Facing foreclosure? House foreclosing in Pennsylvania? How long till I have to leave the property?
In Pennsylvania foreclosed properties are sold at what is known as a Sheriff sale. A Sheriff sale is where the property is sold to the highest bidder or taken back by the current mortgage lender. If there is more then one lender on the property usually the first mortgage company, or primary mortgage company is in first position and takes back the property.
The new owner, no matter if it is a the bank or an individual must file what is known as an Action in Ejectment or Eviction, before changing the locks.
Homeowners are given ample notice of the Sheriff sale date to move their belongings from the property. Most of the time the bank will file along with the foreclosure notice on the property, and the locks are changed prior.
A notice of the Action in Ejectment, known as a complaint, will be delivered to the occupants. The former borrower has 20 days to respond to the notice. If they do not contest the ejectment action, then the new owner will be granted possession. They must then contact the Sheriff’s department to schedule the date of ejectment, which should occur within 90 days but typically 30 days.
If the former borrower or the occupant of the property (sometimes a tenant) disputes the Action in Ejectment, then a hearing will be scheduled. We have seen one case where the former owner lived in the house for 13 months after the Sheriff’s Sale, while they contested the new owner’s right to own the property.
Typically, the new owner must file the deed prior to being awarded the ejectment against the occupant. On the date of the ejectment, the new owner must provide a locksmith to change the locks. The new owner will be expected to remove the personal property left on the premises, but the items must be temporarily stored with reasonable care. The new owner will have to provide notice to the occupant that their personal property is held in storage so they have the opportunity to retrieve their belongings. If the notice is provided but the items are not retrieved, the new owner could discard or sell the personal property after at least 30 days.
For more information on how to avoid foreclosure visit The Pennsylvania Short Sale Realtor.