DC Foreclosure FAQs

The Role of the Auctioneer – Alex Cooper Auctioneers is hired by the Trustees who are in charge of the sale. The Trustees are hired by the lender or servicer representing the noteholder. Alex Cooper is not acting as an agent for the Trustees but rather as a vendor whose responsibilities include preparing the legal advertisement and conducting the sale at the designated date and time. As soon as the sale is cancelled or concluded, our responsibilities terminate.

Does a court ordered judicial sale need to be ratified by the court?

Washington, DC is both a judicial and non-judicial jurisdiction.  For the court ordered judicial sales the auction must be ratified by the court.

Where should I start as a potential bidder?

As a potential bidder, it is your responsibility to do your own due diligence.  The District of Columbia has websites where you can begin your research.  The property assessment website and the Recorder of Deeds’ website are two potential places to start.

Who has access to the property?

As a matter of course, the trustee, noteholder and auctioneer DO NOT have access to the property.  Properties are sold in an “as-is” and ”where-is” condition and subject to conditions, restrictions and agreements of record affecting the same, if any and with no warranty of any kind.

Where can I find the Terms of Sale?

All DC foreclosure auctions are advertised in a newspaper of general circulation in the District; usually either The Washington Times or The Washington Post.  Please review the legal ad carefully for exact terms of sales.  You can also find the legal ads on our website by clicking on View Ad after the property address in the Foreclosure Auction List.  Please read the legal ad carefully as different trustees have different Terms of Sale.

How do I check the status of auctions I am interested in?

Our website listings are updated live.  Please check the website on a regular basis to see the status of auctions you are interested in.  If the address has a line through it the auction has been cancelled.

How do I qualify as a bidder?

The Trustee/Auctioneer will qualify all bidders by asking to see the required deposit.  You must have this deposit in certified funds at the time of the sale.  Please have the check made out in your name.  If you are the successful bidder you will endorse the check over to the Auctioneer or the Trustee.  You must have a notarized Power of Attorney (POA) with you at the sale to endorse a check made out in another person’s name.

What if I win?

If you are the successful bidder you will need to give the Auctioneer the name you are taking title in for the Memorandum of Sale (purchaser’s contract).   The Recorder of Deeds will want to see a copy of this Memorandum to make sure it matches the Trustee’s Deed.  The Memorandum cannot be changed after the sale.  If you are taking title in the name of a company or an LLC, the entity must already be formed and be in good-standing and the person signing the Memorandum must be a member of that LLC or have a POA from the member of the LLC.  You may not put title in someone else’s name unless you can show the Trustee your POA.

When must I close on the property?

You need to be able to go to settlement with immediately available funds within the required time frame (usually within 30 days for non-judicial sales and usually within 60 days after ratification of the sale by Superior Court for judicial sales. Check the legal ads.)  For judicial cases, it is your responsibility as purchaser, to check the status of ratification of the property you purchased. You can check the court docket on the Superior Court website by entering the Case number which is in the legal ad.  Here is the link.

The successful purchaser is responsible for all closing costs, for taking possession of the property, for accruing interest and for all adjustments of costs, as specified in the legal ad. As a matter of course, we do not cooperate with brokers on DC foreclosure auctions and there is no buyer’s premium.