Frequently Asked Questions
The information below is to assist bidders with attending a Towne Auction sale. This is only general information and specific details may vary by auction. The information communicated in the Mortgagee’s Notice of Sale of Real Estate and Foreclosure Sale Agreement will supersede the information listed in the FAQs and Terms and Conditions found on this site. For assistance in locating the Mortgagees Notice of Real Estate, please contact the foreclosing law office or Towne Auction offices.
1. Where is the auction held?
This is a public auction, held on the property at the address indicated in the Mortgagee’s Notice of Sale of Real Estate which is published in the local newspaper for a three-week period prior to the sale date. If the property is not publicly accessible, such as in the case of a gated community, the auction will be held at the most common location. Please contact Towne Auction Company if you have any questions as to the location of the auction.
2. Can anyone bid at the sale?
Please arrive prior to the auction start time to register to bid. Only parties who have registered with the auctioneer before the auction and presented the required deposit may bid. In addition, an agent representing the bank or the auctioneer may enter bids on behalf of the bank. If you are an individual, or an authorized representative of a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or other entity including a trust, you may bid at the sale provided you qualify to bid by registering with the auctioneer on site at the auction prior to the commencement of the sale. You will need to provide contact information and satisfactory identification such as a valid drivers’ license, and be at least 18 years of age. If you are bidding on behalf of an entity, satisfactory evidence of valid existence such as corporate charter, or trust agreement will also be required. All bidders will need to present the required deposit to be qualified to bid. Please review the Mortgagee’s Notice of Sale to determine deposit required to register.
3. What is a postponement?
The Mortgagee and the law firm representing the Mortgagee may ask Towne Auction to change the status of an auction. This could include rescheduling the auction to a different day, referred to as a ‘postponement’, or cancelling the auction. If the Mortgagee determines an auction should be rescheduled to a later date, a representative from Towne Auction Company will attend the property at the originally scheduled time to announce the new date and time scheduled.By viewing the Towne Auction Listings webpage, you will be able to see this information adjusted almost immediately upon a status change. You can also check the status of an auction by email firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Towne Auction at 781-790-7870.
4. Will the foreclosing mortgagee be bidding at the sale?
An agent representing the bank or the auctioneer may enter bids on behalf of the bank. The agent for the Mortgagee may, but is not required to enter one or more bids at the sale on behalf of the Mortgagee and will cease bidding if the bids exceed its total bid. The amount that the bank will be bidding at sale will not be released prior to it being entered at sale.
5. What is the deposit?
If you intend to bid at the sale, you must present to the auctioneer for inspection a deposit in the form of a bank check, money order, or certified check. For the safety of the auctioneers, bidders, and those attending the auction, Towne does not accept cash deposits. The deposit to be made payable to yourself in the exact required deposit amount indicated in the Mortgagee’s Sale of Real Estate. Checks or money orders payable to or endorsed by third parties will not be accepted. If you are the successful bidder, you will be required to endorse the check to the law firm representing the Mortgagee immediately upon signing the Foreclosure Auction Sale Agreement at the conclusion of the auction. Please review the Terms & Conditions for more information regarding standards required for deposits.
6. How can I obtain information about the property?
All property is sold “AS IS, WHERE IS”, without warranties or representations. If the sale is a mortgage foreclosure, access to the property is not available and information about the interior will not be available. However, there are many resources available to provide general information about the property. You can do a title search online at the County Registry of Deeds website for Massachusetts and some New Hampshire properties. Rhode Island Land Records are not accessible on-line. You can find information about the property from the records of the municipal building department, board of health, tax collector, or assessor’s office which may be accessible online or by visiting those offices. You are encouraged to have completed thorough research prior to attending the auction, as the auctioneer will not be able to assist. If you are not familiar with researching these types of properties, you should consider engaging legal counsel to assist in this process.
7. Is the property vacant?
Towne Auction Company does not have any knowledge as to the occupancy status of a particular property. If you purchase the property and complete the closing, should you wish to remove the occupants you will be responsible for removing the occupants by legal process unless they leave voluntarily. You should consider engaging legal counsel to assist in this process.
8. How is personal property removed?
As the new owner you will be responsible for disposing of any personal property left at the property which is deemed abandoned in accordance with applicable law. Whether this property is abandoned is a factual decision and may require you to undertake a legal eviction to complete this process.
9. Will the successful bidder be responsible for liens and other obligations?
Yes, you will be responsible for outstanding taxes, water and sewer liens. If the property is a unit in a condominium, you may be responsible for the unpaid condominium fees and costs which may have accrued prior to the foreclosure sale and through the date you close on the property. Although the auctioneer may announce some information about amounts owed, the accuracy of this information is not guaranteed and you should contact the municipality and/or review the title to verify these amounts prior to bidding. Additionally your purchase will be subject to any occupants at the property. Unless they voluntarily leave the property, you will need to remove them by legal process.
