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                    An Insider's Guide to Federal Government Sales

The U.S. General Services Administration Guide to
Federal Government Sales

     This Guide is 40 printed pages long...if you chose to print it out..
    Because of its length, I have made it a little navigational by subject links
    that follow. You can return to this list by clicking on the 'up to list' found
    at the end of each section.
    1.) Consumer Tips
    2.) Where to find US Government Sales Information.
            a.) By States.
    3.) How to Complain.
    4.) Agencies with Sales Programs
            a.) Department of Agriculture.
            b.) US Army Corps of Engineers (DOD)
            c.) Department of Defence (Military)
            d.) Department of Energy (DOE)
            e.) Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
     4-1.)     US General Services Administration (GSA)
            a.) Federal Supply Service.
            b.) Federal Property Resource Service.
     4-2.)     US Government Printing Office.
     4-3.)     Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
     4-4.)     Department of The Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
     4-5.)     Department of Justice.
             a.) US Marshal Service.
             b.) US Postal Service.
      4-6.)     Resulation Trust Corporation (RTC)
      4-7.)     Small Business Administration (SBA)
      4-8.)     Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
      4-9.)      Department of The US Treasury
              a.)  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)
              b.) US Customs.
       4-10.)    Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
            5.)    A Final Note
            6.)    A List of Other Pages on this Site.


    When U.S. Customs confiscates an imported necklace, or the Department of
Defense no longer needs a power tool, or the U.S. Marshals Service seizes a
sports car from a drug dealer, all these items may become available for
purchase by the public.

    Although some surplus and forfeited items of the Federal Government are
transferred to other Federal agencies or given to state and local
governments, a staggering variety of items from vehicles to office
equipment to real estate find their way to the public through Federal
Government sales.

    This revised guide is published by the U.S. General Services Administration
in cooperation with 18 Federal sales programs. With informative listings
from each Federal sales program combined with practical consumer tips, this
guide is designed to help you identify the Federal Government agencies that
sell items to the public. This guide:

    * Gives information about sales methods and sale locations,

    * Describes items for sale,

    * Lists addresses and telephone numbers for further information,

    * Has a glossary which explains the sales terminology used by Federal
agencies to describe the types of property available and the methods
by which it is sold, and

    * Provides an index of many of the items available through these sales

    Use this guide to contact the appropriate government sales program.

    Uncle Sam may have something to sell that interests you.

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Consumer Tips

Some Federal agencies maintain mailing lists with names of people
interested in being notified about upcoming sales. In these cases, agencies
may charge a subscription fee to maintain the list and cover mailing costs.
Non governmental organizations that sell information about these sales often
don't tell consumers they can receive sales information just by contacting
the agency's local or regional office. You may see advertisements offering
to sell you access to little-known sources of Federal Government property.
It's likely that they are selling the names and addresses of the Federal
Government agencies listed in this publication. Be aware that the
information sold by non governmental entities may not be accurate or

Know where to find up-to-date Federal Government sales information.

To find information about specific upcoming sales, check the classified or
business sections of national or local newspapers. Some sales programs may
even advertise on local radio and television. Notices may also be posted at
post offices, town halls, and other local and Federal Government buildings.
Current information on sales programs is sometimes published in trade
journals and periodicals such as the Commerce Business Daily (CBD). Many
libraries and local Chambers of Commerce maintain CBD subscriptions for
public use. If you would like a personal subscription, you can call the
Government Printing Office's (GPO) ordering line at (202) 512-1800 or write
Superintendent of Documents, GPO, Washington, DC, 20402. A one- year
subscription costs $324 for priority mail and $275 for non- priority mail.
Sales information may also be listed in the Federal Register, a daily
publication listing Federal Government activities that is available at most
libraries. A subscription to the Federal Register is also available through
GPO for $490 a year.

If you need more information than is provided in this publication, you may
be able to obtain it by directly contacting the local or regional office of
the Federal Government agency that sponsors a particular sales program. Use
this publication as a guide to identify the parent agency of the sales
program. For example, if you are interested in learning more about the U.S.
Marshals Service sales program, look under the Department of Justice in the
"U.S. Government" listings in the phone directories of major cities in your

If you have difficulty locating the local offices of a particular sales
program, call the Federal Information Center (FIC) for assistance.

This service, provided by the U.S. General Services Administration, can
tell you the location of the sales office closest to you. Call the
telephone number listed below for your state or metropolitan area. All the
"800" numbers are toll free. These "800" numbers can be called only within
the states and cities listed. If your state or area is not listed, please
call (301) 722-9000. This is a toll call and regular long distance rates
apply. Users of telecommunication devices for the deaf may call toll free
by dialing 1(800) 326-2996 (TDD or TTY). Federal Information Center
Telephone Numbers
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    Birmingham, Mobile

    1(800) 366-2998


    Seattle, Tacoma

     1(800) 726-4995


    All locations

    1(800) 366-2998

    Before attending, research the sale by contacting the sponsoring agency.
Find out how and when the sale or auction will be held, what bidding
procedure will be used, and what special restrictions or unusual conditions
apply. It's important to ask what forms of payment are accepted. Most sales
require a guaranteed method of payment such as money order, certified
check, or cash. Credit cards are sometimes accepted. Also, look for
information prior to the sale on the buyer's responsibility for property
removal, inspection times prior to the sale, and zoning rules if purchasing
land in an urban area. In most cases, the "Invitation For Bid," an
informational piece released by the sponsoring Federal agency containing a
description of the property being offered for sale with the sale terms and
conditions, will answer these types of questions. It's wise for potential
buyers to attend several sales to get a feel for the auction process. With
just a little research, you can obtain the information that you need to
make a successful purchase.

    Inspect the property carefully before buying. Chances are you will not find
new or unused items at Federal Government sales. And because the sales
items are used, the condition of the goods will vary. For example, some
forfeited vehicles may be in excellent condition, others may have high
mileage or a stripped interior. Although information about the condition
will be given, it is still necessary to inspect before you purchase. It is
the buyer's responsibility to verify that the description of the item fits
its actual condition. Find out if the goods are sold "as is" or can be
returned. Most sales are final.

    Don't expect to buy a $1 yacht.                         up to list

    Goods in Federal Government sales programs are usually sold at fair market
value. The "bargains" that you hear about are frequently mythical. The $1
yacht most likely has serious problems. For example, it may not have an
interior or an engine. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it
usually is. At many sales, the items are appraised prior to the sale and
will not be sold if the bid price is below what is reasonable. For example,
the Federal Supply Service of the U.S. General Services Administration has
a policy to sell property at fair market value, and often will not sell
items if the bid price is below what is reasonable.

