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The Process of Judicial Sales in Illinois

Judicial sales can be a harrowing time for individuals facing foreclosure. While they serve a legitimate purpose in the legal system, individuals may face the court-ordered sale of their real property and may be, understandably, distressed by this reality. As such, it can be important to better understand the process of a judicial sale. 

In order to do so, we’ll explore the legal process of judicial sales in the state of Illinois. We’ll begin by discussing the concept of judicial sales and their significance in resolving legal disputes and enforcing court-ordered judgments. Next, we’ll delve into the step-by-step process involved in conducting a judicial sale in Illinois. This includes initiating a court action, obtaining a judgment, and requesting a judicial sale. Finally, we’ll explore some of the impacts of a judicial sale and explore whether individuals can stop a judicial sale. 

The Purpose of Judicial Sales

Judicial sales serve an essential purpose in the legal system of Illinois. They are a means to enforce court-ordered judgments and resolve legal disputes. When parties are unable to reach a resolution on their own, a judicial sale can be initiated to satisfy the debt or claim. This process allows for the sale of property, typically real estate, to pay off the owed amount. It provides a fair and transparent way to distribute the proceeds among the parties involved.

Key Players in Judicial Sales

In a judicial sale, several key players have distinct roles and responsibilities:

  • Judges: Judges preside over the court action and make decisions related to the judicial sale process. They ensure that the proceedings are conducted fairly and in accordance with the law.

  • Plaintiffs: Plaintiffs are the parties who have obtained a judgment against a debtor and are seeking to enforce it through a judicial sale. They initiate the court action and take the necessary steps to ensure the sale of the property.

  • Defendants: Defendants are the parties who owe a debt or have a claim against them. They may contest the sale or seek to redeem the property during the redemption period.

  • Buyers: Buyers are prospective purchasers who participate in the auction and bid on the property being sold. They have an opportunity to acquire the property at a potentially favorable price.

The Judicial Sales Process

The process of conducting a judicial sale can be divided into several phases:

Pre-Sale Requirements

Notice of Sale: A notice of sale must be published to inform interested parties about the upcoming auction. This notice typically includes details about the property, the auction date, and any specific requirements.

Publication Requirements: The notice of sale must be published in newspapers or other designated publications to reach a wide audience. This ensures that potential buyers are aware of the opportunity.

Property Valuation: Before the sale, the property's value must be determined to establish a minimum bid amount. This valuation helps set a baseline for the auction process.

The Auction

Bidding Process: During the auction, interested buyers have the opportunity to bid on the property. Bidding typically starts at the minimum bid amount and continues until there is a winning bidder.

Minimum Bid: The minimum bid is the lowest acceptable bid for the property. It ensures that the property is not sold below a certain threshold and protects the interests of the parties involved.

Winning Bid: The winning bid is the highest bid placed during the auction. If the bid exceeds the minimum bid and is accepted by the court, the property is sold to the winning bidder.

Post-Sale Procedures

Confirmation Hearing: After the auction, a confirmation hearing is held to review the sale and ensure that it was conducted properly. If no issues are identified, the court confirms the sale and approves the transfer of ownership.

Redemption Period: In some cases, the defendant may have a redemption period during which they can repurchase the property by paying the bid amount plus any additional costs. This allows them to regain ownership of the property.

Deed Recording: Once the sale is confirmed and the redemption period has expired, the winning bidder receives a deed to the property. This deed is recorded with the appropriate authorities to establish the new ownership.

Impacts of Judicial Sales

Judicial sales, while a legitimate legal proceeding, can have profound impacts. In order to better understand how they can impact individuals, let’s explore some of the common consequences of a judicial sale:

Impact on Homeowner

Naturally, a particularly impactful consequence of a judicial sale is that mortgagers can lose their real estate which may even be their home. This can be a devastating consequence, and the effects are difficult to overstate. The loss of a home can create a significant burden on those who’ve been foreclosed on, requiring them to find a place to live in addition to their potential financial woes. 

Impact on Neighbors

Additionally, judicial sales can have an impact on neighbors and the neighborhood. A home being foreclosed on and sold can result in vacancies which can carry their own associated problems, and it also may foster anxiety among neighbors who may worry about further foreclosures happening. 


There are alternative routes that can enable homeowners to retain their property in some cases. While, once a judicial sale has been initiated, it’s generally impossible to stop, mortgagers who are aware of an imminent sale ahead of time may have time to take actions that could enable them to retain their property. It’s worth noting, however, that none of these methods will guarantee that a mortgagor is able to retain their property. As such, it’s important to consult with an experienced legal expert, such as a bankruptcy attorney, who can help you determine what your options are. In some cases, mortgagers may take these avenues in an attempt to retain their property:

  • Bankruptcy

  • Loan Modification

  • Assistance Programs

  • Loan Modification

  • Short Selling

Consult With an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney 

If you’ve considered bankruptcy as an alternative to foreclosure,  it can be important to first consult with a legal expert—one who can help you better understand your rights. If you’re seeking an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Chicago, don’t hesitate to reach out today. At Joyner Law Office, we have a firm commitment to helping our clients fight for their rights. 

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