A judicial auction is a proceeding through which a public auction of the debtor's assets is arranged with the purpose of raising the sum of money needed to satisfy a creditor’s claim. The auction may be arranged by a judge, or his or her delegate, or a competent authority, or other public or private entities (authorized according to the legislation of individual countries.
A judicial auction is normally preceded by a seizure, this is the act through which the creditor or the competent authority identifies and secures the assets suitable to satisfy the claim. Immovable and movable property can be seized, as well as credits which the debtor holds vis-à-vis a third party. In the case of credits, however, the enforcement proceedings do not terminate with the sale but with the allocation of the debtor’s credit to his or her creditor.
There are different types of judicial auctions in the EU countries, whose national law provide for the relevant legal framework. In some EU countries a judicial auction can be held on line, thus avoiding participants appearing personally before the judge or in the Court or in other public or private entities.
A judicial auction – which is usually directed by a judge, who can assign the sales operation to a third party (an independent professional or a company specifically authorised to perform this task) but can also be entirely managed by other subjects (e.g. bailiff, or other enforcement authority) – is normally preceded by appropriate advertisements.
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