Sheriff Sale Overview
Properties sold for mortgage and judgment defaults are processed through the Sheriff's Office. The sheriff's sales are held on the first (1st) Friday of every other month at 10:30 a.m. in the Luzerne County Courthouse (unless otherwise changed).
It is recommended that interested parties consult with an attorney prior to participating in a Sheriff's Sale. Members of the Luzerne County Sheriff's Department are unable to offer any legal advice.
Notice of Sales
- A listing of the properties being sold can be obtained on the Sheriff's Office website.
- Sales are advertised in the Citizen's Voice and Luzerne Legal Register on three Friday's before the sale date.
- Sheriff Handbills are posted on the property and in the Sheriff's Office at least 30 days prior to the sale date.
- A property may be removed from the list or the sale adjourned by the executing creditor any point up to the actual time of the sale.
Access to Properties for Sale
- The Sheriff’s Office does not have access to properties listed for sale.
Inquiries about properties should be directed to the attorney whose name appears below the property description.
- The Sheriff’s Office does not search records for debts or liens prior to the sale.
- Properties are sold “AS IS” and the Sheriff is not responsible for a clear title.
- Professional assistance in searching properties may be obtained through attorneys or title searchers to determine possible liens for which the purchaser may be responsible.
- You will be bidding against the moving creditor (In most cases the Bank)
- Bidding starts at "Real Estate Taxes and Costs" (The total amount of taxes and fees owed in addition to the Sheriff's cost of putting on the sale)
- The bank has a predetermined amount that they will bid to. This is called the "upset price." Only the bank or their representative knows what this amount will be. It may be more or less than the judgment amount owed to the bank. The upset price may or may not be announced, it is not required to be announced.
- The property is sold to the highest bidder.
- If you are the successful bidder, 10% of the purchase price must be paid to the sheriff by noon on the day of the sale. Failure to pay the deposit will result in the property being resold immediately. The sheriff may institute legal action against the defaulting bidder if the property is resold for a lesser amount.
- The remaining balance must be paid within ten days from the sale. Failure to pay the balance will result in you losing your deposit, and the property being resold at the next regularly scheduled Sheriff Sale.
- Payments must be in the form of money order, certified bank check, or cash. Special arrangements can be made for electronic fund transfers when large sums of money are involved. There are no provisions for personal checks or credit/debit cards.
Completion of Sale
- Exceptions to a sale of property can be filed within ten (10) days after the sale.
- After all money is paid and if no exceptions are filed, the sheriff's deed may be recorded in the name of the purchaser.
- Deed processing may take up to 60 days.
- A schedule of distribution of the proceeds from the bid sale will be prepared within thirty (30) days.
- Money collected by the sheriff is paid in priority order to creditors unless objections to the schedule are timely filed.