    You will not drive away from a Federal Government sale with a military
jeep. In 1971, based on safety statistics and vehicle tests, the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommended that the M151 series
vehicle not be sold to the public because it is unfit for public use.
Therefore, M151 series jeeps cannot be driven. Disposal regulations on the
M151 require that the vehicle body be crushed, shredded, or mutilated to
prevent the jeep from being rebuilt. Businesses that sell the "secrets" of
buying surplus military property often take out enticing magazine and
newspaper ads. "Just send $19.95 and learn how to buy surplus military
jeeps," they say. However, these advertisements do not tell the consumer
that the M151 series is unfit for public use and that older jeep models,
such as the World War II M38, are virtually nonexistent today. Jeeps are
now typically auctioned at sales for scrap metal or parts.

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How to complain.

    If you wish to comment on the sales process used by Federal programs or on
the merchandise purchased from a Federal agency, write directly to the
sponsoring agency at the address listed in this publication. If you believe
you have been misled by non governmental organizations offering information
about Federal Government sales, you may send your complaint, along with any
related information, such as a copy of the advertisement, to:

    Federal Trade Commission, Correspondence Branch, Washington, D.C. 20580.

    While the FTC is unable to resolve individual situations, consumer
experience is helpful in identifying patterns of deceptive trade practices
and possible violations of FTC regulations.

    In addition, the U.S. Postal Service investigates illegal activity which is
carried on through the U.S. mail. Since most of the deceptive
advertisements are placed in newspapers or magazines which use the mail
service for distribution, you may also send your complaint to your local
postmaster. Address your comments to: Postmaster, Your Town or City, Your
State, Your ZIP Code + 9998.

    The U.S. Postal Service and the FTC want to know experiences you have had
with misleading advertising. However, they have no jurisdiction over the
procedures and practices used by the agencies of the Federal Government
that sell property to the public.

    Other organizations that investigate and prosecute fraud include state
Attorneys General, state and local consumer offices and Better Business
Bureaus. If you suspect that you have been tricked or misled and you paid
money for products or services that have little or no value, you can
contact the above mentioned organizations for further assistance. They are
listed in the business or government listings of your local telephone
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Department of Agriculture

    What is sold

    * Trucks, ambulances, station wagons, sedans, office equipment, office
furniture, computers, and laboratory items (typically microscopes and
scales) are sold by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Although most vehicles are sent to the U.S. General Services
Administration (GSA) (see page 6), a few vehicles are periodically
sold at USDA's field offices around the country. Sedans and station
wagons make up a large majority of the vehicles at these sales. The
Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) of the USDA sells real property
such as foreclosed houses and farms to the public.

    How items are sold

    * Personal property is sold through auction or sealed bid.
    * Real property is sold through various methods that can be explained by
your FmHA county offices, located in rural areas.

    How sales are advertised

    * Personal Property sales information is advertised through notices in
newspapers and Federal Government buildings. FmHA sales for real
property are advertised in local papers and through listings with
local real estate agents. A mailing list is maintained for Washington,
DC metropolitan area for personal property sales only. To be placed on
this mailing list, see the "For More Information" section. The USDA
field offices throughout the U.S. do not maintain mailing lists.

    Special restrictions/conditions

    * For personal property sales, the USDA prohibits employees who are
directly involved in the sale or have used the property as an employee
from participating in the sale. Other USDA employees are allowed to
bid. USDA requires guaranteed methods of payment such as money orders,
certified checks, or cash. For real property sales, there are
restrictions for purchases by FmHA employees and their relatives. FmHa
financing is available for qualified applicants.

    For more information

    * To learn about USDA personal property sales, look in the phone
directories of the major cities of your state under the "U.S.
Government" listings for the USDA office nearest you. Most likely,
your state capital will have a USDA office.
    * To be placed on a mailing list to learn about USDA personal property
sales in the Washington, DC metropolitan area only, write:

    Department of Agriculture

    Office of Operations
    Centralized Excess Property Operation
    3346 Hubbard Rd.
    Landover, MD 20785

    * For information on real property sales, contact the nearest FmHA
county office to find out what farms and single-family houses may be
available in your area. These offices are listed in local telephone
directories under USDA in the "U.S. Government" listings. Your local
real estate agency may also be able to provide information on FmHA
homes available for purchase.

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    Department of Defense

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

    What is sold

    * The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers offers real property, including
wooded land, farmed property, and residential homes. Availability
depends on timing, location, and the circumstances surrounding each
individual piece of real estate.

    How items are sold

    * Sealed bids, auctions, and negotiated sales. Some real estate sales
are conducted by local real estate brokers.

    How sales are advertised

    * Sales information is advertised in local papers, notices in local and
Federal Government buildings, local post offices, and contractor
mailing lists. To be placed on a mailing list for real property sales
(mainly large pieces of real estate), contact the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers district office nearest you.

    Special restrictions/conditions

    * Employees of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are allowed to
participate in sales provided they have not been involved in the
disposal process. Guaranteed methods of payment such as money order,
certified check, or cash are required. Due to public safety,
contaminated property is not transferred to the buyer without first
being decontaminated by the U.S. Army and made environmentally safe.
Other special restrictions are made on a case-by-case basis.

        For more information

    * There are 38 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers district offices that can
provide information about what is available for sale. To find the one
closest to you, look in the "U.S. Government" listings in the phone
directories of the larger cities in your state under Army, Corps of
Engineers. You may also write to:

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
    Directorate of Real Estate
    20 Massachusetts Ave., NW
    Washington, DC 20314-1000
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Department of Defense

    What is sold

    * The Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) of the Defense
Logistics Agency is responsible for managing excess personal property
generated by the Department of Defense components. This property is
turned in for disposal to more than 200 Defense Reutilization and
Marketing Offices (DRMOs) located on or near major military
installations around the world. When property cannot be reused by
these activities, it is offered for donation to qualified recipients.
Property remaining after these processes is then offered for sale to
the public.
    *Property varies in type and value. Examples include
tents, typewriters, computers, vehicles, aircraft components and
accessories, engine accessories, office furniture and equipment,
clothing, household paints and thinners, recyclable materials such as
iron, aluminum, copper, paper, and much more. DRMS does not sell real

    How items are sold

    * Local sales are held at DRMOs either by auction or spot bid. Some
DRMOs have cash and carry sales where small quantities of individual
items are offered at a fixed price based on current market value.
Property may be inspected prior to the sale. Most DRMOs have regularly
scheduled sales and set times. *National sales are conducted by the
National Sales Office in Memphis, TN. The property offered through
national sales include items such as aircraft, ships, hazardous
property, and property having commercial application. National sales
methods are sealed bid, auction and, in limited circumstances,
negotiated sale.

