The Mortgage Foreclosure Process can be difficult and frightening. Homeowners do have a number of options to defend against the loss of their home. Mortgage Foreclosure Options include obtaining assistance from the Pennsylvania Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (Act 91), defending the foreclosure case, mortgage modification or settlement, and filing a Chapter 13 Petition.
If you want to save your home, we can help. I am an attorney experienced in all aspects of mortgage foreclosure defense: loan modifications, workouts, foreclosure defense, and chapter 13 bankruptcy plans.
THE MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE PROCESS IN PENNSYLVANIA
Before beginning a mortgage foreclosure case, a formal notice must be sent by certified mail. Thirty days later, a mortgage foreclosure complaint can be filed in the Court of Common Pleas, in the County where the property is located. The Complaint must be served by the Sheriff. The homeowner has 20 days to respond. If a judgment is entered, the bank can, after 30 days, request that the property be listed for Sheriff’s sale. A Writ is then be issued, which must also be served, and the property is advertised.
In Blair County, Pennsylvania, a homeowner can request that the case be referred to Mortgage Foreclosure Court.
A Sheriff’s Sale in Pennsylvania is conducted as an auction; in most cases, the bank will be the only bidder, and can then try to sell it to recover their money. After the Sheriff’s sale, there is no right of redemption, and unless a serious defect in the proceedings is found, it will not be possible for the homeowner to reclaim their property.
Mobile home foreclosures are handled through a slightly different legal process. A civil lawsuit is filed, asking the court for an Order directing the turnover of the home. If no Answer is filed, a Court Order is obtained, allowing the lender to repossess the trailer. This Order is then enforced by the County Sheriff’s Office.
A separate process is used for tax sales. Depending on the type of taxes involved, a tax sale may be scheduled by the Tax Claim Bureau of the County where the property is located.
CAN A MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE ATTORNEY HELP ME?
A lawyer can assist in a number of ways. Typically, a mortgage foreclosure attorney will begin by reviewing your overall financial situation. The attorney can then recommend one or more ways in which the home can be saved.
There are no magic wands here: if the mortgage was validly placed on the property, it will not just disappear. The internet is full of ads promising things that may or may not be possible. If your goal is to save your home, you should focus on the legitimate and lawful means which allow you to save a home.
After consulting a mortgage foreclosure lawyer, you should understand what options you have to save your home, and decide what will work for you.
PENNSYLVANIA’S ACT 91
Act 91 provides an opportunity for homeowners to receive a loan from the State, in order to get caught up on a mortgage.