Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

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Sheriff Sales in the COVID-19 Era

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | April 30, 2020

No. 1,644

The Court of Common Pleas has automatically postponed all sheriff’s sales scheduled on May 4, 2020 to July 6, 2020.

Credit: Pittsburgh Post GazetteProblem is, will the spacing and mask requirements be enforced?  Anyone who has ever attended a sheriff sale knows that the Gold Room is always packed. Any attempt to enforce spacing would probably reduce the number of bidders.  That would be subject to attack at motions court by disappointed bidders.

Perhaps the Sheriff will initiate remote bidding using a televised network.  The registered bidders could watch the proceedings and phone in their bids.  Problem is, yes, that would take days.  And electronic payment would have to be arranged. They take cash only on bid deposits.  That would take time, too.

Don’t bet on the sheriff doing anything like that.  It would cost a fortune and take a lot more time to set up than 60 days.  There are contractors who could do it (they auction government surplus equipment world-wide).  And the electronic auction would probably be a bonanza for lenders and even some defendants, since it would probably increase overbids to paying off creditors and perhaps other lien holders, with the surplus going to the debtor.

But don’t expect anything like this by July.  Just expect more postponements.





CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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