Judicial Sales Process in Saint Lucia
The judicial sale is an auction where a property is sold to a highest bidder who is referred to as the purchaser.
Bank Repossessed Properties for Sale
- The properties scheduled for judicial sales are advertised three times in the gazette
- The advertisement contains the deposit amount, location, size of property with surrounding roads, date and time of sale that may interest the bidder.
- Interested bidders can identify the property by obtaining the map sheet from the land registry.
Things you should know and require on the day of the Auction Sale.
- The sale date and time are fixed and are strictly followed.
- You must produce your ID before you are allowed to bid.
- In order to qualify, a bidder must present a deposit in the form of a managers cheque/ Certified Bankers’ cheque. The deposit amount is calculated at 10% of the debt owing. (This amount is normally stated on the advertisement)
- In order for the sale to take place there must be a quorum. A quorum is a minimum of three (3) bidders.
NB: If only 2 persons from the quorum bids within that hour, the auction becomes void. example
-if the bid starts at $100,000.00. All 3 bidders present their $10,000 cheque to the sheriff. Lets assume the property value is 300K. Bidder one bids $110,000 and bidder 2 bids $500,000.00 however bidder 3 fails to bid because bidder 2 bidded over the value of the property. The auction becomes void and everyone cheque is returned. The property owner generally does that to buy time to settle with their bank.
Failure to pay the Deposit
- If the bidder fails to deposit forthwith the amount required (10% of the debt owing), his bid will be disregarded and the proceedings shall resume upon the previous bid.
Day of the Judicial Sale
- On the day of the Judicial Sale, the sale is conducted by the Sheriff’s Officer. It commences promptly at 10:00 A.M in the parking area of the registry of the High Court on Peynier street Castries.
- The auction has a duration time of one hour (1hr).
- Each bidders cheque would need to be presented to the Sheriff’s Officer prior to the commencement of the sale. Thereafter the notice of the proceedings will be read out to the bidders.
How do I Bid?
- The bidder will indicate that he wished to bid. Once called upon the bidder will give his name and indicate what his bid is.
Bidding by Proxy
- Verbal bids can be made by a proxy. Where a person purchases as a proxy for another, he MUST furnish the Sheriff’s Officer with the name and residence of his principle and his Power Of Attorney or a ratification of his bid and purchase. Failure to furnish the information, the proxy is held to have purchase in his own name.
- If the person for whom he acted is not known, cannot be found, or is insolvent, or is not capable of being a purchaser, he is held to have purchase in his own name.
Persons who cannot take part in a Judicial Sale
- The party who’s property is being sold, if that party is personally liable for the debt, the Sheriff or other officers conducting the sale.
After the Judicial Sale
- After the auction is concluded the deposit cheques are immediately returned to every bidder except the purchaser. The deposit received by the purchaser is retained as part of the purchase price. The purchaser will receive a receipt as proof of the deposit.
- Adjudication is not perfected until the full price is paid.
Paying the Balance of the Purchase Price
- The purchaser must pay to the Sheriff via Sheriffs Office the purchase price less the deposit within six (6) months of the date of the sale with interest at the rate of 6% per annum.
- If this is not paid the deposit paid by the purchase is forfeited.
FORCED SALES AND TRANSFERS RESEMBLING SALE.
1493. The creditor who has a judgment against his debtor may take in execution and cause to be sold, in satisfaction of such judgment, the property of his debtor, movable and immovable, except only the articles specially exempted by law ; subject to the rules and formalities provided in the Code of Civil Procedure.
1494. In judicial sales, the buyer, in case of eviction, may recover from the debtor the price paid with interest and the incidental expenses connected with the conveyance, or he may recover the price and interest from the creditors who received it, with deduction however of the profits accrued since the sale. But the latter have a right of discussion of the debtor’s property.
1495. The provision of the last preceding article does not prejudice the buyer’s recourse against the prosecuting creditor for informalities in the proceedings, or for the seizure of property not ostensibly belonging to the debtor.
1496. The general rules concerning the effect of judicial sales in the extinction of hypothecs and of other rights and incumbrances, are stated in the Book respecting Privileges and Hypothecs, and in the Code of Civil Procedure.
1497. In cases in which immovable property is required for purposes of public utility, the oumer may be forced to sell it or be expropriated by the authority of law in the manner and according to the rules prescribed by special laws.
1498. In the case of sales and expropriations for purposes of public utility, the party acquiring the property cannot be evicted. The hypothecs and other charges are extinguished.
the creditors having their recourse in the manner specially provided by law.
1499. The rules concerning the formalities and proceedings in judicial and other forced sales and expropriations are contained in the Code of Civil Procedure. Such sales and expropriations are subject to the rules generally applicable to the contract of sale, when these are not inconsistent with special laws or any article of this Code.
THE GIVING IN PAYMENT.
1500. The giving of a thing in payment is equivalent to a sale of it, and makes the giver liable to the same warranty.
The giving in payment, nevertheless, is perfected only by actual delivery. It is subject to the provisions relating to the avoidance of contracts and payments contained in the Book
ALIENATION FOR RENT.
1501. The alienation in perpetuity of immovable property for an annual rent, is equivalent to a sale. It is subject to the same rules as the contract of sale in so far as they can
be made to apply.
1502 . The rent may be payable either in money or in kind. Its nature and the rules to which it is subject are stated in the articles relating to rents contained in the Second Chapter of the First Book of the Second Part.
1503 . The obligation to pay the rent is a personal liability ; the purchaser is not discharged from it by abandonment of the property, nor is he discharged by reason of the destruction of the property by a fortuitous event.