Dedicated website for court-ordered sales, authorised by the Ministry of Justice

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How to participate in court-ordered sales and auctions


Summary

WHAT ARE COURT-ORDERED SALES?

Court-ordered sales are the tool through which court authorities execute sales of assets forfeited through attachment, seizure, bankruptcy, etc..
Everyone - with the exception of the debtor - can participate in court-ordered sales without the assistance of an attorney or any other professional (Article 579, Code of Civil Procedure). The assets are generally appraised by experts appointed by the Court. In addition to the winning-bid price, any applicable auction fees and tax expenses must also be paid.

Sales are made on an as-is basis, in the actual condition of the asset. They are not subject to any warranties against flaws or defects, nor can the sale be rescinded for any reason. The existence of any flaws, defects or nonconformities in the item sold shall not give rise to any claim for damages, indemnity, or disgorgement of the price, as all such matters are factored into the price itself.

There is no right of rescission. The balance of the purchase price along with all taxes owed must be paid by the deadline specified in the terms and conditions for submission. Title to the asset shall transfer to the purchaser upon payment of the full price and all taxes.

Should the balance of the price not be made by the established deadline, the winning bid shall lapse. Where a down payment was required, it shall be retained as a fine.
Should a new auction be called, the defaulting winning-bidder shall be required to pay the difference where the price obtained through the second auction, plus the forfeited down payment, is less than the previous auction price, in accordance with Article 587 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

Bids shall become IRREVOCABLE upon submission. No right of rescission is available, and thus bids may not be withdrawn.
Whoever impedes or rigs a public or silent auction using promises, bribes, or deceit, shall be guilty of a crime punishable with a fine and a term of imprisonment as identified in the Criminal Code.
Sales can be suspended and/or cancelled at any time upon provision or order by the Judicial Authorities who ordered such sales.

SALES OF FORECLOSED PROPERTY

The following instructions are general in nature, and subject to change based on the practices and regulations implemented by the court in question. IT IS THEREFORE NECESSARY TO READ THE INSTRUCTIONS IN THE SPECIFIC ORDER AND/OR NOTICE OF SALE FOR THE PROCEDURE IN QUESTION.

Sales of foreclosed real property are conducted personally at the courthouse by the Executor Judge, or by a Court-Appointed Auctioneer (notary, attorney, qualified accountant), who then indicates a location where the sale will take place (usually in the Court-Appointed Auctioneer's offices).
Where such appointment has been made, the sales shall nevertheless be conducted according to the instructions, and with the supervision of the Executor Judge.
The parties to the enforcement proceeding (and any interested party) may appeal the official acts performed by the Court-Appointed Auctioneer to the Judge. Moreover, where any issue has arisen over the course of the sales transaction, the Court-Appointed Auctioneer may seek guidance from the Executor Judge. All procedures relating to the transfer of title in the purchased asset are reserved to the Executor Judge.

Sealed-bid sales - how to submit

  • 1. Purchase offers must be submitted in a sealed, addressed envelope, for those sales conducted personally by the Executor Judge, to the Foreclosure Division of the applicable Court. For those sales conducted by a Court-Appointed Auctioneer, the envelope shall be submitted in the manner and by the deadline indicated in the order and/or notice of sale, or as required by law or by the Court with jurisdiction over the matter.

  • 2. The bid on legal cap (bearing the required tax stamp) shall include:

    • The surname, first name, place and date of birth, tax identification number, home address, marital status, and phone number of the person to whom the real estate shall be titled (the real estate may only be titled to the person signing the bid), who must then appear at the hearing set for the sale. If the bidder is married and under a community-property regime, the same personal details of the bidder’s spouse shall be provided. If the bidder is a minor, the bid shall be signed by the minor's parents with authorisation from a probate, family court, or juvenile judge, as applicable for the jurisdiction. Should the bidder be a company, the company status or name, along with the listing in the Business Register, registered address, and legal representative's name shall all be included;

    • Identifiers for the asset subject to the bid;

    • The price bid, which cannot be less than the minimum indicated, to prevent the bid from being voided;

    • The final date for payment of the price and taxes, which shall not exceed 60 days, as well as the method of payment, and anything else useful to evaluate the bid;

    • An express acknowledgement that the bidder has viewed the appraisal estimate.

  • 3. The envelope shall include all documentation and the down payment required, according to the methods and deadlines set forth in the order or notice of sale. The down payment shall be retained if the bidder refuses to consummate the purchase.