    How are sales advertised

    * Local sales are conducted by individual DRMOs and are advertised
locally in the print media, television, radio and flyers.
    * National sales are conducted by the National Sales Office and
advertised in the Commerce Business Daily, trade publications and
papers that target specialized markets.

    Special restrictions/conditions

    * Buyers must be at least 18 years of age.
    * Employees of DRMS, their agents and members of their household cannot
become buyers.
    * Property is offered for sale "as is" and "where is." Buyers of
hazardous property such as paints, solvents, and oils must demonstrate
and certify that they are environmentally responsible and that they
possess the necessary licenses and permits to transport, handle or
store hazardous property.
    * Guaranteed payment such as cashier's check or certified check is
required. In some instances, credit cards can be used. Contact the
address below for information on additional sale restrictions and

    For more information

    * To request the free booklet How to Buy Surplus Personal Property from
DoD which lists the DRMS offices worldwide and includes almost 20
categories of goods, call 1 (800) 222-DRMS (3767).
    * Additional questions may be addressed to:

    Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service
    National Sales Office
    163 Airways Blvd.
    Memphis, TN 38114-5211
    (901) 775-6428
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Department of Energy

    What is sold

    * The Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for selling only a small
percentage of the overall Federal personal property inventory. These
DOE items include laboratory and office equipment, vehicles and
furniture. The items available for sale will vary with sale location.
Most of DOE's real and surplus property is sold by GSA as described on
pages 6 and 7.

    How items are sold

    * Real property-sealed bid or negotiated sale
    * Personal property-sealed bid or auction

    How sales are advertised

    * Real property sales information is advertised in local newspapers,
trade journals and national publications which target persons
interested in industrial properties. Personal property sales are
advertised through notices in Federal Government buildings and local

    Special restrictions/conditions

    * Guaranteed forms of payment, such as cashier's check, certified check,
money order or cash are required. For information on additional
personal property restrictions and conditions, consult the advertised
public sale announcement for a phone number to call for further sales
information. For personal property sales, the DOE prohibits
participation by employees who were directly involved in the
determination to dispose of the property for sale. Other DOE employees
are allowed to participate.

    For more information

    * For information on personal property sales, contact your local
Department of Energy, Office of Property Management found in the "U.S.
Government" listings of the phone directories of the major cities of
your state. Also watch for sales announcements in local newspapers.

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Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

    What is sold

    * The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) sells a wide variety
of assets from failed banks including loans, real estate such as
undeveloped land, hotels, shopping malls, single-family homes,
condominiums, and apartment complexes, and personal property including
computers, phone systems, furniture, fixtures, plants, and specialty
items such as crystal, china and antiques.

    How items are sold

    * Brokers, sealed bid, and sometimes auctions

    How sales are advertised

    * Sales are advertised in The Wall Street Journal, trade publications
for specialized items, and the local newspapers and broadcast media
where the sales will be held. The regional FDIC offices listed below
can also provide information on upcoming sales in the area. The FDIC
does not maintain a national mailing list.

    Special conditions/restrictions

    * Special conditions and restrictions are made on a case-by-case basis
and may involve verifying low to moderate income for buyers of certain
residential properties, requiring protection of the endangered species
on undeveloped property, or insuring proper care for a property that
is a National Historic landmark. The FDIC typically does not finance
properties. Guaranteed payment such as money orders, certified checks,
cashier's checks or cash is required. FDIC employees may not
participate in the sales.

    For more information

    For information on FDIC sales, including listings of upcoming sales, write
FDIC, Asset Marketing, at the FDIC regional office where you are interested
in buying property. The specific states or regions covered by an office are
listed directly above the address. Or call the listed telephone numbers and
ask for Asset Marketing, Customer Service.

    Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York,
Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the Virgin Islands
are covered by:

    Northeast Service Center

    111 Founders Plaza
    East Hartford, Connecticut 06108
    (203) 290-2000

    Alabama, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky,
Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia,
and West Virginia are covered by:

    Southeast Service Center

    285 Peachtree Center Ave., NE
    Marquis Tower II, Suite 300
    Atlanta, Georgia 30303
    (404) 880-3000

    Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska,
North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin are covered by:

    Midwest Service Center

    30 S. Wacker Dr., 32nd Floor
    Chicago, Illinois 60606
    (312) 207-0200

    Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas are covered

    Southwest Service Center

    5080 Spectrum Dr., Suite 1000E
    Dallas, Texas 75248
    (214) 991-0039

    Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Guam, Montana, Nevada, Oregon,
Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are covered by:

    Western Service Center

    25 Ecker St., Suite 1900
    San Francisco, California 94105
    (415) 546-1810
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    U.S. General Services Administration

Federal Supply Service

    What is sold

    * The Federal Supply Service (FSS) of GSA sells a wide variety of
personal property generated by non-military Federal agencies. FSS
sales have surplus property as well as forfeited property from
agencies with seizing authority, such as the U.S. Marshals Service.
Personal property sold includes automobiles, trucks, hardware,
plumbing and heating equipment, computers, office machines, furniture,
medical items, textiles, industrial equipment, and many other items.

    How items are sold

    * Items are sold by sealed bid, fixed price, auction, spot bid, or
negotiated sales. It is GSA policy to sell personal property at fair
market value, and not to sell items if the bid price is below what is

    How sales are advertised

    * Sales information is advertised through mailing lists for frequent
purchasers, radio, television or newspaper announcements, trade
journals and periodicals, and notices in town halls, post offices and
Federal Government buildings.

    Special restrictions/conditions

    * Bidders are cautioned to inspect all items before bidding. No
preference is given to individuals or groups, including veterans and
religious organizations. Cash, money orders, travelers' checks,
cashier's checks, and personal checks with bank letters guaranteeing
payment are accepted forms of payment. No financing is available.
However, Visa and Mastercard may be used at some sales. GSA employees
are not eligible to participate in sales. For details about other
restrictions and conditions, contact the Personal Property Sales
office in your area.

    For more information

    * To request information on FSS sales, write Personal Property Sales,
U.S. General Services Administration. Then use the addresses listed
below to send your inquiry to the specific regional office where you
are interested in buying property.

