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Maryland Foreclosure FAQs
The Role of the Auctioneer – Alex Cooper Auctioneers is hired by the Trustees who are in charge of the sale. The Trustees are hired by the lender or servicer representing the noteholder. Alex Cooper is not acting as an agent for the Trustees but rather as a vendor whose responsibilities include preparing the legal advertisement and conducting the sale at the designated date and time. As soon as the sale is cancelled or concluded, our responsibilities terminate.
Is the auction sale still scheduled?
Check our website – it is updated live. If the address has a line through it, the auction has been cancelled. The Trustees do not tell us why the sale was cancelled or if/when the sale will be rescheduled.
Where is the auction sale held?
Unless otherwise specified, the auction sale will be held at the Circuit Courthouse for the City/County where the property is located. The location of the sale can be found on the website or in the advertisement. In some cases, the sale is held on the premises.
Can a property be inspected prior to the sale?
As a general rule, the Trustee, noteholder and auctioneer DO NOT have access to the property. If you are going to visit the property for an exterior inspection, respect the rights and privacy of the occupant. Do not attempt to enter the property without permission, even if it appears abandoned or vacant.
How do I find out what is currently owed on the property or the opening bid amount?
Our office does not know the amount owed. The Trustee will not disclose bidding instructions to us until sale time. A few attorneys will list the original indebtedness in their ads. Also, there is a Statement of Debt filed with the foreclosure papers in the Circuit Court. Our office does not have a copy of the Statement of Debt.
What do I need in order to bid at the auction?
You will need the deposit amount stated in the advertisement in the form of a certified check or cashier’s check. No personal checks are accepted. The certified or cashier’s check should be made payable to yourself. If you are the successful purchaser you will be instructed on how to endorse the check.
Do I need to pre-register for the auction?
There is no pre-registration. If you intend to bid, the auctioneer will ask for your name, phone number and to view your deposit to ensure that you qualify to participate.
Is the deposit refunded if I can’t secure my financing?
No, the deposit is non-refundable and the property can be resold at your risk and expense.
What is the next step after purchasing the property?
If you are financing the property, you may want to speak with your bank prior to bidding to be sure you will be able to secure financing in the time allotted. If you are not able to obtain financing within the specified time for settlement, you could be in default and lose your deposit. The property may be resold at your risk and expense. It is highly probable that the lender’s appraiser will not have access to the interior of the property since it may be occupied.
How long after the sale will I need to go to settlement?
See the advertisement – the settlement/closing time is specified within the terms of sale. On a court ordered auction, the advertisement will state how many days are allowed for settlement after the final ratification by the Circuit Court. Ratification is the formal acceptance process by the Circuit Court. Ratification can take 45-180 days and sometimes even longer, depending on the County.
After I settle, if someone is still occupying the property, who has to evict them?
It is the purchaser’s responsibility to obtain possession of the property. This is usually done through the Sheriff’s office.
Can the public receive sale results from the auctioneer?
If you want to know if a property sold, check the sold properties section on our website which strictly comprises third-party sales. If the property is not listed, the sale was either cancelled or purchased by the lender/noteholder. We do not release purchaser’s names.
How to get in touch with the lender/bank?
You will not be able to contact the lender/bank. However, you may contact the attorney/trustee’s office representing the lender/bank. Their info is at the top of the legal advertisement.
I live next door to the property and the grass is not being cut, who is responsible and who should I contact?
Call the Attorney/Trustee’s office.
I am renting the property. What are my rights?
You can call the Attorney/Trustee’s office.
Can I sign the contract on behalf of someone else or for a company?
You cannot sign on behalf of someone else. You can only sign for a company if you are an authorized officer/member of the company.
Am I responsible for any outstanding fees, taxes or other amounts owed?
You need to read the advertisement as to your responsibilities. Each ad has different terms. Any other questions need to be directed to the Attorney/Trustee’s office.
I want to buy a house that has already gone to auction and was purchased by the lender. How do I get in touch with the lender?
After the auction we are no longer involved with the property. When a lender buys the property and after they settle, they usually turn the property over to a Realtor to sell on their behalf.
Are there website sources for a buyer for more information?
As a potential bidder, it is your responsibility to do your own due diligence. The websites are offered for general informational purposes only.
Websites of Interest:
MD State Department of Assessment and Taxation – http://sdat.dat.maryland.gov/RealProperty/Pages/default.aspx
Live Baltimore Neighborhoods – https://livebaltimore.com/neighborhoods/
Baltimore County Neighborhoods – https://bcgis.baltimorecountymd.gov/myneighborhood/
If you have a question about foreclosures, please contact us using the form below.