  • 4. The bid submitted in the sealed-bid procedure is irrevocable, with the following exceptions: (a) a judge orders a public auction; or (b) 120 days have passed since its submission without the bid being accepted. A bid alone does not create the right to purchase the asset, as the judge shall have plenary authority to determine whether the sale should proceed, including in instances where there is a single bidder.

  • 5. The amount of taxes shall be disclosed to the winning bidder after they have won the auction / sealed-bid sale, and these shall be paid contemporaneously with the balance of the purchase price. In case of breach, the winning auction / sale shall be rescinded, and the winning bidder shall forfeit anything paid.

  • 6. Where more than one valid bid is submitted, a competitive sale will be held, with the highest bid as the new starting bid. The bidder who submitted the highest bid-raise shall definitively win the asset. In sealed-bid sales, bids submitted after the competitive sale has ended shall not be considered, even if the bid is more than 1/5 higher than the winning bid.

Public-auction sales - how to participate

  • 1. To participate in the auction, bidders must make a down payment amounting to 10% of the starting price according to the timeline and method established by the Court in question. If the bidder does not submit the winning bid, the down payment is immediately returned at the end of the auction, unless the bidder failed to appear at the auction (whether personally or through their limited proxy) without a documented, justifiable excuse for their absence.  In such cases, only 9/10 of the down payment shall be returned, and the rest retained as a proceed of the execution proceeding.

  • 2. Auction bids shall be void if they are not higher than the starting price, or than the amount specified in the previous bid.

  • 3. Bids must be made personally or via proxy authorised by an executed limited power of attorney.

  • 4. Once the auction has taken place, bids may still be placed by the strict deadline of ten days following the auction. However, bids are void if they fail to exceed the price obtained at auction by at least one fifth. Bids are made, for those sales conducted personally by the Executor Judge, by payments to the clerk's office. Where the sale is conducted by a Court-Appointed Auctioneer, then in the manner set forth under Article 571 of the Code of Civil Procedure, paying a deposit of twice the amount of the down payment made pursuant to Article 580 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

  • 5. The purchase price (without prejudice to - in instance where a mortgage loan is recorded on the title - the rights and expenses noted in Article 41(4 and 5) of Legislative Decree no. 385/93) shall be paid within sixty (60) days via cashier’s check payable to the proceeding (where the sale is conducted personally by the Executor Judge), to be delivered to the clerk's office. For sales conducted by a Court-Appointed Auctioneer, then such cashier’s check shall be delivered to the Court-Appointed Auctioneer's offices.

  • 6. Payment of the purchase price may be made by distribution pursuant to a financing agreement, provided the agreement contemplates direct payment with the procedure as the beneficiary, and a first-tier lien on the real estate for sale. 

Sales conditions

Sales are made on an as-is basis, in the actual condition and legal status of the assets, with all the appurtenances, rights, dominant and servient easements attaching to it, for a lump sum price and not based on area. Any differences in area shall not give rise to any claim for damages, indemnity, or price reduction. Court-ordered sales are not subject to any warranties against flaws or defects, nor can the sale be rescinded for any reason.
The existence of any flaws, defects or nonconformities in the item sold, or any encumbrances of any kind - including, for example, any zoning restrictions, or where systems are not up to code, arrearages during the current or previous year on condominium fees - even where latent, unknown, or for whatever reason not identified at the appraisal stage, shall not give rise to any claim for damages, indemnity, or price reduction, as all such matters are factored into the price itself.

Winning bidder charges and expenses

Other than the winning-bid price, only taxes (VAT or registration duty) are paid, less any statutory subsidies (first-home, farmer, and other tax-relief options.

The sale shall not incur any expenses relating to notary's deeds or broker's fees with the exception of the fee payable to the Deputised Notary in accordance with Ministerial Decree no. 313 (25/5/99).

Any mortgages and liens, if existing, will be released once the deed of transfer is issued by the court.

Fees for such lien releases shall be paid OUT OF THE AUCTION REVENUE, WHEREAS TITLE-TRANSFER AND REGISTRATION FEES SHALL BE PAID BY THE LOT WINNER, unless otherwise specified in the order and notice of sale.

Should the sale take place before a Court-Appointed Auctioneer, that professional shall ensure that the aforementioned releases are paid out of the enforcement proceeding fees.

The winning bidder must pay the purchase price to the clerk’s office - less the down payment - using a court-deposit form, or in the case of a sale before a court-appointed auctioneer, via cashier’s check payable to such professional, to be paid into the professional's escrow account (unless otherwise specified in the order or notice of sale). Such payment must be made within 60 days of the lot being won (unless otherwise specified in the order or notice of sale).

