The judicial auction is a method of acquiring a mortgaged or foreclosed property for an amount that is usually lower than the market price.
Through this process, the foreclosed debtor can pay the outstanding debt with the amount obtained in the auction.
Everything of economic value (works of art, jewellery, furniture, machinery, vehicles, etc.) and any other type of goods and rights can be auctioned.
As of Law 19/2015, of 13 July, on administrative reform measures in the field of the Administration of Justice and the Civil Registry, a system of electronic auctions is enabled through the single portal of judicial and administrative auctions in the State Agency Official State Gazette, which streamlines the existing auction system, providing transparency in the operation, ease of access to citizens and optimising the performance of real estate.
This portal also avoids the need to travel to physical auctions, which has led to an exponential increase in the acquisition of real estate through electronic auctions following the health crisis.
How to get started in the auction?
To begin the process of auctioning a property, you must register on the Electronic Auction Portal of the Official State Gazette, which belongs to the Ministry of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory (Art. 645.1 of the Civil Procedure Act).
Any citizen interested in acquiring real estate by judicial auction may register in the same.
They may act in their own name or on behalf of another person.
What type of auctions can I bid in?
You can participate in auctions:
- From the Tax Agency (AEAT)
- Other tax administrations
- General administrative auctions
What if the auction has already started?
On the Auction Portal you can also choose the status of the auction:
- Opening soon
- Being held
- Concluded on the Auction Portal
- Terminated by Managing Authority
How to choose the property to be purchased?
Once you have registered on the Electronic Auctions Portal, you can view all the auctions currently in force in Spain.
You will have to choose the type of property you wish to purchase:
– Real estate
– goods, effects, proceeds and instruments from criminal activities.
Once you have chosen the type of asset you want to acquire, e.g. real estate, you will have to filter by the location of the property. You can choose the province where the property is located.
How to register for the auction?
Once you have chosen the auction you wish to enter, you will have to make a deposit of 5% of the value of the auction.
For example, in an auction worth €247,000, a deposit of €12,350 must be made.
These deposits will be made by withholding in an account and bank guarantees will not be accepted.
Bidders (citizens who take part in the auction) must:
1. Identify themselves sufficiently.
2. Declare that they are aware of the general and specific conditions of the auction.
3. Be in possession of the corresponding accreditation, for which it is necessary to have deposited 5% of the value of the goods. This deposit is made via the telematic services of the State Tax Administration Agency by means of a current account balance withholding. Participation by means of a bank guarantee is not permitted.
Start of the auction
The auction will take place on the portal of the State Agency Official State Gazette for the electronic holding of auctions.
Each auction is assigned a unique identification number, regardless of the number of lots of which it is composed.
The Portal shall number the lots formed.
The auction shall commence 24 hours after its announcement has been published in the Official State Gazette.
Duration of the auction
The auction shall admit bids for a period of 20 calendar days from the start of the auction.
The auction shall not close until one hour has passed since the last bid has been placed, provided that this is higher than the best bid placed up to that time, although this entails extending the initial period of twenty days by a maximum of 24 hours.
How is the bidding done?
Bids will be sent electronically through secure communications systems to the Auction Portal, which will return a technical acknowledgement, including a time stamp, of the exact time of receipt of the bid and its amount. It shall then electronically publish the bid.
Award of the Property
If the highest bid is equal to or greater than 70% of the value for which the property was put up for auction, the Legal Adviser of the Administration of Justice responsible for the execution, by decree, on the same day or the following day, shall approve the auction in favour of the highest bidder.
Within forty days of notification of the decree, the person who placed the approved bid shall deposit the difference between the amount deposited and the total price of the auction in the Deposits and Consignments Account.
Once the outstanding amount has been deposited, an adjudication decree will be issued stating, where applicable, that the price has been deposited, as well as the other circumstances necessary for registration in accordance with mortgage legislation.
Although the auction process is more complicated than what is explained in this article, this summary serves as a general guide to the process of acquiring property through a judicial auction.
If you need help with this type of process, please contact us.