which liens survive a sheriff's sale in california?

If I am only bidding on the interest of the debtor,do mortgage loans survive a sheriff sale?

HI Barry,
You would need to check the lien position of the foreclosing loan or lien. Junior liens would be wiped out with the exception of IRS liens which have a redemption period. You would want to check reconveyances and suborindations that could affect the lien position as well. We have a great video on this subject at

Also, Sheriff’s sales are pretty uncommon in CA… we assume you mean trustee sale… correct?

Sean -
You are right. I would be surprised if there are more than 100 Sheriff sales against real property in all of Ca. in a year.
In the past, title companies were reluctant to insure after a Sheriff’s sale before examining their file to make sure it was handled properly.