ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is set to auction off hundreds of plots of land all over the area. The Catholic church is being forced to liquidate its properties, as part of a bankruptcy settlement following a run of child sex abuse lawsuits. The auction is broken up into different phases. This first phase includes about 138 pieces of land in Bernalillo, Sandoval and Valencia counties. 

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“Most of these are vacant parcels of land, whether they are a recorded lot in a subdivision or some of these lots I’ll be honest with you are in locations where there are no existing infrastructure presently,” explains Louis B. Fisher III, the National Director of SVN Auction Services, LLC. “But they are plotted lots and there are some that you know are sizable acreage.”

Some will be sold individually — while others will be packaged into several lot sales. The Archdiocese will be auctioning parcels that are zoned for residential, commercial, and special zoning.

According to attorney Levi Monagle who represents several abuse survivors, no bankruptcy settlement will come together without the buy-in of the creditor buyers or the abuse survivors. 

Monagle does believe this is a step in the right direction. “As publicly as things are unfolding, there is an opportunity here for closure in the minds of a lot of abuse survivors to know that they spoke up, that they were heard, that the archdiocese acknowledged the wrongdoings of the past and took responsibility for those wrongdoings,” he shares.

This is the first time a diocese has taken a step like this to auction off properties on a scale like this. There were 385 claimants in the archdiocese’s bankruptcy. 

The second phase of the auction is expected to begin in November with properties from 15 other counties. Bidding will begin in the online auction beginning on September 21. The opening bid on these properties starts as low as $500.

For more information on the properties and terms and conditions of the sale, visit