For homeowners facing foreclosure in Pennsylvania, the following is a summary of the state’s foreclosure laws:
Foreclosures in Pennsylvania can be judicial, meaning the bank must file a lawsuit in court in order to foreclose.
Nonjudicial foreclosures are not allowed in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania law requires four foreclosure notices:
- The bank will send the homeowner a notice of intention to foreclose, giving the homeowner an opportunity to cure the default, at least 30 days before starting the foreclosure process.
- At least 30 days before initiating the foreclosure process, the bank will give the homeowner notice that they may qualify for financial assistance under Pennsylvania’s Homeowner’s Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program. The homeowner must be at least 60 days delinquent on the mortgage payments before the notice is sent. The notice will also advise the homeowner of the default and give 30 days to meet with a local consumer credit counseling agency to try to resolve the debt. The bank does not have to send the notice if the homeowner is in default for more than 24 months, owes over $60,000, or the assistance program runs out of funds.
The notice is also not required if the bank previously gave the notice and the homeowner:
- Failed to apply for mortgage assistance
- Applied for mortgage assistance but the application was denied
- The homeowner’s mortgage assistance payments were terminated for any reason.
- In Pennsylvania, the bank initiates the foreclosure process by filing a foreclosure lawsuit in court. The bank then sends notice of the lawsuit to the homeowner by serving them with a summons and complaint.
- If the court grants a judgment in favor of the bank, the property will be sold to cover the mortgage debt. A notice of sale will be posted on the property, as well as at the sheriff’s office, and served to the homeowner at least 30 days before the sale. It will also be published in a local newspaper once a week for three weeks.
Pennsylvania Foreclosure Protections
Pennsylvania foreclosure law provides protections in accordance with the federal Service Members Civil Relief Act.
Pennsylvania law also states Pennsylvania National Guard members on active state service, and 30 days thereafter, cannot be sued for foreclosure.
Reinstatement and Redemption
Pennsylvania law allows the homeowner to reinstate the mortgage up to one hour before the bidding starts at the foreclosure sale, a maximum of three times in any calendar year.
Pennsylvania law does not allow a homeowner to redeem the property after the foreclosure sale.
In Pennsylvania, the bank can request a deficiency judgment by filing a separate lawsuit within six months after the foreclosure sale. If the bank was the buyer at the foreclosure sale, the deficiency is limited by the fair market value of the property.
If the foreclosed homeowner doesn’t leave the property after the foreclosure sale, the new homeowner can start a separate eviction action to remove them from the premises. For information regarding how to avoid foreclosure in Pennsylvania, visit HUD.gov.