Sheriff's Sale Law & Legal Definition


A sheriff's sale is is a sale conducted by a sheriff upon order of a court after a failure to pay a judgment. Local laws, which vary by jurisdiction, require notice of the sale be provided to the public. Often, property that is involved in a mortgage foreclosure is subject to being sold at a sheriff's sale. The money that is raised at the sheriff's sale is applied to the unpaid judgment.

All sales are "as is", and no warranties are expressed or implied. The sheriff’s office does not guarantee a clear title to any property. Generally, the debtor has the right of redemption of the property until confirmation of sale is signed by the judge and filed by the court.

Laws vary by jurisdiction, so local law should be consulted for specific requirements in your area. The following is an example of a local regulation governing sheriff's sales:

"The Sheriff reserves the right to grant further extensions of time to settle and further reserves the right to refuse bids from bidders who have failed to enter deposits on their bids, failed to make settlement, or make fraudulent bids, or any other behavior which causes disruption of the Sheriff Sale. Said bidders shall be so refused for the sale in which said behavior occurred and for said further period of time as the Sheriff in his discretion shall determine."