You have discovered that your property, or your client’s property, has been scheduled for a foreclosure auction. This usually arises when you are actively participating in the foreclosure matter and are provided an official “Notice of Sale” from the bank’s attorney. If no appearance has been filed, then it is possible the auction may be scheduled without the homeowner even being aware of it. But more often than not, once a foreclosure auction is scheduled the homeowner will be contacted by all manner of individuals looking to peddle their services.
In order to have a foreclosure auction in Illinois, the bank must obtain judgment against the Defendants, and the court order must reflect that the bank has the authority to sell the property at a foreclosure auction.
If the property is located in Cook County, and certain other surrounding counties, then the bank will use the Judicial Sales Corporation to auction the property. If the property is located in Lake County, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office conducts the auction at their Waukegan office. Both organizations maintain an online list of properties awaiting auction. The lists will state whether a pending auction has been canceled or not, the minimum bid, and whether an auction has already occurred.
Any party may bid at a foreclosure auction, but the key is that 25% of the sale price must be provided in cash immediately, and the remaining amount must be provided in cash within 24 hours. This makes it exceptionally difficult for anyone to bid at the auction outside of the foreclosing bank itself and property investors looking to snatch up properties for resale or rental. Because of this, properties tend to sell for much less than they would sell for on the open market.
Note that a foreclosure auction in and of itself does not end the foreclosure. The homeowners still maintain possession of the property until at least 30 days after the auction has been confirmed at a confirmation of sale hearing. Many homeowners move out upon the auction thinking the property is immediately lost. That is not the case.