Summary of Pennsylvania's Foreclosure Laws

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If you are facing foreclosure in Pennsylvania, it’s important to understand some of the basics, including:

  • the most common type of foreclosure procedure (judicial v. nonjudicial) used in Pennsylvania
  • how much time you have to respond
  • your rights and protections in the process, and
  • what happens afterwards (for example, whether you’ll be liable for a deficiency judgment).

Below we have outlined some of the most important features of Pennsylvania foreclosure law. Keep in mind that this is just a summary; we've included statute citations so you can get more details from the laws themselves. And be sure to check out Nolo’s extensive Foreclosure section, where you can find information about all aspects of foreclosure, definitions of foreclosure terms (like redemption and reinstatement), and options to avoid foreclosure.

Topic

State Rule

Most common type of foreclosure process

Judicial

Time to respond

Before filing a complaint in court, the foreclosing party must serve a 30-day notice of intention to foreclose on homeowner by certified mail. After foreclosing party files foreclosure lawsuit, homeowner has 20 to 30 days to respond. In the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia and Allegheny County Court, pilot programs mandate a delay between foreclosure judgment and sheriff’s sale to allow for possible conciliation.

Reinstatement of loan before sale

Available until one hour before the bidding at the foreclosure sale, but a maximum of three times in one year.

Redemption after sale

Not available

Special protections for foreclosures involving high-cost mortgages

None

Special state protections for service members

Pa. Stat. Ann. tit. 51, § 4105

Deficiency judgments

Allowed if foreclosing party files separate lawsuit after sale

Cash exempted in bankruptcy

About $12,725 for one person, $25,450 for a married couple under federal bankruptcy exemptions. $300 ($600 if married filing jointly) under state bankruptcy exemptions.

Notice to leave after house is sold

No special provisions for evictions following foreclosure. New owner will likely have to go to court to get an eviction order. Court-ordered evictions usually take two weeks to a month, depending on whether or not former owner responds to the lawsuit.

Foreclosure statutes

Pa. Stat. Ann. tit. 35, §§ 1680.402c to 1680.409c;
Pa. Stat. Ann. tit. 41, §§ 403 to 404; Pa. R. Civ. P. 1141-1150

by: , J.D.

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