Legal Terms You Should Know

Book And Writ Number  This the legal identifier for properties scheduled for Sheriff Sale. For example 1601-536. The first four numbers 1601 give the year and the month the property is scheduled for auction. In this case it means the year 2016 and the first month January. The second series of numbers 536 show where the property will fall in the list of properties at the auction. In this case it will be the 536th property offered for sale. The second set of numbers (536) also identifies the type of sale. Three digits indicate a mortgage foreclosure sale and four digits indicate a tax sale.

Postponed   Property will not be sold on the original scheduled date but will be offer for auction at a later date unless arrangement are made to settle the debt.

Stayed   This means that the court order to sell a property has been cancelled usually after a payment arrangement has been agreed upon.

Free & Clear   This means that all liens and judgement not covered by the sale of the property are wipe away.

Subject To Mortgage  This only applies to mortgage foreclosure sales and seldom occurs.. It occurs when a property is being foreclosed upon by a second mortgage holder or other legally access debt that was filed after the filing of the first mortgage. In this case the winning bidder will assume the responsibility for the debt of the first mortgage. Properties that are subject to mortgage must be advertised with this information and generally identified at the sale by the auctioneer.

Right of Redemption  This is a state law that only applies to tax sales. It gives homeowners who legally occupy a property 90 days prior to a sale nine months to reclaim that property with court permission to pay all the back taxes, the money paid by the winning bidder, plus ten percent more to the winning bidder. If the property is unoccupied or abandoned, there is no right of redemption. This is also seldom an issue by bidders should be aware of the law.