    Washington, DC metropolitan area and nearby Maryland and Virginia are
covered by:

    US General Services Administration
    470 L'Enfant Plaza East, SW
    Suite 8100
    Washington, DC 20407

    Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont
are covered by:

    US General Services Administration
    10 Causeway St., 9th Floor
    Boston, MA 02222-1076

    New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands are covered by:

    US General Services Administration
    26 Federal Plaza
    Room 20-112, Box 10
    New York, NY 10278

    Delaware, Maryland, Virginia (except Washington, DC metropolitan area),
Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are covered by:

    US General Services Administration
    P.O. Box 40657
    Philadelphia, PA 19107-3396

    Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South
    Carolina, and Tennessee are covered by:

    US General Services Administration
    Peachtree Summitt Bldg.
    401 W. Peachtree St.
    Atlanta, GA 30385-2550

    Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin are covered by:

    US General Services Administration
    230 S. Dearborn St.
    Chicago, IL 60604

    Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska are covered by:

    US General Services Administration
    4400 College Blvd., Suite 175
    Overland Park, KS 66211

    Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas are covered by:

    US General Services Administration
    819 Taylor St., Room 6812
    Ft. Worth, TX 76102-6105

    Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming are
covered by:

    US General Services Administration
    Bldg. 41, Denver Federal Center
    P.O. Box 25506
    Denver, CO 80225-0506

    Arizona, California, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam,
Hawaii, and Nevada are covered by:

    US General Services Administration
    525 Market St.
    San Francisco, CA 94105-2779

    Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington are covered by:

    US General Services Administration
    400 15th St., SW, Room 1478
    Auburn, WA 98001-6599
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    U.S. General Services Administration

Federal Property Resource Service

    What is sold

    * As the program responsible for selling a significant amount of the
Federal Government's real estate to the public, the Federal Property
Resources Service (FPRS) sells real property in all 50 states, the
District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and U.S.
Territories in the Pacific. The properties vary widely in type and
value and may include office buildings, warehouses, and industrial
facilities, developed and undeveloped land, as well as residential and
commercial properties that have been seized, forfeited or foreclosed
for nonpayment of Federal taxes or loans, or for law enforcement

    How real property is sold

    * Auction or sealed bid

    How sales are advertised

    * Sales information is advertised in national and local newspapers.

    Special restrictions/conditions

    * Information and details (zoning or environmental conditions) for each
specific property are listed in the Invitation for Bids, available
upon request. Cashier's check or money orders are required. Under
special circumstances financing is available. GSA employees are not
eligible to participate in sales.

    For more information

    * Write to the Office of Real Estate Sales, U.S. General Services
    Administration at the local addresses given below for the states where
    you wish to buy property. Or call the listed telephone numbers and ask
    for Real Estate Sales.

    Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota,
New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, the
Virgin Islands, Vermont, and Wisconsin are covered by:

    US General Services Administration, Office of Real Estate Sales
    10 Causeway St., Room 1079
    Boston, MA 02222
    (617) 565-5700

    Alabama, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky,
Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina,
Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia are covered by:

    US General Services Administration, Office of Real Estate Sales
    Peachtree Summit Bldg.
    401 W. Peachtree St., Room 2928
    Atlanta, GA 30365-2550
    (404) 331-5133

    Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Missouri, North
Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and
Wyoming are covered by:

    US General Services Administration, Office of Real Estate Sales
    819 Taylor St., Room 9A33
    Ft. Worth, TX 76102
    (817) 334-2331

    Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington are
covered by:

    US General Services Administration, Office of Real Estate Sales
    525 Market St., 5th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    (415) 744-5952

    You can also write or call FPRS headquarters in Washington, DC:

    Federal Property Resources Service-D
    U.S. General Services Administration
    Washington, DC 20405
    1 (800) 472-1313

    Sales Information BBS

    FPRS has an electronic bulletin board with sales information that can be
accessed with your personal computer. Use a 1200- 9600 baud modem. Set your
communications software to 8 data bits, no parity, 1 stop bit, and then
dial 1 (800) 776-7872. From Washington, DC, dial (202) 501-6510.

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Government Printing Office

    What is sold

    * The Government Printing Office (GPO) prints, binds, and distributes
the publications of the Federal Government. As a result, the public
will find used printing and binding equipment and surplus Federal
publications at a GPO sale. You may also find office furniture and
business machines such as copiers, calculators, and typewriters. The
majority of GPO sales are held in the Washington, DC metropolitan
area, with less than 5% held at the 28 GPO field offices across the
nation. Surplus publications are available through a program in
Washington, DC. The future availability of surplus GPO publications
depends on the success of the current program.

    How items are sold

    * Sealed bid

    How sales are advertised

     * Sales are advertised through bidder's lists, the Commerce Business
Daily, and library journals. Write or call the addresses and numbers
below to be placed on a bidder's list.

    Special restrictions/conditions

    * Payment by certified or cashier's check only.

    For more information

    To learn more about personal property sales, write or fax:

    Government Printing Office
    Materials Management Service
    Specialized Procurement and Sales Section (MMP)
    710 North Capitol St., NW
     FAX: 1 (202) 512-1354

    For information on the program of surplus publication sales, write or fax:

    Government Printing Office
    Materials Management Service (MMPS)
    710 N. Capitol St., NW, Room A340
    Washington, DC 20401
    FAX: 1 (202) 512-1354
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Department Of Housing And Urban Development

    What is sold

    * When a mortgage lender forecloses on a mortgage insured by the Federal
Housing Administration, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) is assigned the mortgage note and the homes go into
HUD's inventory. The Department sells the homes to the public and
nonprofit groups at a fair market value or at a discounted price under
special programs. These properties include single-family homes,
townhomes, condominiums, and fixer- uppers.

    How items are sold

    * Sealed bid process and special demonstration programs to potential
buyers who participate in HUD Property Disposition programs.

    How sales are advertised

    * Sales information is sometimes advertised in the national and local
media where the 81 HUD states offices are located.

    Special restrictions/conditions

    * HUD does not offer financing on its properties. Generally, HUD
employees, their relatives and HUD contractors are prohibited from
buying HUD properties.

    For more information

    * Call 1(800) 767-4483 to request information on the HUD Homes sales
program. You may also call a professional real estate broker in your
area who participates in the HUD Homes sales program. Participating
real estate brokers are a valuable source of advice about HUD homes
and their services are free-HUD pays the broker's commission.

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    Department of the Interior

Bureau of Land Management

    What is sold

    * The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible for the management
of more than 270 million acres of public lands. The land, which is
located primarily in the West and in Alaska, is sold to the public
under certain conditions. The unimproved or undeveloped land is
generally rural woodland, grassland, or desert. The availability of
land for sale to the public varies each year and depends upon the
circumstances of each individual property.

