The venue for asset disposal in some cases: the divorce auction

Here’s an idea for a couple proceeding through a high-asset divorce with lots of personal and real property to dispose of and an inability to agree upon anything: Hold an auction, split the proceeds and be done with it.

The venue for doing so is called a “divorce auction,” and one auctioneer says that it is somewhat common, even if not typically advertised as such.

“What else do you call it, though?” he asks. “That’s what it is.”

And it is apparently catching on in areas around the country as a quick and convenient method of property division, especially when other methods — such as a couple simply listing assets and reaching agreement on who gets what — are bogging down or simply unworkable.

“Auctions are just auctions,” said one person recently examining the merchandise of a divorced couple in Colorado during a lively sale there. That event drew a large crowd, and its auctioneer says that such sales often draw as many as 600 or more people.

He also says that divorce auctions are increasing in simply the same fashion as are other auctions, given the public’s suddenly strong interest in television shows that feature auctions and make them seem attractive.

And the auctioneer – OJ Pratt of Longmont, Colorado – seeks to quickly dispel the notion that a divorcing couple can’t get top dollar for their assets at an auction sale. Pratt says that, with hundreds of people potentially competing for an item in open and competitive bidding, the sales price can be high. He says he recently sold a couple’s house for $40,000 more than comparable homes in the area.

Source: Longmont Daily Times, “Some divorcing couples auction everything off and divide the cash,” Aimee Heckel, April 28, 2012

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