Since October 2015, all judicial auctions in Spain must be done over the internet using the online Auction Portal and follow the procedures set out in Law 19/2015 on administrative reform procedures. There is no longer a requirement to appear in court because auctions will be carried out online.
Holding online auctions
Online auctions will be held via the Online Judicial Auctions of the Justice Ministry website, which is a single point of access to public information on judicial auctions and allows for monitoring and continual participation in judicial auctions over the internet.
The Single Portal of the Official State Gazette is the system from which all public auctions are electronically performed.
Types of online auctions
An online auction can be used for both notarial and judicial auctions derived from the implementation procedures of both real estate and personal property, including those that are mortgaged, with the formalities typical of foreclosures.
Who will carry out the online auction?
The Official State Gazette Agency will be in charge of the Auction Portal. However, the judicial clerk will assume the primary role of holding judicial auctions with the aim of promoting transparency.
The clerk’s role will entail maintaining control throughout the auction and until its end: the start the auction, organize its publication with the necessary details, suspend the auction or resume the auction. At the end of the auction, the Auction Portal will forward certified information on the bids followed by the winner’s information to the clerk.
How does the auction proceed?
Anyone who is interested in participating in the auction will have to access the new website where the bids on the property auctioned can be made. Bidders must first register on the Portal of the Official State Gazette and make a deposit or consignment, indicating a bank account number from which 5% of the price of the property will be taken.
The auctioneer will accept bids over 20 working days from its opening and it will not close the auction until after one hour from the last bid, even if this would involve a 24 hour extension to the original 20 days, as stipulated by the Law.
Not all auctions occurring on the same day will close at the same time. In order to provide bidders with the opportunity to participate in more than one auction, the auctions are automatically released in sequentially onto the website.
At the end of the auction, the Auction Portal will forward certified information on the winning bid and all other offers electronically to the clerk.
The clerk will record the information using the name of the person who participated and the bid they made.
The winning bid will receive an email from the Official State Gazette confirming his or her winnings:
- If the winning bid is real estate, the winner will have 10 days to complete the payment
- If the winning bid is personal property, the winner will have 40 days to complete the payment.
Returning the deposit
At the end of the auction, the sums deposited by the bidders will be released or returned, with the exception of the winning bid. This sum will be saved as a deposit for a guarantee for his or her obligation, and, if required, as part of the purchase price.
If any of the other bidders wish, their sums deposited can also be held in the event that the winner does not pay the remainder of the price. Then, the property can be awarded to the next highest bidder.
This article is not considered as legal advice