Foreclosure in Los Angeles>Question Details

Dog Lover, Renter in Los Angeles, CA

Can anyone tell me how a home auction on the county courthouse steps works? I am in Los Angeles, CA.

Asked by Dog Lover, Los Angeles, CA Fri Sep 3, 2010

Can I just show up, or do I need to pre-register? Do you know when the next one is being held? I would like to go and be a spectator to see how the process works, can I do that? Thank you very much!

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Buying a property at the courthouse is fairly simple as long as you have the cash to buy it outright. As an agent in the Inland Empire area I have access to all the properties in foreclosure and their auction date. Once you know what properties are being auctioned and when you can preview the home so you know what you are buying. BEWARE, just because something is scheduled to auction today never means it will really sell today. There are many reasons why the court will postpone the auction. Anyone can attend the auction so if you want to see a dry run there is no problem. To be ready for the auction you will need a cashier's check in hand to make a bid. I hope this helps.... It might make sense to work with a real estate agent who can at least access the information for you. Realize that an agent cannot represent you at an auction so you are on your own.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 13, 2010
Each county typically has their own ways of handling this procedure. What usually happens is that notice is given in the papers/online with a set date and time. Anyone can show up and bid but you will need either a cashier's check or money order ready to go that day. Some require full payment at the sale and others grant you a week to get in the balance after a large deposit is made at the courthouse. Youare welcome to show up and not participate as well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 13, 2010
These auctions are held on 1st Tuesday of each month aka known as "Super Tuesday" across the country.

Few Facts about auctions:

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 13, 2010
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 13, 2010
No need to pre register. The event is public, anyone can attend and watch. These auctions are held directly outside the Courthouse building. You can inquire at the Courthouse when the next auction will occur. I suggest you watch a few before you consider bidding.There are a number of issues to consder besides the condition of the property. How many mortgages and other liens are against the property?
Do you have a loan in place in case you are a successful bidder? To bid you need to have a certified check with you for at leasr $10,000. This is forfeit if you are the successful bidder and cannot complete the purchase, usually within 30 days.
Hope this is helpful
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 13, 2010
There are a number of great responses below. The bottom line is that these auctions are for the experts who do it full time. Consider partnering with somebody on the first couple of purchases if you decide to risk your cash. There are some great deal at the auction but you have to know your "stuff" Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 12, 2010
You can show up. No pre register. Almost every day. You can be a spectator. Address is given, opening bid is almost always the bank that gave the loan to the property. The bid is almost always for what its owed. No one else bids, bank gets the home, and then gives it to an agent to sell. You can do what? I dont get that part. Oh and be careful at sales, you never know what leans are the property so if you bid, you better have done your research. And also, you need all the funds with you. You cant finance at the auction. lastly, the auction process is mearly a formality for the bank to get its home back. Thats about it. All the banks have a rep on site to bid on the house it gave a loan too so they can get it back. You have a better chance of hitting the lotto then finding a deal at the auction.


If your looking for property in LA, contact me and i'll be happy to help you.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 10, 2010
Date, time and place of foreclosure sale, is published in the local newspaper. You can note the date time and place of the property, you need to attend. In the Trustee's sale notice, it also states usually minimum bid or estimated amount of debt owed against the secured property.

You can show up at the place of the trustee sale 15 minutes before the sale time. Register with the auctioneer trustee, who is present at the place of auction.

If are interested in the property , you can take with you cashier's check with you for the amount of bid, you intend to give, in order to purchase the property. Its all cash, you need to pay at the time your bid is accepted.

When trustee call out for the property address, you are interested in, you can state your bid, it will be sold to person, who ever presents highest bid. If you offers the highest bid and have the necessary funds in your possession, you can purchase the property at the foreclosure sale.

You may consider Bank owned properties, in the area you live in. Advantage over purchasing bank owned property over auctioned property is , you will have opportunity to finance the property, you intend to buy.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 10, 2010
The foreclosure landscape, as described below, is about to radically change.

Bank of America yesterday halted foreclosure sales in all 50 states as part of a widening investigation into flaws in the process. The other major lenders are likely to follow suit.

On Sept. 17, GMAC Mortgage temporarily halted foreclosure proceedings on homeowners in 23 states including Florida, New York, Illinois and Ohio. The company has said employees preparing foreclosure filings submitted signed court affidavits that contained information they had not personally verified.