    How the land is sold

    * The land is sold through direct sale and competitive sales such as

    How sales are advertised

    * Sales are listed in local newspapers and in the Federal Register, a
Federal Government document that can be found in most libraries.

    Special restrictions/conditions

    * The sale conditions are provided in the Notice of Sale. The BLM can
sell public land only to U.S. citizens or corporations subject to
Federal or state laws. Employees of the Department of the Interior are
not allowed to bid. No financing is available. Cashier's check or cash
is required.

    For more information

    * Write the Bureau of Land Management in the state(s) where you are
interested in buying land. The specific states or regions covered by
an office are listed directly above the local addresses.

    Alaska is covered by:

    US Bureau of Land Management
    222 W. 7th Ave., #13
    Anchorage, AK 99513-7599

    Arizona is covered by:

    US Bureau of Land Management
    3707 N. 7th St.
    Phoenix, AZ 85011

    California is covered by:

    US Bureau of Land Management
    2800 Cottage Way, E-2841
    Sacramento, CA 95825

    Colorado is covered by:

    US Bureau of Land Management
    2850 Youngfield St.
    Lakewood, CO 80215-7076

    States east of the Mississippi River, plus Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri,
Arkansas, Louisiana are covered by:

    US Bureau of Land Management
    Eastern States Office
    7450 Boston Blvd.
    Springfield, VA 22153

    Idaho is covered by:

    US Bureau of Land Management
    3380 Americana Terrace
    Boise, ID 83706

    Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota are covered by:

    US Bureau of Land Management
    222 N. 32nd St.
    P.O. Box 36800
    Billings, MT 59107

    Nevada is covered by:

    US Bureau of Land Management
    850 Harvard Way
    P.O. Box 12000
    Reno, NV 89520-0006

    New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas are covered by:

    US Bureau of Land Management
    1474 Rodeo Rd.
    P.O. Box 27115
    Santa Fe, NM 87502-7115

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    Department of Justice

U.S. Marshals Service

    What is sold

    * The U.S. Marshals Service sells property to the public that has been
forfeited under laws enforced or administered by the Department of
Justice and its investigative agencies (Drug Enforcement
Administration, Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the
Federal Bureau of Investigation) and certain other Federal law
enforcement agencies. More than 6,000 items of property are sold
annually with gross sales of $195 million.
    * The property consists of both residential and commercial real estate,
business establishments, and a wide variety of personal property such
as motor vehicles, boats, aircraft, jewelry, art, antiques,
collectibles and livestock.

    How items are sold

    * Forfeited property is sold through a variety of methods including
negotiation, sealed bid and auction.
    * Most forfeited property is sold by professional auctioneers and
brokers who are under contract to the U.S. Marshals Service. Local
contractors, usually auctioneers, sell boats, jewelry, art, antiques,
and most aircraft. Normally, real property is sold by local real
estate brokers through multiple listing services. Some forfeited
property is sold by GSA under an agreement with the U.S. Marshals
Service (see page 6). The U.S. Marshals Service also occasionally
conducts sales.

    How sales are advertised

    * Generally, forfeited property is advertised for sale in the classified
section of major newspapers in the area where the property is located.
Major sales are advertised the third Wednesday every month in the
classified section of the national newspaper, USA Today.
Advertisements for the sale of special interest items can also be
found in national association and trade publications, and in
specialized periodicals.
    * The U.S. Marshals Service does not maintain a list of forfeited
property for sale or a mailing list to notify prospective buyers of
upcoming sales.

    Special restrictions/conditions

    * The law under which the U.S. Marshals Service disposes of forfeited
property provides no authority for donations.
    * Department of Justice employees, certain contractors, and criminal
defendants cannot bid on forfeited property.
    * Guaranteed payment such as cash or certified check is required. Some
of the sales contractors may accept credit cards.
    * Forfeited property must be sold at its fair market value.

    The U.S. Marshals Service reserves the right to reject any and all bids in
a given forfeiture sale.

    For more information

    * Direct your inquiry to the district U.S. Marshal who is listed under
the U.S. Marshals Service of the Department of Justice in the "U.S.
Government" listings of the telephone directories of the major cities
in your state, or write:

    Office of Congressional and Public Affairs
    U.S. Marshals Service
    600 Army Navy Dr.
    Arlington, VA 22202-4210

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U.S. Postal Service

    What is sold

    * The U.S. Postal Service auctions a wide variety of items that have
been lost in the mail and are unclaimed. Sales of this unclaimed
merchandise are referred to as "dead letter" sales, although letters
are not generally among the items offered for sale. The merchandise
may include clocks, televisions, radios, tape recorders, compact
discs, jewelry, VCRs, clothing, or any item that is lost and unclaimed
in the U.S. mail. The U.S. Postal Service also has sales programs that
sell excess postal vehicles, computers, workroom and office furniture,
electronic and hardware items for mail handling equipment, and more.

    How items are sold

    * Auctions, sealed bid sales, and fixed price sales

    How sales are advertised

    * Postal vehicle sales are announced in local post offices, newspapers
and television advertisements. Personal property sales of excess goods
are advertised in local newspapers and post offices in the geographic
areas where sales are held.
    * Lost and unclaimed goods are sold at four sites: Philadelphia, PA; San
Francisco, CA; St. Paul, MN; and Atlanta, GA. To be placed on a
mailing list for notices of "dead letter" auctions, write to the
appropriate USPS offices listed on page 10.

    Special restrictions/conditions

    * Terms and conditions of each sale are posted with sales notice
information. U.S. Postal Service employees are permitted to buy at
personal property sales, except for those employees directly involved
in the sales. However, no U.S. Postal Service employee is allowed to
buy at auctions selling unclaimed merchandise. Postal vehicle sales
require payments by certified check, money order, cashier's check, or
cash. All "dead letter" sales accept cash and money orders.

