Foreclosed in PA. How long can I stay?

My house in Pennsylvania was foreclosed.  How many days can I stay in the house until I’m kicked out?

 

Action of Ejectment  (Eviction).

If a property in Pennsylvania is sold at the Sheriff’s Sale to the highest bidder or taken back by the mortgage lender, then the new owner cannot simply change the locks or throw the occupants out on the street.  The new owner must go to court and file an Action in Ejectment.  It is often referred to as an eviction.  The Action in Ejectment is a separate legal proceeding from the foreclosure process.

A notice of the Action in Ejectment, known as a complaint, will be delivered to the occupants.  The former borrower has 20 days to respond to the notice.  If they do not contest the ejectment action, then the new owner will be granted possession.  They must then contact the Sheriff’s department to schedule the date of ejectment, which should occur within 90 days but typically 30 days.

Contesting the Eviction.

If the former borrower or the occupant of the property (sometimes a tenant) disputes the Action in Ejectment, then a hearing will be scheduled.  We have seen one case where the former owner lived in the house for 13 months after the Sheriff’s Sale, while they contested the new owner’s right to own the property.

What about my belongings?

Typically, the new owner must file the deed prior to being awarded the ejectment against the occupant.  On the date of the ejectment, the new owner must provide a locksmith to change the locks.  The new owner will be expected to remove the personal property left on the premises, but the items must be temporarily stored with reasonable care.  The new owner will have to provide notice to the occupant that their personal property is held in storage so they have the opportunity to retrieve their belongings.  If the notice is provided but the items are not retrieved, the new owner could discard or sell the personal property after at least 30 days.

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