no benefit from this second sale. The bid deposit will be retained by the Sheriff’s Office to be disbursed by court order.
- The purchaser will receive a sheriff’s deed after payment of the balance of the bid. An Affidavit of Consideration will be attached to the deed and must be with the deed upon recording of same at the Morris County Clerk’s Office.
- If the deed is to be made out to any person or entity other than the purchaser, an Assignment of Bid form must be completed and submitted to the Foreclosure Unit no later than close of business on the last date of the defendant’s redemption period (the 10th day after the sale at auction).
- The deed may not give clear title to the property. In order to obtain a clear title, all liens, taxes or encumbrances must be satisfied. This is why we recommend a title search be performed beforehand.
- It is the sole responsibility of the purchaser to record the deed and pay the applicable fees in the Morris County Clerk’s Office.
- If, after the sale and receipt of the sheriff’s deed, the property is owner-occupied, the purchaser must obtain a Writ of Possession to be served on the defendant with instructions to vacate the premises by a scheduled date. This is handled by the Summons and Complaints Unit.
- If, after the sale and receipt of the Sheriff’s deed, the property is owner-occupied, the purchaser must obtain a Writ of Possession from the courts to be served on the defendant with instructions to vacate the premises by a scheduled date. Once obtained, the court documents should be forwarded to the Sheriff’s Summons and Complaint Unit who will complete the service.