    For more information

    * For information on surplus postal vehicle sales, contact your local
postmaster by looking under U.S. Postal Service in the "U.S.
Government" listings of the phone directory in the major cities of
your state. Your local postmaster can direct you to the vehicle
maintenance facility responsible for conducting sales in your area.
    * For information on personal property sales, write to one of the
following offices closest to your mailing address:

    Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma are covered by:

    Dallas Purchasing Service Center
    7800 N. Stemmons Fwy., Suite 970
    Dallas, TX 75266-7190

    Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois are covered by:

    Chicago Purchasing Service Center
    433 W. Van Buren St., Room 930
    Chicago , IL 60699-6260

    West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland. Washington, D.C., North Carolina, and
South Carolina are covered by:

    Greensboro Purchasing Service Center
    Albert Pick Rd., Suite 300
    Greensboro, N.C. 27495-1102

Nevada, Utah, and Alaska are covered by:
    Denver Purchasing Service Center
    300 S. Parker Rd., Suite 400
    Denver, Colorado

    North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin,
Minnesota, and Iowa are covered by:

    Minneapolis Purchasing Service Center
    2052 Killebrew Dr., Suite 610
    Minneapolis, MN 55425-1880

    Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida are covered

    Memphis Purchasing Service Center
    1407 Union Ave.
    Memphis, TN 38166-6260

    Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and Delaware are covered by:

    Philadelphia Purchasing Service Center
    615 Chestnut St., 15th Floor
    Philadelphia, PA 19197-0592

    New York City metropolitan area, North Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin

    Newark Purchasing Service Center
    60 Evergreen Place, 3rd Floor
    East Orange, NJ 07018-2199

    California, Hawaii, and all Pacific Possessions and TrustTerritories are
covered by:

    San Bruno Purchasing Service Center
    850 Cherry Ave., 2nd Floor
    San Bruno, CA 94099-6260

    Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut,and New York
(except New York metropolitan area) are covered by:

    Windsor Purchasing Service Center
    8 Griffin Rd. North
    Windsor, CT 06095-1572

    * For information on unclaimed merchandise "dead letter" auctions held
in the following cities, write to the office where you are interested
in attending sales:

    Undeliverable Mails
    2970 Market St., Room 531A
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-9651

    Claims & Inquiry & Undeliverable Mails
    1300 Evans Ave.
    San Francisco, CA 94188-9661

    Undeliverable Mails
    180 E. Kellog Blvd., Room 932
    St. Paul, MN 55101-9514

    Undeliverable Mails
    730 Great Southwest Pkwy.
    Atlanta, GA 30336-9590

    * For more information on personal property sales or "dead letter"
auctions you may write to:

    U.S. Postal Service
    Consumer Advocate
    475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Room 5911
    Washington, DC 20260-2202
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Resolution Trust Corporation

    What is sold

    * The Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) was created by Congress in 1989
to protect deposit accounts in insolvent thrift institutions, to
resolve the failed institutions, and to recover taxpayers' funds
through the sale of the institutions' assets. The RTC sells billions
of dollars in assets, including, but not limited to, real estate,
loans, securities, furniture and equipment. The major categories of
assets sold by the RTC are:
    * Residential, such as single-family detached homes, townhouses,
condominiums, co-ops, timeshares, and mobile homes;
    * Commercial, such as office complexes, retail shopping centers,
restaurants, hotels, resorts, multi-family apartments, and more;
    * Land, such as unimproved commercial or residential land, developed
land, agricultural land, ranch or pastures, oil and gas developments,
and more;
    * Financial Instruments, such as residential or commercial mortgages,
consumer loans (secured and unsecured), leasing portfolios and
    * Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment, such as art, banking equipment,
computers, galley/restaurant equipment, office equipment, heavy
equipment, storage and display fixtures;
    * Affordable Housing, such as single-family residences and multiple-unit
dwellings. These properties are offered exclusively for 97 days to
low-and moderate-income families (for single-family properties), and
to low-income housing providers who set aside at least 35 percent of
the units at restricted rent levels (for multi-family units). Seller
financing is available.

    How items are sold

    * Individual sales: Individual real estate properties are marketed
through real estate brokers or other professionals. All real estate
properties must be marketed individually for 120 days before being
offered in a sales initiative.
    * Sealed bids: Potential buyers and other interested parties
independently value an asset or package of assets and submit
confidential bids.
    * Auctions: A large volume of assets, including real estate, pools of
loans, furniture or equipment, is offered and sold quickly in an open
    * Portfolio sales: Real estate or loans secured by real estate are
packaged, often according to location or asset type.
    * Securitization: Securities backed by loans are issued and sold to
investors through the capital markets.
    * Small Investor Program: Real estate assets and loans, not currently
committed to scheduled events, are actively marketed for a minimum
period of 120 days. Individual real estate assets are offered through
localized auctions and small loan pool offerings, as well as through
the real estate brokerage community, to ensure that investors with
moderate levels of capital are provided with purchasing opportunities.

How sales are advertised

    * Each week, the RTC advertises upcoming loan and real estate offerings
in The Wall Street Journal. A calendar of loan offerings is published
every Thursday on the Government Securities page of the Money and
Investing section. Every Friday, a calendar of real estate offerings
is published on the same page and section. In addition, specific
sales, auctions, sealed-bid sales or securities offerings are
advertised in The Wall Street Journal and in major daily newspapers in
specific local media markets where the product is located or potential
investors have been identified.

    Special restrictions/conditions

    * RTC/FDIC employees are not allowed to purchase assets.
    * Purchasers of assets having a total purchase price of $500,000 or more
must certify, by signing a document provided by the RTC, that they
have not defaulted on obligations to the RTC, FDIC, or FSLIC where
there is an amount due of $500,000 or more. *Individuals seeking to
purchase assets must be able to certify, by signing a document
provided by the RTC, that they have not been convicted of certain
criminal fraud offenses and that they are not in default on an
obligation (where there is an outstanding amount due of $50,000 or
more) to the institution whose assets they wish to purchase.
    * Purchasers of assets from a thrift institution under RTC control must
be able to certify, by signing a document provided by the RTC, that
they have not participated in a transaction or other business deal
that resulted in a loss of more than $50,000 to the thrift from which
they intend to buy assets. Purchasers wishing to obtain seller
financing from the RTC must be able to certify that they have not
defaulted on one or more obligations to any thrift institution, and
that they are not subject to a pending judicial or administrative
action brought by the RTC or another party.
    * Due to the complexity and variety of RTC asset sales, restrictions,
conditions and payment options are established on an individual sale
basis. Financing is available.

    For more information

    * To find out how you can participate in an RTC sale, contact RTC
operators 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by calling the phone numbers
    * For a calendar of auction and sealed-bid offerings scheduled
nationwide, call 1(800) 782-3006.
    * To receive a list of properties in your area, call the Asset Sales
Hotline at 1(800) 782-3006.
    * To find out about Small Investor Program property offerings, or for a
special welcome kit for program investors, call the Small Investor
Program Hotline at 1(800) 421-2073.
    * To find out about affordable housing properties for low- and
moderate-income buyers, call the Affordable Housing Hotline at 1(800)
624-HOME (4663).
    * To obtain answers to general RTC questions, call the Information
Center at 1(800) 348-1484.

