Attempts at Relief and Reform

Philadelphia Sheriff Announces 50-Day Moratorium on Foreclosure Sales

Posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2011

When Philadelphia Sheriff John Green resigned on Friday, his replacement instituted some major changes almost immediately.
Acting Sheriff Barbara Deeley announced a move to dismiss several top members of the staff and hired a new chief deputy.
Deeley also announced that a 50-day moratorium on sheriff’s sales of foreclosed homes would be instituted.
According to a blog post on, city controller Alan Butkovitz alleged that the sheriff’s office had blocked his
efforts at auditing some bank accounts. Following this, Butkovitz announced he believed hundreds of millions of dollars have been mismanaged by the office, and requested an audit of 11 bank accounts held by the sheriff’s office.
The Web site reports that Tyrone Bynum, director of finance and compliance, Crystal Stewart, real estate supervisor and Edward Chew, a solicitor, have all been suspended with pay, pending termination in 30 days.
This moratorium comes on the heels of a mid-December block on sheriff’s sales of foreclosed homes. The December moratorium was in anticipation of the implementation of the Emergency Homeowners Loan Program, which was supposed to designate more than $105 million to the state of Pennsylvania to help homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgages after the loss of a job.
Deeley’s moratorium covers both owner occupied and vacant homes.
In addition to the moratorium and suspensions, Deeley also terminated the business relationships with Reach Communications and RCS Searchers and all title companies currently doing business with the sheriff’s office.
DS News. By: Joy Leopold

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