Bank seeks end to sheriff’s sale moratorium

    Foreclosure sales in Philadelphia have been put on hold as the city sheriff’s office continues to rebuild after allegations of fiscal mismanagement.
      An area bank claims the Common Pleas Court acted improperly when it canceled those sales.  The bank has asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to intervene.

    New Century Bank has been trying to collect $5.5 million from developer Tower Apartments Partnership for its stalled condo project in Germantown.  The property was set for sheriff’s sale last month, but a moratorium put in place by Common Pleas Court President Judge Pamela Dembe canceled that sale, along with one that was set for this month.

    Attorney Lee Mogavero represents New Century.  She said Dembe overstepped her bounds by including commercial properties in the moratorium.

    “The sheriff’s sale has now been delayed several times.  And we’re asking the court to step in and say ‘Hey, this order wasn’t appropriate’ as it applies to the commercial properties, and directing the Common Pleas Court to direct the sheriff to move forward with the commercial sales,” said Mogavero

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    Dembe said the moratorium was necessary because the sheriff’s office lacks the organization to effectively auction any properties.

    “A number of personnel who worked in that department were terminated,” she said.  “The sheriff’s office has simply not been in a position to resume sales and the management of the money from those sales.”

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