In what’s been dubbed the “robo-signing” scandal, JP Morgan Chase and Co. has joined GMAC Mortgage in temporarily halting foreclosure proceedings in judicial foreclosure states, following allegations that workers the companies employed failed to follow the proper legal procedures in filing paperwork demonstrating that the lenders had the right to foreclose.

The BofA announcement came a week after saying it was freezing home foreclosures in 23 states where foreclosures must be approved by the courts. The latest move by Bank of America extends a review of foreclosure documents to all states, regardless of the required legal processes.

The bank said the foreclosure process on delinquent borrowers will continue, but it will not proceed to judgment or a foreclosure sale.

So for you, a foreclosure purchase is, at least for the time being, not an option.

Hope this helps; I'm always available for followup questions.

Deborah Bremner
The Bremner Group at Coldwell Banker
REALTOR, 00588885, ABR, CDPE, eAgent, CSP, SFR, HRC, CRE
(O) 310-571-1364 DIRECT
(D) 818.564.6591
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 9, 2010
The sales are open to the public and you can see how the process works. I would not recommend purchasing at a county foreclosure auction because the opening bid is usually the loan amount and is typically much more than the home is worth in todays market. If you are thinking of buying the best bet is to find a realtor experienced in short sales and bank owned properties.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 6, 2010
Thank you for your question about viewing an auction on the steps of the Los Angeles County Courthouse. I do not recommend actually purchasing a home from an auction, but suggest you visit one if you are interested in seeing what is all about. There are too many variables involved and professional investors to get a good deal at an auction.

The county recorder has a list of auction properties and locations for auctions. RealtyTrac and Foreclosure Radar both publish the same information for a monthly subscription fee.

The Foreclosure process starts when a homeowner cannot pay the mortgage and ends when the home is resold. The three stages of Foreclosure are: Pre-Foreclosure, Auction, and REO/Bank Owned. Pre-Foreclosure is the time period a homeowner has to repay the delinquent amount of the mortgage. If a homeowner does not pay the mortgage the home is auctioned. If the bids do not meet the reserve the lien holder (bank) reclaims the property and it becomes a Bank Owned REO.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 6, 2010
You can show up and see whats going on. Its open to the public. Auctions in LA are usually held in the city of Norwalk (check on google for the exact address). If you want to bid, you need ALL cash/cashiers check's to pay for your winning bid. Most likely, you wont find any deals at the auction. It's merely a formality. The bank has 1st bid (they have a rep on site). The 1st bid is what the person owed on the house. The loan is most likely higher than what the property is worth (thats why the last person didn't or couldn't sell it). You might have better luck in winning the lotto, than buying a home where the person owed LESS than what the current market price is. And if that was the case, the owner would have just put the home up for sale...right? :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 9, 2010
If you are merely a spectator (and it is a show), you don't need checks, etc. Just show up when and where the auction is scheduled (not sure who has that). I attended my first in Norwalk a couple months ago. First, be prepared to wait--for other properties and/or a late start. There may be several auctions running at once. You can tell the pros, with their chairs, drinks, laptops and cellphones. If you choose to bid on a highly desirable property (as my client did), know that the competition is well-heeled. Enjoy the experience.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 3, 2010
This is pretty much what they're like. Go To:
I find properties for my clients using: or
As for the Cashier's Checks, you'll want to bring increments of checks. For example, if you're willing to bid up to 520K for a specific property, you might want to bring (1) 400K check, (5) 20K checks, (2) fives and (1) ten.
You'll be reimbursed any overage, but it's best to stay as close to the final price as possible.
EDUCATE yourself, there is a fair amnt of risk that you might take on if you're the successful bidder. Familiarize yourself with IRS liens, the eviction process, subordinate lien-holder positions, etc...
There's a lot more info I could give you, so feel free to call or email me directly.
Good luck!
Suzie Glaser
lic # 01390707
310.383.1141 cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 3, 2010
Thank you very much for the info above. Do you know how I find out when the next auction will be held. I cannot find the info on any website.

Thanks again!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 3, 2010
You need a cashiers check for the amount you want to spend (your maximum purchase price) - there is a list for the day of the auction that you get when you arrive. Then after you give them your check and register, you are let into the crowd, they announce the property and you bid against the others at the auction.

Simple, the work before the auction is the labor intensive part of the process. To get the potential property lists for Pomona and Norwalk. To make sure there are no leans on the home - to make sure it is vacant, and to do the comparable values and draw your lines in the sand as to the maximum price you are willing to spend.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 3, 2010
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