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U.S. Small Business Administration

    What is sold

    * The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) makes loans and loan
guaranties to small businesses and individuals who are victims of
natural disasters. If a borrower defaults on the SBA loan or guaranty,
SBA may sell the property securing the loan. The assets for sale may
range from real estate-commercial property, single family homes,
vacant land, and farms-to personal property such as machinery,
equipment, furniture, fixtures, and inventory that were used in a wide
variety of business operations.

    How items are sold

    * Public auction, sealed bid, sealed bidders auction, listing with
brokers or dealers, and private negotiation.

    How sales are advertised

    * Sales advertisements depend on the size and type of assets being sold.
    * Classified and display advertisements appear in local, regional,
national, and international newspapers, and trade and industry
publications. The SBA central office in Washington, DC does not
maintain a mailing list of upcoming sales or of potential buyers who
wish to be notified. However, local auctioneers and some SBA district
offices may maintain localized lists.

    Special restrictions/conditions

    * Unless otherwise specified, all sales are "as is." The buyer is
responsible for removal. For the most part, only cash or guaranteed
payment such as cashier's check or certified check is accepted. The
sales advertisements will provide payment information. The terms and
conditions for each sale are read at the start of the sale. All
prospective bidders should be present at this time, since bidders are
bound by these announcements, and there may be some last minute
changes or additions to the advertised terms.

    For more information

    * Contact your local SBA district office. To find the district office
nearest you, call 1-800-U-ASK-SBA (1-800-827-5722) or look for the
U.S. Small Business Administration under the "U.S. Government"
listings in the telephone directories of the major cities in your
state. Ask for the Liquidation Chief, and specify the types of assets
you wish to buy, the general price range, and the geographic location
in which you're interested. To find out how to be placed on a
localized mailing list (if there is one), contact the SBA Liquidation
Chief in the location where you wish to buy goods. A listing of assets
which have been acquired by SBA can be viewed via PC modem. The
numbers for SBA Online are (202) 401-9600 or (900) 463-4636.

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Tennessee Valley Authority

    What is sold

    * The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is involved in a variety of
activities ranging from flood control and electric power production to
forestry and wildlife development. TVA sells both personal and real
property, such as electrical supplies, heavy construction equipment,
office furniture and machines, vehicles ranging from heavy industrial
vehicles to pick-up trucks and sedans, and undeveloped land for
industrial and recreational purposes. Over 50 sales are held by the
TVA each year throughout Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi,
and North Carolina.

    How items are sold

    * Goods are sold by auction or negotiated sales.

    How sales are advertised

    * Sales information is advertised by calling (615) 751-SALE or through
mailing lists, newspapers, and trade publications. To be placed on TVA
mailing lists, write to the address below. Be sure to include the
types of items in which you are interested so you will be placed on
the appropriate mailing list.

    Special restrictions/conditions

    * Personal checks are accepted with a letter of guarantee. Amounts
higher than $50,000 require a certified check, cashier's check, or
wire transfer.
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    Department of the Treasury

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms

    What is sold

    * The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) sells a limited
number of Bureau-owned motor vehicles excess to its needs and seized
vehicles not selected for official use. Vehicles range from sports
cars to family sedans and are disposed of in "as is" condition. The
vast majority of these vehicles are turned over by the Bureau to the
Federal Supply Service of the U.S. General Services Administration
(GSA) for disposal (see page 6). GSA decides if the vehicles are
economical or practical for GSA to sell. If GSA does not take the
vehicles, it authorizes the Bureau to dispose of them. Only a very
small number of vehicles are sold to the public directly by BATF.

    How vehicles are sold

    * Spot bid and fixed price sales

    How sales are advertised

    * Sales are advertised in local newspapers. Agency personnel also
contact salvage and scrap firms to obtain competitive bids for
vehicles badly damaged, worn, or deteriorated, or when repair is
clearly impractical.

    Special restrictions/conditions

    * BATF reserves the right to reject any and all bids not reasonably
consistent with the value of the property being sold and to declare
"no sale" for the property involved.
    * Treasury employees are prohibited from bidding on or purchasing
property either owned by the Federal Government, or under control of
the employee's bureau, or under control of a bureau supervised by the
employee, or seized and sold under the direction of the employee's
    * BATF accepts only cashier's check or money orders. Cash is not

    For more information

    * For further information on sales, contact the GSA Federal Supply
    Service Bureau nearest you.

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    Department Of The Treasury

U.S. Customs

    What is sold

    * As the program that manages our nation's borders, the U.S. Customs
seizes a wide variety of items. Excluding those items not allowed in
the U.S., most merchandise ends up for sale to the public at U.S.
Customs Service auctions across the country. These auction items
include all types of cars, vessels such as yachts and sailboats, real
estate, and personal property such as jewelry, clothing, and household
items. The type, quality, and condition of the goods vary widely. The
U.S. Customs Service also auctions Internal Revenue Service (IRS),
BATF and Secret Service forfeited property.

    How items are sold

    * Public auctions are conducted by the U.S. Customs Service contractor
and are held nationwide.

    How sales are advertised

    * The U.S. Customs Service contractor advertises through the media and
trade publications for high-value aircraft and vessels. A one-year
catalog subscription, listing items at upcoming auctions, is available
to the public for a fee. Nationwide subscriptions for sales in the
continental United States, Puerto Rico, and Alaska are $50. Eastern
region subscriptions for sales located east of the Mississippi River
(including Puerto Rico) and western region subscriptions for sales
located west of the Mississippi River (including Alaska) are each $25.
Add $10 for foreign orders. To find out more about this service,
contact the U.S. Customs Service contractor below.

    Special restrictions/conditions

    * U.S. Customs Service employees cannot purchase seized items. Certain
merchandise is sold for "export only" and must be taken outside of the
United States after purchase. Payment and deposit requirements are
contained in the "Terms of Sale" in the sales catalog. For more
information write or call:

    EG&G Dynatrend, Inc.
    U.S Customs Service Support Division
    2300 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 705
    Arlington, VA 22201
    (703) 351-7887
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Department of Veterans Affairs

    What is sold

    * The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates programs to benefit
veterans and members of their families. One of these programs is the
Guaranteed Home Loan Program. If a veteran- homeowner defaults on a
VA-guaranteed loan, the veteran's lender forecloses the loan. In most
cases, VA acquires these properties after foreclosure and then sells
the properties to the public through 46 regional offices These
properties include detached homes, townhouses and condominiums.