Should the purchase price not be paid by the deadline, the winning bidder 's rights to title to the property conveyed shall lapse. They shall likewise forfeit the down payment, and shall be required to pay the difference between the knock down price of the auction they had originally won, and the knock down price in the subsequent auction.

Deed of transfer, and vacating the building

If the real property is occupied by the debtor or by a third party without any enforceable right (an enforceable right is generally represented by a lease agreement filed prior to the lien being registered, but an order assigning the home to a spouse in a legal-separation or divorce proceeding may likewise fall into this category - the statute of limitations for the latter is nine years when it has not been recorded in any real-estate registry), the deed of transfer contains the injunction to deliver the premises to the purchaser.

ONLINE SALES OF PERSONAL PROPERTY

Type of sale

  • Timed sales

    The auction has a pre-determined duration during which bids may be raised, according to a minimum increment. Once the user’s bid has been raised, they will receive an email alert in order to allow them to raise their bid.
    The highest bidder shall definitively win the asset once the price has been paid. Payment must be made according to the terms and conditions specified in the detailed property sheet for each asset.

  • Timed auction with extension following the deadline

    Under this method, the auction deadline may be extended for a further period (usually only two or three minutes) in cases where the last bid was received during the final two minutes of the auction.

  • Notices of sale

    Under this method, the assets are placed for sale in accordance with the method established by the Trustee in Bankruptcy, which are summarised in the detailed property sheet for each asset. The most frequent methods are sealed-bid auctions, and silent auctions, in which the bids must be sent to the Trustee's office, or public auctions held where the assets are located.

Down payment deposit

When applicable, a down payment may be required to participate in the auction. Would-be participants need only follow the guided procedure, and pay the required amount via:

  • Wire transfer to the bank account noted on the property sheet, and sending advance notice of the wire-transfer receipt, including CRO (tracking code), to the address for the trustee / receiver (via email or fax). The memo line must include the procedure number, the Court overseeing the process, and the asset name.
    Permission to participate in the auction shall only be granted once payment has been reviewed and the funds have been posted.

Down payment return

Any participant not deemed the winner shall have their down payment returned in the same manner in which it was paid.
Wire transfer: a return wire transfer of the amount paid, less any fees.
Please note that should the balance not be paid by the deadline, the winning bidder’s rights shall lapse, and the down payment forfeited as a fine.

Balance of price: payment method

The balance of the price, including all taxes, fees, and auction expenses, less the down payment, must be made in accordance with the instructions appearing on the detailed property sheet, using one of the following methods:

  • Wire transfer to the bank account noted on the property sheet, and sending advance notice of the wire-transfer receipt, including CRO (tracking code), to the address for the trustee / receiver (via email or fax). The memo line must include the procedure number, the Court overseeing the process, and the asset name.

  • By delivering a cashier’s check to the offices of the Trustee / Receiver on an appointment-basis, at the same time as the asset is retrieved.

Please note that should the balance not be paid by the deadline, the winning bidder’s rights shall lapse, and the down payment forfeited as a fine.

Asset shipment / retrieval

All sold assets for which full payment (including charges, fees, and commissions) has been made may be retrieved at the location where they are being held by making an appointment with the receiver or trustee in bankruptcy.
Where permitted, the asset may be shipped - with all costs borne by the winning bidder - in the manner, and according to the timeframe agreed upon with the contact person for the procedure.
All liabilities, charges, and risks related to shipping assets shall be borne fully by the purchaser, who may engage a courier or deputise another party to retrieve it.
None of the following shall give rise to a refund:

  • The loss of the asset during transport

  • Damage / wear of the asset during transport

  • Any failed delivery of the asset.

SALES THROUGH A BROKER

The Executor Judge may allow for a sale of the repossessed items without public auction, or through a broker. The repossessed items shall be delivered to the institute for court-ordered sales, or - provided a detailed order for the same is issued - to another entity specialised in the applicable industry, so that such entity might handle the sale as a broker.
In that same order, the judge - following an opinion, if necessary, issued by a technical or commercial appraisal by an expert in the asset's field - shall set a minimum sales price, and a total amount the sale must reach. The judge may likewise require the broker to be bonded.
If the value of the item appears on a trade-exchange list, or as a market price, it shall not be sold for less than the list price or fair market value.
(Article 532, Code of Civil Procedure).

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