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Eviction After Sheriff Sale

Scranton, PA |

Long story short. I'm in PA, house went back to the bank more than four months ago. I'm still in it. I called the Sheriff's office a day after the sale and asked about when I needed to be out. They told me I would get something in the mail in about two weeks. I never got anything, nothing. About a week ago I came home to find a business card in my door from a realtor, obviously acting on behalf of the bank. A locally attorney via email told me regardless of how long I've been there after the sheriffs sale I can't be forced to leave without being evicted through the courts and that the bank simply has not filed for eviction yet. Setting aside any moral issues of me staying put, legally is he right? can they come kick me out tomorrow or not?

Thank you.

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Attorney answers 3


Please be aware that I do not practice in PA. However, the general rule is that the new owner of the property must file an eviction action through a court in order to force you out of the property. You will get notice when this action commences because the owner of the property will have to formally serve you with the complaint in the eviction action. This means an adult living in the house will have to be personally handed the complaint and summons or they will have to post them in a conspicuous location on the property so that anyone living in the home would see it. After you are served, there will be various time periods in the action before they can get a state official to come and move you out. Remember, this is the general process applicable in most locations, but I do not know the specifics of PA law.

If the owner of the property does change the locks on you without following the proper state law, you will have a valid claim against the owner if you choose to pursue it.

In today's distressed real estate market, I have found that many banks are either 1) not in a hurry to evict former owners or 2) so overwhelmed that it takes them quite a while to finally evict a former owner. This is because the banks are taking in large numbers of properties that they are not equipped to manage. Sometimes they prefer people living in a house free until they can get around to dealing with the property, rather than leaving it vacant and vulnerable to vandalism and trespassers.


Contact the local Sheriff's office, and they can quickly explain to you the local laws and practices as it relates to the next steps before eviction. Typically, the new owner must get court approval and then the assistance of the Sheriff's office to conduct the eviction, and you would get notice of each step.

Again, the Sheriff's office can quickly provide you with that overview.

David Giller, Esq. is a Consumer Law attorney, providing professional, confidential and compassionate legal advice throughout New York City and northern New Jersey in financially stressful matters including bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, debt settlement, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Fair Credit Reporting Act. To learn more about David or his law practice, visit


Per the earlier advice - yes you can be evicted. It's a question of notice of same. You should be making very serious plans on where to go.

Legal disclaimer: This is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The post is only an opinion. You should speak to an attorney for further information. The poster is licensed only in Illinois. Please visit for more information about our services. If this post is useful to you, please remember to upvote it.

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