Frequently Asked Questions : Sheriff Sales


Why is it called a sheriff sale? Why am I communicating with SRI and not the sheriff?

Indiana law requires that the sheriff perform certain tasks surrounding the sale of the foreclosed property. The items are very burdensome on the sheriff, in many cases, and Indiana law further permits the sheriff to contract those services to a private company. SRI performs these tasks for many sheriffs in Indiana.

What is a sheriff sale? Is it the same as a tax sale? What is the difference?

A sheriff sale is the end result of a foreclosure action filed by a private entity, usually a mortgage company, after a judgment is obtained against the owner for failure to pay the mortgage. The purchaser will receive a deed shortly after the payment of the purchase price. A tax sale is a sale to collect the taxes on a property and is initiated by the county auditor and treasurer. It will not result in a deed for over a year after the sale, if at all. For more information on tax sales, see the Frequently Asked Questions under Indiana Tax Sales.

How do they work? What is the process?

The process itself varies from county to county and you should become familiar with the rules of each county by accessing the county on this site. The sale is an auction type sale, generally, with a starting bid submitted by the mortgage company that holds a judgment.

If I am a successful bidder, when can I take possession?

Generally, you receive the right to possession when the deed is in your hands. If there are people living in the property that will not leave, you should contact an attorney.

If I want to bid on a property, can I get a tour through the house?

A sheriff sale is a buyer beware sale. There are no warranties attached to the sale and the sheriff has no access to the property. If you attempt to go on the property prior to purchase, you do so at your own risk, as you have no legal right to be on the property. You should not expect access to the property until you have received your deed.

How much is the minimum bid?

The minimum bid is submitted usually by the plaintiff in the foreclosure action, the mortgage company. The bids may be received the morning of the sale. If they are received sooner, they will be posted on this site. Some of the mortgage companies will have a representative at the sale and will bid up their starting bid.

How do I pay for the property?

The payment terms vary, also. You should read the rules of the sales of each county. In each case, the payment must be made by cash or certified funds immediately.

Should I bid on a Sheriff Sale property?

Only you can answer that question, after you have analyzed the market value and legal matters pertaining to the sale. There are no refunds if you change your mind, so be certain you know what you are doing and that you have consulted with your legal representative and financial advisors.

Are there any liens attached to this property?

Generally, the answer is no, but there are situations where a lien may remain. You should have your attorney review the judgment of foreclosure to be 100% certain.

Will there be any delinquent taxes on the property?

Indiana law requires that the taxes be paid or that any costs regarding a prior tax sale be paid. These taxes and charges are not paid, the sale will be cancelled and will only be rescheduled upon proof of payment of the taxes.

What does it mean that a property has been removed from the sale?

It could mean one of several things. It could mean a bankruptcy has been filed or that the mortgage company and owner have reached an agreement. SRI is not always aware of the reason that a property has been removed, nor is it concerned with specific reasons, since the plaintiff/mortgage holder is the ultimate decision maker on a sale being removed or not.

What happens to properties that sell to the plaintiff/mortgage holder?

There are as many answers to this question as there are mortgage companies or banks in this business. Each lending institution handles their real estate portfolios differently. If you desire to inquire about a specific property, we recommend you contact the lending institution for details.