Disposition of personal property acquired by the United States.
(1) In general.
Any personal property (except bonds, notes, checks, and other securities) acquired by the United States in payment of or as security for debts arising under the internal revenue laws may be sold by the appropriate TTB officer who acquired such property for the United States. United States saving bonds shall not be sold by the appropriate TTB officer, but shall be transferred to the appropriate office of the Treasury Department for redemption. Other bonds, notes, checks, and other securities shall be disposed of in accordance with instructions issued by the appropriate TTB officer.
(2) Time, place, manner and terms of sale.
The time, place, manner and terms of sale of personal property acquired for the United States shall be as follows:
(i) Time, notice, and place of sale.
The property may be sold at any time after it has been acquired by the United States. A public notice of sale shall be posted at the post office nearest the place of sale and in at least two other public places. The notice shall specify the property to be sold and the time, place, manner, and conditions of sale. In addition, the appropriate TTB officer may use such other methods of advertising as such officer believes will result in obtaining the highest price for the property. Generally, the place of sale will be within the area where the property was originally acquired by the United States. However, if the appropriate TTB officer believes that a substantially higher price may be obtained, the sale may be held outside such area.
(ii) Rejection of bids and adjournment of sale.
The officer conducting the sale reserves the right to reject any and all bids and withdraw the property from the sale. When it appears to the officer conducting the sale that an adjournment of the sale will best serve the interest of the United States, that officer may order the sale adjourned from time to time. If the sale is adjourned for more than 30 days in the aggregate, public notice of the sale must again be given in accordance with paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section.
(iii) Liquidated damages.
The notice shall state whether, in the case of default in payment of the bid price, any amount deposited with the United States will be retained as liquidated damages. In case liquidated damages are provided, the amount thereof shall not exceed $200.
(3) Agreement to bid.
The appropriate TTB officer may, before giving notice of sale, solicit offers from prospective bidders and enter into agreements with such persons that they will bid at least a specified amount in case the property is offered for sale. In such cases, the appropriate TTB officer may also require such persons to make deposits to secure the performance of their agreements. Any such deposit, but not more than $200, shall be retained as liquidated damages in case such person fails to bid the specified amount and the property is not sold for as much as the amount specified in such agreement.
(4) Terms of payment.
The property shall be offered for sale upon whichever of the following terms is fixed by the appropriate TTB officer in the public notice of sale:
Payment in full upon acceptance of the highest bid, without regard to the amount of such bid, or
If the aggregate price of all property purchased by a successful bidder at the sale is more than $200, an initial payment of $200 or 20 percent of the purchase price, whichever is the greater, and payment of the balance (including all costs incurred for the protection or preservation of the property subsequent to the sale and prior to final payment) within a specified period, not to exceed one month from the date of the sale.
(5) Method of sale.
The property may be sold either:
At public auction, at which open competitive bids shall be received, or
At public sale under sealed bids.
(6) Sales under sealed bids.
The following rules, in addition to the other rules provided in this paragraph, shall be applicable to public sales under sealed bids.
(i) Invitation to bidders.
Bids shall be solicited through a public notice of sale.
(ii) Form for use by bidders.
A bid shall be submitted on a form which will be furnished by the appropriate TTB officer upon request. The form shall be completed in accordance with the instructions thereon.
(iii) Remittance with bid.
If the total bid is $200 or less, the full amount of the bid shall be submitted therewith. If the total bid is more than $200, 20 percent of such bid or $200, whichever is greater, shall be submitted therewith. Such remittance shall be by a certified, cashier's, or treasurer's check drawn on any bank or trust company incorporated under the laws of the United States or under the laws of any State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or by a U.S. postal, bank, express, or telegraph money order.
(iv) Time for receiving and opening bids.
Each bid shall be submitted in a securely sealed envelope. The bidder shall indicate in the upper left hand corner of the envelope the bidder's name and address and the time and place of sale as announced in the public notice of sale. A bid will not be considered unless it is received by the officer conducting the sale prior to the opening of the bids. The bids will be opened at the time and place stated in the notice of sale, or at the time fixed in the announcement of the adjournment of the sale.
(v) Consideration of bids.
The officer conducting the sale shall have the right to waive any technical defects in a bid. After the opening, examination, and consideration of all bids, the officer conducting the sale shall announce the amount of the highest bid or bids and the name of the successful bidder or bidders, unless in the opinion of the officer a higher price can be obtained for the property than has been bid. In the event the highest bids are equal in amount (and unless in the opinion of the officer conducting the sale a higher price can be obtained for the property than has been bid), the officer shall determine the successful bidder by drawing lots. Any remittance submitted in connection with an unsuccessful bid shall be returned to the bidder at the conclusion of the sale.
(vi) Withdrawal of bids.
A bid may be withdrawn on written or telegraphic request received from the bidder prior to the time fixed for opening the bids. A technical defect in a bid confers no right on the bidder for the withdrawal of the bid after it has been opened.
(7) Payment of bid price.
All payments for property sold pursuant to this section shall be made by cash or by a certified, cashier's or treasurer's check drawn on any bank or trust company incorporated under the laws of the United States or under the laws of any State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or by a U.S. postal, bank, express, or telegraph money order. If payment in full is required upon acceptance of the highest bid, the payment shall be made at such time. If payment in full is not made at such time, the officer conducting the sale may forthwith proceed again to sell the property in the manner provided in paragraph (a)(5) of this section. If deferred payment is permitted, the initial payment shall be made upon acceptance of the bid, and the balance shall be paid on or before the date fixed for payment thereof. Any remittance submitted with a successful sealed bid shall be applied toward the purchase price.
(8) Delivery and removal of personal property.
The risk of loss is on the purchaser of the property upon acceptance of the purchaser's bid. Possession of any property shall not be delivered to the purchaser until the purchase price has been paid in full. If payment of part of the purchase price for the property is deferred, the United States will retain possession of such property as security for the payment of the balance of the purchase price and, as agent for the purchaser, will cause the property to be cared for until the purchase price has been paid is full or the sale in declared null and void for failure to make full payment of the purchase price. In such case, all charges and expenses incurred in caring for the property after acceptance of the bid shall be borne by the purchaser.
(9) Certificate of sale.
The officer conducting the sale shall issue a certificate of sale to the purchaser upon payment in full of the purchase price.
In case of the resale of such property, the proceeds of the sale shall be paid into the Treasury as internal revenue collections and there shall be rendered by the appropriate TTB officer a distinct account of all charges incurred in such sale. For additional accounting rules, see 26 U.S.C. 7809.
26 U.S.C. 7505
[T.D. ATF-301, 55 FR 47627, Nov. 14, 1990, as amended by T.D. ATF-450, 66 FR 29027, May 29, 2001]