Government, bankruptcy and general auctions are amongst the most common auctions to be found today. A government auction is simply an auction held on behalf of a government body generally at a general sale. Here one may find a vast range of materials that have to be sold by various government bodies, for example: HM Customs & Excise, the Official Receiver, the Ministry of Defence, local councils and authorities, liquidators, as well as material put up for auction by companies and members of the public. Also in this group you will find auctions ordered by executors who are entering the assets of individuals who have perhaps died in testate (those who have died without leaving a will), or in debt. One of the most interesting bodies to look out for at auction is HM Customs & Excise who may be entering at auction various items seized from smugglers, fraudsters and racketeers.
Bids can be made online for Internet auctions, or in person for live auctions. Accepted forms of payment typically are major credit cards and checks, and payment is due at the time of the close of the auction. Details may vary among auction houses and the state the auction is held in. As with all auctions, the vehicle is sold to the highest bidder.
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The relationship between the Fed and the primary dealers is governed by the Primary Dealers Act of 1988 and the Fed's operating policy "Administration of Relationships with Primary Dealers." Primary dealers purchase the vast majority of the U.S. Treasury securities (T-bills, T-notes, and T-bonds) sold at auction, and resell them to the public. Their activities extend well beyond the Treasury market. For example, according to the Wall Street Journal Europe (2/9/06 p. 20), all of the top ten dealers in the foreign exchange market are also primary dealers, and between them account for almost 73% of foreign exchange trading volume. Arguably, this group's members are the most influential and powerful non-governmental institutions in global financial markets. Group membership changes slowly, with the current list available from the New York Fed.
It is important to have realistic expectations when attending a government car auction. While you can find some good bargains, you are not going to find a brand new BMW for $100.00. Government auctions sell both fleet cars and vehicles that have been impounded by government agencies. The conditions of these vehicles can range from great to not running. Set your expectations and budget realistically.