Saturday, July 12, 2014
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No Moratorium On Philadelphia Sheriff's Sales

President Judge C. Darnell Jones today told City Council that the First Judicial District is developing a program to assist homeowners at risk of losing their houses due to problems with subprime mortgages. That means no moratorium on sheriff's sales, as called for by Council and Sheriff John Green last month, Jones said.

No Moratorium On Philadelphia Sheriff's Sales

President Judge C. Darnell Jones
President Judge C. Darnell Jones

President Judge C. Darnell Jones today told City Council that the First Judicial District is developing a program to assist homeowners at risk of losing their houses due to problems with subprime mortgages.  That means no moratorium on sheriff's sales, as called for by Council and Sheriff John Green last month, Jones said. "Realistically, it's simply not the answer because it doesn't help anyone," Jones said later. "It just postpones the inevitable."

The new program, which may be in place by Monday, would provide legal, financial and housing assistance to people who live in homes that may be foreclosed.  Jones said it would exclude commercial, rental and abandoned properties, which will be up for auction when sheriff's sales resume on May 6 . A total moratorium, Jones said, did not appear to be required or legal.

Subprime mortgages, with interest rates that can increase, are often issued to buyers with credit problems who cannot afford conventional mortgages.  Green last month said he would ask Jones to institute a six-month moratorium on sheriff's sales.  Philadelphia sheriff sales have been declining for the last four years but Green yesterday said he remains concerned when even one homeowner faces foreclosure.

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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