City halts Sheriff's sales again

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas President Judge Pamela Dembe has ordered a 30-day stay on foreclosure sales by the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office, in the hope that a new federal program coming online in January will help save some of those homes.

Dembe issued an order this afternoon postponing the Jan. 4 sale of owner occupied homes. It's not clear how many fit into this category. It came after City Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell and Curtis Jones Jr. on Wednesday and Thursday urged Sheriff John Green to halt the sales Tuesday  at the urging of Hundreds of homes up for foreclosure sale.

The petition is based on the availability of $106 Million in federal funds for Pennsylvania residents to assist with mortgage payments that has not yet arrived at the state, said Frank Keel, spokesman for the courts.

Green previously halted Sheriff's sales in 2008 while the city came up with a foreclosure prevention program that would gain national attention.

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