QUESTION:  I have a judgement against a man.  My title search shows that my judgment is is second place behind a small mortgage on his house.  There are 5 judgments after mine and the guy in last place has the property listed for sheriff’s sale.  House worth $350k, mortgage of $25k then me and the others.  If I let it go to sale, will the property still be subject to my judgement?  I can’t get knocked out can I?    (asked in Philadelphia)

ANSWER:   When a property is sold at a sheriff’s sale the general rule is that everyone is divested (or knocked out in your terms).  The exception is that mortgages that have no judgments that are senior to them are saved.  In your case, if the fellow who  the sheriffs sale bids $1, he will get the property subject only to the mortgage.  You will be wiped out.  On the other hand if you bid the amount of your judgment you will get the property.  (you will have to put up the money at the sale unless prior to the sale you meet with the sheriff’s solicitor and can get an agreement to permit you to “credit bid” up to your payoff amount)  If you buy at your price, everyone else is wiped out except the mortgage.  If someone bids over your payoff, they get the property but you get the money.  You must watch for a schedule of distribution from the sheriff.  If this all seems complicated, IT IS!!!  Unless you are comfortable with brain surgery, self taught,  get a lawyer to help you with this.

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