    How the properties are sold

    * Properties are offered for sale to the public at fair market value and
sold to the highest offeror.
    * VA seller-financing, with competitive rates, terms and down payments,
is available for most properties being offered for sale.
    * Offers may be submitted through any licensed real estate broker who
participates in VA sales programs. These brokers can answer questions
about VA sales procedures and show properties to prospective
purchasers. Sales commissions are paid by VA.

    How sales are advertised

    * Some VA offices issue property sales listings by direct mail to sales
brokers who have requested to be placed on the mailing list of the
regional offices, while others publish their sales listings in local
newspapers. Some participating sales brokers also advertise that they
sell VA properties. Special restriction/conditions
    * You do not have to be a veteran to purchase these properties. The
conditions of sale are included in the sales listings and will vary
from property to property.

    For more information

    * Contact the nearest VA regional office by obtaining the phone number
from the "U.S. Government" listings in the phone directory of the
major cities in your state.

A FINAL NOTE                                                       up to list

    The information in this booklet is accurate as of June 1994. Because the
sales programs described change over time, the U.S. General Services
Administration encourages consumers to contact the sponsoring Federal
agency's local or regional offices for current sales information and
specific details concerning the rules and conditions of sales. It should be
noted that this guide does not include very small and specialized one-time
sales. Also, state and municipal governments may have similar sales
programs. Contact your local government offices for information on those
sales programs.



    Personal property is the term used for all items other than real estate. It
includes everything from office furniture to cars and jewelry. Most
personal property sold by the government is used, and sold "as is."

    Real property is real estate. It may include office buildings, houses,
condominiums, apartments, undeveloped land, retail stores, industrial
properties, and golf courses. Like personal property, the kind of real
property available will vary among the sales programs.

    Confiscated, seized, forfeited are terms which describe the status of
property in the possession of Federal law enforcement agencies. The terms
are not interchangeable. Property that is seized or confiscated may be
returned to a defendant or innocent owner. If it is not returned, the
property becomes forfeited and may become available for sale to the public.
Therefore, advertising for Federal government sales will usually describe
the property obtained through confiscation and seizure, as forfeited. This
kind of property is sold "as is" and the inventory of sales items
constantly changes.

    Foreclosed property is sold when citizens default on loans secured by a
government agency. The property, usually real estate, is sold to the public
through government sales programs. The U.S. Small Business Administration,
the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Resolution
Trust Corporation all sell foreclosed properties.

    Excess and/or Surplus property. Federal property no longer needed by an
agency is declared as excess to the needs of that agency, but may be
transferred to another Federal agency. Federally owned property which is no
longer needed by any Federal agency is declared as surplus to the needs of
the Federal Government. If not transferred to state governments, it is sold
to the public.

    Unclaimed goods are sold by the Federal Government when items are lost,
abandoned, or unclaimed by the public. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is
the primary agency that sells unclaimed items, typically goods that have
been lost in the mail. USPS sells the unclaimed merchandise to the public
through its "dead letter" sales program.

    SALES METHODS                                                           up to list

    Sealed Bid. The Federal agency prepares an "Invitation for Bid," an
informational sheet that describes the property being offered for sale and
includes the terms and conditions of sale. It contains all the information
you need to bid on the item. If interested, you submit your bid to the
agency, usually by mail. On the bid-opening date, the bids are read
publicly and the award is made to the highest bidder who has correctly
followed the required procedures.

    Public Auction. The Federal agency follows traditional auction procedures
and gives prospective buyers a description of the property to be auctioned
along with bidding instructions before the auction. The auctioneer
conducting the sale offers the property item-by-item and awards the item to
the highest bidder. When buying through an auction, the buyer must be
present to bid, unlike the sealed bid method, which is conducted by mail.

    Sealed Bidders Auction. A sales method that combines aspects of the sealed
bid and auction methods. Bidders submit sealed bids on the item being
offered for sale and the highest sealed bidders are then allowed to
participate in a public auction. The bidding starts with the highest sealed

    Spot Bid. Bidders are usually required to attend the sale to place their
bid in written form. The property is offered item-by-item, as in an
auction. However, in an auction, the bids are voiced; with the spot bid
method, the written form allows a one-time chance for the bidder. The
highest bidder is announced publicly, receives the award and the sale is
made. Buyers are encouraged to be present at the award.

    Fixed price sale. The Federal agency marks the merchandise with a
particular price. The public may purchase the items for that set price at a
public sale. The items are sold on a first- come, first-served basis.

    Negotiation. This method is often used when selling real estate. Federal
agencies may negotiate individual property sales as a way to sell the
property. The majority of U.S Marshals' forfeited real property is sold in
this manner. At other times, negotiation may be used in special
circumstances. For example, the U.S. General Services Administration may
negotiate a sale if, after advertising, the bid prices are not reasonable
or if the specialized property is of interest only to a small group of
buyers. Negotiation may also be used if the character/condition of the
property or unusual circumstances make it impractical to advertise
publicly. Sometimes agencies appraise properties to estimate their market
value and establish a list price. The Resolution Trust Corporation requires
an individual appraisal for all properties valued at more than $50,000.
Offers on the property are encouraged based on the list price, with the
final price subject to negotiation.

    Broker/Individual Sale. Real property in government sales programs is
sometimes disposed of by using private real estate brokers to negotiate the
sale. For example, the Department of Housing and Urban Development uses
real estate brokers in the HUD Home sales program. The Department of
Veterans Affairs' sales program also utilizes private real estate brokers
when selling residential properties. The U.S. Marshals Service sells the
majority of its forfeited real property through licensed real estate
brokers using multiple listing services.

    Portfolio sales. These sales occur when the Resolution Trust Corporation
groups together packages of real estate and loans for sale to the public.
Typically, buyers purchase the property as a package. For example, real
estate may be grouped by geographic location and assets from a failed
institution may be packaged by loan type.

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Customs Auctions Page U.S. Post Office Sales
GSA Sales  Trustee and  Bankruptcy Sales
HUD/FHA and RTC Sales Military Sales
IRS Tax Sales You can print out the complete list here if you want.
U.S. Marshal Sales Index Page

Some New pages added on 4/17/99

Links Page More Military info
More US Marshal info State Agency info
A free report on US Government Land for sale. (BLM) State Auction info
A free report on Real Property. A 40 page Handbook
on US Gov't auctions


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