The Philadelphia Courts have postponed all mortgage foreclosure and tax sales anticipating that the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 will provide homeowners in Pennsylvania with access to over $350 million to pay off debt or tax liens resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. President Judge, Idee C. Fox, issued an administrative order postponing such sales and noted that a supplemental order will be issued by the Court of Common Pleas within thirty days, “setting forth the process and procedure to assist homeowners in finding available resources” needed to make such mortgage or tax payments.
The court’s extension of the stay on mortgage foreclosure and tax sales comes after an outcry from numerous elected officials and community organizers who believe that additional time is needed to allow homeowners to catch up on their overdue mortgage and tax payments before wholesale foreclosure purchasers have the opportunity to purchase such distressed real estate.
Until the court’s supplemental order is issued, it is unknown whether there are any options to purchase distressed real estate in Philadelphia while the court’s stay is in place. The court’s order does, however, suggest that it is possible that certain parcels of distressed real estate will not qualify for the extended mortgage foreclosure and tax sales stay.
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Author Andrew Marrinucci is an associate in the real estate and finance department at Klehr Harrison.