Judicial Sales are normally held at 11:00 a.m. on the first Monday of each month in the Aiken County Judicial Center, 109 Park Avenue, S. E. When the first Monday of a month falls on a county or state holiday or when there are other unusual circumstances the sale may be moved to the next business day. Each property is sold subject to any past due property taxes, assessments, existing easements and restrictions and any senior mortgages or other liens against the property.
A Master’s Deed is not a general warranty deed. Potential bidders are responsible for all necessary research, title searches, etc. If you need further legal information or have title questions, it is advisable to contact a licensed attorney prior to bidding on any property.
Notices of Sale for properties being auctioned at Judicial Sales are published in the Aiken Standard, and in some rare instances, The North Augusta Star, for three weeks immediately prior to the sale. This will be the first place each month you will see which properties are scheduled for the upcoming sale.
Approximately Monday of the week following the first publication of sale notices in the newspapers, the Court’s list of sales will be posted to Aiken County’s website (aikencountysc.gov). You may pick up a copy of this list at the Master-In-Equity office or the Clerk of Court office until Friday prior to sale. Copies of the Notice of Sale and Master’s Order and Judgment for each case on the list will be available in the Clerk of Court’s Office, Judgment Section (2nd floor of the Judicial Center) for public viewing.
AT THE SALE
No tank tops, shorts, flip flops, cameras, tape recorders, food or drinks are allowed in the Court Room. All beepers and cell phones must be turned off and all hats must be removed while in the Court Room.
Judicial sales are conducted with Open (not sealed) bidding. It is not necessary to pre-register. If you are the successful bidder on a property sold, you are required to deposit with the Master-In-Equity 5% of your total bid in cash, certified funds or money order by 1:00 p.m. on the day of sale (unless the notice of sale specifies a different time.) Failure to make the required deposit can result in contempt of court proceedings. The deposit is non-refundable and will be applied toward court costs and judgment if the bid is forfeited.
Compliance with your bid includes the balance of the bid (the amount of the bid, less the 5% deposit)
plus interest on the balance of the bid at the rate stated in the Notice of Sale. This interest accrues from
the date of the sale to the date of full compliance with the bid. Generally, you have 20 days to comply
with your bid. The Notice of Sale and Master’s Order and Judgment cover the exact terms of sale for
each case. Read them. You will receive further information on how to comply with your bid when you
make the 5% deposit with the court. In addition to the balance of the bid and interest, as stated above,
the successful bidder must pay a deed preparation fee. Upon receipt of all funds required, the Master-In- Equity will issue a title deed to the subject property to the bidder or his/her/its assignee. There is no one-year waiting period as is the case with tax sales.
UNUSUAL TERMS OF SALE
Deficiency Demanded – Sometimes Plaintiffs seek a deficiency judgment against the Defendant(s). That means the Plaintiff is not only foreclosing its mortgage but is also seeking a money judgment. The bidding remains open for (30) days after the original sales date. On that 30th day at 11:00 a.m., the property is offered for sale again and the highest bid is accepted. The Plaintiff and/or highest bidder at the first sale cannot bid again at this second sale. If no one else raises the bid at the second sale, then the property goes to the high bidder from the original sale. Be advised, however, that the Plaintiff has the
right to withdraw its demand for a deficiency judgment up to the very moment of sale. The sales officer will announce whether the bidding will remain open or not, prior to accepting bids. If you are interested in a particular property where a deficiency judgment is demanded, you (or your agent) must be present at the initial sale and be prepared to bid in the event the deficiency demand has been waived.
120 day or one (1) year right of redemption - Some properties are sold subject to the 120-day or one (1) year right-of-redemption of the United States of America. That means the Government has a tax lien or some other lien against the property and has the right to redeem the property during the stated time period. If this occurs, it falls outside the jurisdiction of this court and the high bidder will be reimbursed by the U. S. Government. Bidders under these circumstances should exercise caution and not make any substantial investments in the property other than past due taxes and emergency repairs. The Government may not reimburse you for other expenses if they exercise the right of redemption.
All properties being advertised for judicial sale remain the private properties of their respective title holders unless or until the sale is completed, all necessary funds are paid into the Court and a deed is issued by the Court to the high bidder or his/her/its assignee. The Court has no legal authority to allow access to, or inspection of the premises. Anyone who enters onto such premises without the express consent of the titleholder or lawful occupant may be subject to severe civil and/or criminal penalties.
THESE GUIDELINES ARE PROVIDED AS A COURTESY AND ARE INTENDED AS
GENERAL INFORMATION. THEY ARE NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS BINDING RULES OR
LEGAL ADVICE OF ANY NATURE.