To hear and decide all non-jury civil cases in the County, and to conduct judicial sales of real estate.
- Hear and decide civil cases where a jury trial has been waived or is not permitted as a matter of right.
- Hear and decide motions in civil cases which are set for a jury trial.
- Hear appeals from administrative boards of the County and municipalities in the County, the Probate Court, the Magistrate's Courts decisions in civil cases, and appeals from administrative agencies such as the Workers Compensation Commission, the Employment Security Commission and other agencies.
- Hear and decide mortgage foreclosure cases.
- Prepare and post on the County web site foreclosure sale information.
- Conduct and process mortgage foreclosure sales.
- Hear and decide motions or other proceedings involving enforcement of judgments, settlements in cases of wrongful death or involving minors.
- Hear and decide all cases requesting special remedies.
This Office Does Not:
- We do not hear any matters pertaining to criminal cases.
- We do not prepare for the public any legal documents pertaining to cases which may be heard by the Equity Court, such as for enforcement or collection of judgments, for eviction of persons from property, or for civil appeals.
- We do not give legal advice of any kind to the public concerning any case which may be heard by the Equity Court.
- We do not have any responsibility in connection with properties being sold for delinquent taxes, including tax sale procedure or process, or the sales of such properties. If you are interested in information about delinquent tax sales, please call (803) 909-7272.
- We do not perform any function related to examining title to or the inspection of mortgage foreclosure properties.
- We do not perform any functions relating to estates or probate matters.
- May I inspect the case file for a property that is to be sold?
- Yes. The files are available for inspection from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Copies of documents in the files may be made at a cost of $.40 cents per page.
- Where is the foreclosure auction held and at what time?
- The auction is held in the courtroom of the Equity Court at 1 N. Congress St. in York. The Equity Court is on the corner of Congress and Liberty streets, directly across from the main courthouse. Auctions are at 11:00 a.m. on the first Monday of each month, unless the Monday is a recognized State holiday, in which case it will be held on the next business day. The Notice of Sale published in the newspaper will contain the date and time of the auction.
- Do I have to register to attend the auction?
- No, but you must be personally present to bid. We do not take written, fax or email bids.
- How do I inspect the property for sale prior to the sale?
- You have no legal right to enter and inspect the property prior to receiving a deed to it, if you are the successful purchaser. However, you may inspect the property if you get permission to do so from the owner or occupant of the property. If the property is vacant, you may contact the Plaintiff or its attorney to seek permission to enter and inspect the property.
- What is the bidding process?
- The Judge will read the case number of the foreclosure, the name of the case, the tax map number of the property, the street address of the property, and the terms of the sale, which will include when final payment must be made and whether a deficiency judgment is being sought. The actual bidding will be done according to the usual procedure at any auction and bidding will continue until there are no more bids. If no deficiency judgment is sought by the Plaintiff, the sale will be final on that date.
- What is a deficiency judgment, and how does it affect the bidding process?
- Sometimes a Plaintiff in a foreclosure action will ask the Court to award a money judgment against the mortgage debtor in the event the sale of the mortgaged property does not bring enough money to pay off the debt. This is called a deficiency judgment. If the Plaintiff seeks a deficiency, the only bid taken at the auction will be the Plaintiff's first and final bid. The property will then be auctioned again 30 days from the original sale date. Only bids higher than the Plaintiff's bid (“upset bids”) will be taken, and the sale will be final on that date.
- If I am the successful bidder, how and when do I have to pay the purchase price?
- A deposit of 5% of the purchase price must be received by the Court by 4 p.m. on the date of the sale. The balance of the purchase price must be paid within the time specified in the Notice of Sale, usually either 20 or 30 days from the date of sale, by 4 p.m. on the due date. All payments must be made by cash or certified check of a bank. The Court will not accept any other means of payment.
- If I do not make payment by the required time, what happens?
- If you fail to make the required 5% deposit on time, you will forfeit your bid and lose your right to purchase the property. If, after making your deposit, you fail to pay the balance of the purchase price when due, you will forfeit the deposit and lose your right to purchase the property. In both situations, the property will be reauctioned on the next regular sales day, and you will be liable for any losses or additional expenses caused by your failure to pay. In addition, depending on the circumstances, you may be held in contempt of court.
- Will I receive title to the property free and clear of all other claims?
- You may, or may not be receiving “clear” title. You must determine the status of the title to the property to know whether your title will be free of other claims against it, such as judgments, taxes, or other mortgages. The Court does not assure that you will receive title that is free from other such claims.
- Am I responsible for tax liens or other claims against the property?
- Real estate property tax liens are not extinguished by a foreclosure sale and will remain as a lien on the property. The status of other claims must be determined by a proper examination of the title by you or your attorney.
- Do you handle tax lien sales?
- We do not handle tax lien sales. Those are handled by the delinquent tax collector. You may contact that office by calling 909-7272.
- If I am the successful bidder, when can I take possession of the property?
- You can take possession of the property after all money due has been paid, and you have received a deed to the property. The deed will be prepared and signed by the Court.
- What do I have to do to gain possession of the property after I have a deed if it is still occupied by another party?
- You will have to go through the legal process of evicting the occupant of the property. You will need to consult an attorney if you cannot, or do not wish to do this yourself. The Court does not prepare documents for you to obtain possession.
- What document do I give my lender to show my purchase price?
- The Court will give you a receipt when you pay the required deposit that will show the purchase price, the deposit amount, and the balance due. We do not prepare contracts in connection with purchases at foreclosure sales.