At a sheriff’s foreclosure auction, is the buyer responsible for mechanics lien?

UPDATED: Oct 3, 2017

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At a sheriff’s foreclosure auction, is the buyer responsible for mechanics lien?

I am considering bidding on a foreclosure property at sheriff’s auction. I know there is a very large mechanics lien on the property. Will I be responsible for this lien if I am the winning bidder?

Asked on October 3, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you will be responsible for it: liens travel with the property, not with the property owner, so whomever buys at the sheriff's sale has to deal with the lien. The foreclosure did not extinguish the lien; if enough money comes in at the sale to *fully* pay off the balance of the mortgage, any amounts over that should be applied to other liens, so it's possible that the lien will be paid off if enough is paid for the property--of course, if you are the buyer, it will be your money anyway--but if it is not paid off, it will remain.

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