Foreclosure Process in Pennsylvania

What is the foreclosure process in Pennsylvania?


Foreclosure is a legal procedure in which property pledged as security is sold to satisfy the debt.  A mortgage lender’s rights can be enforced through foreclosure if the borrower defaults on mortgage payments or fails to fulfill any of the other obligations in the mortgage.  The foreclosure process in Pennsylvania begins when a borrower fails to make payments on a mortgage loan, or an owner fails to pay property taxes or water/sewer bills, or any other lien holder pursues its right to collect the debt secured by the property.


Timeline for Foreclosure in Pennsylvania

August 1, 2011 August mortgage payment due but not paid
September 1, 2011 September mortgage payment also due.  Two months’ payments are now due.
October 1, 2011 October mortgage payment due.  Three months’ payments are now due.
October 6, 2011 Lis Pendens Notice.  Lender sends a Notice of Intent to Foreclosure (Act 6 Notice) to the borrower.  The lender may also send an Act 91. The homeowner has 20-30 days to respond.
November 9, 2011 The maximum 30 days in the Act 6 and Act 91 Notices are up.  The lender hires a foreclosure attorney.
December 9, 2011 The foreclosure attorney for the lender files a complaint at the county courthouse (Court of Common Pleas).
January 24, 2012 The borrower fails to respond to the complaint, and a default judgment is entered in favor of the lender.
February 26, 2012 The county Sheriff’s office schedules a date for the Sheriff’s Sale.
March 26, 2012

A notice of the Sheriff’s Sale is sent to the borrower and to other lien holders.

April 26, 2012 The Sheriff’s Sale is held.
April 28, 2012 The Sheriff’s office prepares and records a deed conveying title to the purchaser.  If a third party did not purchase the property at the Sheriff’s Sale, then the deed conveys title to the mortgage lender.
April 29, 2012 Eviction or Ejectment process begins if the borrower is still residing at the property.


Typically the foreclosure process in Pennsylvania will take longer than the above diagram.  The lender may delay filing of a foreclosure lawsuit because they’re inundated or because they are attempting a workout with the borrower.  The borrower could delay the process with legal motions.  The judge in the county court may delay the foreclosure process to see if the borrower and lender’s attorney can reach a better solution.  The Sheriff’s Department may delay the sale because they’re overwhelmed.

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