Foreclosures / Sheriff's Sales
WARREN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE INFORMATION BULLETIN
For Further Information Contact Civil Process (908) 475- 6393
One of the functions of the Warren County Sheriff's Office is to conduct the sale of real property after foreclosure proceedings have been completed. We hope this information will be beneficial to those who would like to bid on properties but are unfamiliar with the conditions and manner of sale.
Foreclosure sales for real property are as is, where is, with no guarantees or warranties of any kind. The Sheriff's Office does not have specific information as to the structure of the property and cannot give permission for the public to access the property to be sold.
All the properties sold at auctions at the Sheriff's Office are advertised for four consecutive Fridays prior to the initial sale date. They can be found in The Star Gazette and The Star Ledger. In addition to the newspaper advertising, notices of sale are posted for public viewing at the Sheriff's Office, in the Lower Level of the Warren County Courthouse, and on the Sheriff's Office Website: view the listings. We do not participate with any "foreclosure type" internet sites for properties.
The Sheriff's Office does not prepare lists of properties for general distribution. Persons who are interested in these properties must make their own lists by checking the legal advertisements in the newspapers or going to the website. If you are interested in a particular piece of property, we recommend a title search before you actually bid. Title searches are conducted by private firms who will charge a fee for their services. You may also do your own title search.
The auction process begins with an opening minimum bid of $100 by the plaintiff. All subsequent bids are in increments set by the Sheriff. The property is sold to the highest bidder. If you are the successful bidder on a piece of property, you are required to post a deposit of 20% of the total bid price in certified, cashier's or treasurer's check at the close of the sale. The Warren County Sheriff's Office does not accept cash, personal checks, credit cards, or a bank's letter on a line of credit. The balance of the bid is due within 10 days from the date of the sale with the statutory rate of interest applied on the 11th day after sale on the unpaid balance until paid in full.
If the purchaser fails to comply with any of the conditions of sale, the property will be sold a second time, the former purchaser being held responsible for all losses and expenses but receiving no benefits from such second sale. The deposit will be retained by the Sheriff's Office to be disbursed by Court Order. In the addition, the property can be redeemed by the property owner for a period of 10 calendar days from the date of the sale. The purchaser will be notified and reimbursed the deposit if this is the case.
There are times when the sale of property is not conducted on the date advertised in the newspapers. This is due to adjournments, settlements or bankruptcies. It is recommended that you check the website or call the Sheriff's Office on the date the sale is scheduled to determine the status. It is also strongly suggested that bidders make themselves familiar with the legal aspects of Sheriff Sales prior to bidding. Consult with a professional such as an attorney. If you have any other questions, you can call the Sheriff's Office. To speed your inquiries please refer to the Sheriff's number or street address of the property.
A Sheriff’s Deed is prepared only after full payment is made on the sale. Any Assignments of Bid must be presented to the Sheriff's Office prior to or at time of full payment of sale. The Deed does not give clear title to property. The property is sold subject to unpaid taxes, assessments or liens. The property is also sold subject to any prior mortgages. In order to obtain a clear title, one must satisfy all prior liens or mortgages. It is the purchaser's responsibility to pay the recording fee for the Deed as well as the Realty Transfer Fee. These are two separate amounts which are payable directly to the Warren County Clerk.
All fees and commissions that are collected by the Sheriff's Office are turned over to the General Treasury of Warren County. Some properties may be sold for more than the judgment amount which results in surplus funds. The Sheriff's Office forwards this money to the Trust Fund Unit of the Superior Court. Claims for these funds require a motion filed with the Superior Court of New Jersey in Trenton. This is a public service information bulletin. Please consult an attorney if you need legal advice.
If the property remains occupied after a Sheriff’s Sale, it is the responsibility of the purchaser for the removal of the occupants. However, residential tenants in New Jersey cannot be evicted solely because the property where they live is in foreclosure or has been foreclosed. Tenants must continue to pay the rent in addition to other legal obligations under the lease agreement. If you are a tenant and feel you are at risk of being evicted because of a foreclosure, you may call Legal Services of New Jersey at 888-576-5529.
This is a public service information bulletin. Please consult an attorney if you need legal advice.
Property owners must personally visit the Sheriff’s Office in order to process an adjournment of the Sheriff’s Sale. Under NJSA 2A:17-36 the Sheriff has the discretion to make two, fourteen-day adjournments of the sale, and no more. Each fourteen-day (two-week) adjournment requires a $28.00 fee payable in a Money Order only. (No cash, personal checks or credit cards are accepted). All four weeks of adjournment may be requested at the same time, with a $56.00 Money Order. In addition to the appropriate fee, you must bring a valid form of identification (NJ Driver’s License), and a letter to the Sheriff with a brief explanation. Counsel for defendant may also request the adjournment along with the appropriate fees.
Stay of Sheriff's Sale and Mediation Request
You may file a Motion in Court to stay a Sheriff’s Sale to allow foreclosure mediation. If a Sheriff’s Sale has already been scheduled, then you must have exhausted the two statutory adjournments through the Sheriff’s Office pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:17-36.
You must file a written request with the Chancery Division, General Equity in the vicinage (county) in which your property is located. For Warren County, the vicinage for filing is located in the General Equity Part, Somerset County Courthouse in Somerset. (Somerset County, General Equity hears matters for Somerset, Warren, and Hunterdon).
Please refer to the following website if you intend to pursue mediation at www.njcourts.com. The New Jersey Judiciary Home page will indicate an icon for Foreclosure Prevention Resources. Please follow the prescribed guidelines and download forms to assist you in this process.