10. What if the mortgage being foreclosed upon is other than a first mortgage?
If the mortgage being foreclosed at the auction is a second or third mortgage, your bidding strategy will need to reflect the fact that you will be responsible for payment of any senior mortgage (1st or 2nd) after the sale. If you fail to do so, the mortgagee of that mortgage can foreclose on that mortgage and terminate your ownership interest. The amount of these senior liens will be announced at the auction sale.
11. Who is responsible for making sure the title to the property is clear?
The Mortgagee has no obligation to cure title issues or convey clear title to the successful bidder. You will need to review the title to satisfy yourself that title is clear. The law firm for the mortgagee is prohibited from providing a title insurance policy insuring your title. The Foreclosure Auction Sale Agreement requires that the Mortgagee convey insurable title and, accordingly, title issues may have been resolved by an indemnity or undertaking by the title company.
12. How much time does the successful bidder have to close on the property?
Immediately following the auction the successful bidder will be required to sign the Foreclosure Auction Sale Agreement which describes the terms and conditions of the sale and requires the property is bought within 30 days of the sale. The Agreement states that time is of the essence, which means that if the successful bidder fails to close on time, the deposit will be forfeited to the Mortgagee. The granting of a request for additional time to close will be at the sole discretion of the Mortgagee. The Mortgagee is not required to agree to any request by the successful bidder for an extension of this closing date; any granting of such request will be conditioned up paying an extension fee and an additional deposit.
13. I need a loan to buy the property; what if my lender isn’t ready to close on the closing date or I am not approved for the loan?
The Foreclosure Auction Sale Agreement which you sign at the conclusion of the auction doesn’t have a so-called mortgage contingency clause which would allow you to get your deposit back if you don’t obtain the necessary financing. Additionally it does not include an extension to close because your lender isn’t prepared to close. Also, access to the interior of the property is not allowed prior to your purchase of the property, so this type of inspection or other assessment by your lender is not possible.
14. What if I decide not to buy the property?
If you do not buy the property by paying the balance of the purchase price by the date provide in the Foreclosure Auction Sale Agreement, the Mortgagee is allowed to keep your deposit and may at its option, demand payment of the full amount of your bid.
15. If my bank and their appraiser need to get in the property, or if I want to inspect the property, how can I arrange that?
Access to the property is not permitted during the period between the auction and the closing date. The Mortgagee does not have access, and in most cases will not have keys to the property. If you determine the property is vacant, once you have obtained the property, you may need to engage a locksmith to obtain access. The municipality may have information about recent inspections conducted at the property.
16. Can I purchase the property before the auction from the foreclosing mortgagee?
The foreclosing mortgagee isn’t the owner and has no ability to sell the property. Until the foreclosure sale concludes, the home owner is the owner of the property. Towne Auction Company cannot provide any information about the current owner.
17. How will the bidding proceed?
At the commencement of the bidding, the auctioneer will receive an opening bid from a qualified bidder or an agent representing the bank’s bid. The auctioneer conducts the bidding, records all bids and concludes the bidding by awarding the property to the highest bidder. The highest bidder may be the foreclosing mortgagee or a third party. The amount of and bidding strategy of the foreclosing mortgagee is not disclosed to attendees other than the auctioneer and agent. Please visit our “Bidder Best Practices” page for more information on attending and bidding at Towne Auction sales.
18. Who is responsible for the seller costs such as deed stamps and adjustments for outstanding real estate taxes, sewer and water liens and condominium fees?
The Foreclosure Auction Sale Agreement requires the successful bidder to pay for deed stamps; there are no adjustments made for the Mortgagee to pay outstanding taxes, water and sewer charges, etc. The successful bidder purchases subject to these obligations.
19. Who is responsible for any damage to the property between the date of the auction and the closing?
The successful bidder acquires an insurable interest and assumes all risk of loss at the property from the date of the auction through the closing. You may want to consider the possibility of obtaining insurance on the property to protect this interest.
20. Are there any circumstances where the foreclosing mortgagee will not be required to complete the sale of the property to the successful bidder?
The Mortgagee reserves the right in the Foreclosure Auction Sale Agreement to terminate the agreement and return the bidder’s deposit with no further liability if the Mortgagee determines to terminate the agreement for any reason.
21. Where can I find information about scheduled auctions and status?
Towne Auction currently publishes weekly in local newspapers including, but not limited to, The Boston Herald, New Hampshire Union Leader, The Providence Journal, and The Republican. You can also review the Towne Auction Listings webpage which will contain the listing of upcoming auctions and status.