ISSUES IN MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE IN PENNSYLVANIA
The attorneys of Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C. frequently represent mortgage lenders in the foreclosure process, which in Pennsylvania is a combination of statute and local procedure. There are sixty seven counties in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, each county has its own set of procedures which mostly serve to delay the foreclosure proceeding and frustrate our clients. It is sometimes difficult to understand why the lender which has not been paid for many months cannot just throw the deadbeats out.
Many counties now have adopted a Mortgage Modification program that debtors must have the opportunity to go through before the timeclock starts on any answer to the Foreclosure Complaint. This process can add many months to the timeline of getting to the actual Sheriff’s Sale. All the while, the person who promised to pay the mortgage stays in the house (maybe even actively destroying it), not paying a dime to the lender, who for some unknown reason, has become the “bad guy”, when all it is trying to do is collect the money it was promised.
There are numerous laws and regulations which apply to the foreclosure process. It is generally unwise to attempt to prosecute a foreclosure in PA without an attorney. There are several notices which are required before a residential mortgage can be foreclosed upon in Pennsylvania. First, the lender must give a 30 day notice of intention to foreclose (commonly referred to as an “Act 6 Notice”). Additionally, a second notice, known as the Act 91 Notice is required.
Once the Act 6/Act 91 letters are sent out, it is a very wise thing to order a title search on the property being foreclosed. The lender will want to (1) make sure it is proceeding against the correct party; (2) see how many other lien holders there are; (3) find out whether there is a divorce involved; and (4) review the recorded mortgage.
Another important step is the proper identity of the defendants. Is it an FHA mortgage? The United States must be named as a defendant and served. Is the mortgagor deceased? If so, and he is the last surviving record property owner, the Estate and all the beneficiaries must be named as Defendants.
Our real estate team has the knowledge and experience to assist lenders with foreclosing on mortgages when their loans are in default. If you need to speak with a foreclosure lawyer, contact any of our convenient offices. Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C., can be reached toll free at 866-967-8935 or through our online contact form.