I’ve been to quite few local sheriff sales in southern NJ and only ONCE have I seen the bank let a property go for less than the judgment amount and it seems only because the bank representative failed to show.
I’m surprised banks aren’t letting more go for less than the judgment since it must cost them money to hold, process, and sell (commission at least).
In my area of the country, some properties sold at the foreclosure auction are held over for a second “upset” bid auction a couple weeks later. The lender’s hope and expectatiion is that someone will bid even higher and “upset” the winning bid at the previous auction.
The winning bidder at the original auction is barred from bidding at the upset bid auction. Anyone else who still wants to bid on the property at the upset bid sale can bid. The starting bid is the amount of the winning bid at the previous auction and is a matter of public record. Sometimes the winning “upset” bid is just one dollar more than the winning bid at the previous auction.
In some other areas of the country, the upset bid auction is only successful if the upset bid is at least 10% higher than the winning bid at the previous auction. Failure to get a bid at least 10% higher validates the previous winning bid and the upset bid auction fails.
How it works in your area of the country may be posted at your county website.