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07/25/2024 09:12 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=41810
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 4, 2023 10:35 AM
From: Representative Joe McAndrew
To: All House members
Subject: Safeguarding the Online Foreclosure Sale Process
 
In the near future, I will propose legislation that will: 
 
• Limit Out-Of-State Speculators from participating in prospecting in Online Sales Systems of foreclosed properties in Pennsylvania, by requiring any business entities bidding to register with the state and requiring that any home sold in online-foreclosure must be physically inspected in person by the home purchaser before the title can be transferred. 
• Limit the amount and types of fees that could be charged against debtors by an Online Private Selling Officer (PSO) to ensure they are customary and reasonable. 
• Require a PSO to be licensed by the state as both a real estate agent, broker or brokerage and an auctioneer or auction house. 
• Clearly outline the basic requirements for conducting foreclosure online sales. 
 
Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation. 
 
 As a Commonwealth, Pennsylvania is moving more and more into the digital realm with our government processes. This is no different for our counties. We now have over 25% of our 67 counties in Pennsylvania each using their own online sales systems for Sheriff’s Sales on foreclosed properties, with little to no standards from the state on how to do so. This process differs from county-to-county and causes a lack of standards around the Online Entities that are being hired by these counties leading to the potential of bad actors implementing hidden fees that affect the homeowner who is burdened with the fee as well as the loss of their home. 
 
This legislation will assist those who have unfortunately had their property go into foreclosure. The legislation regulates Online Private Selling Officers (PSOs) who are contracted by the county sheriff's offices conducting the foreclosure sale of a property ultimately protecting the debtor. 
 
Currently the state is silent on sales that are occurring online without proper safeguards or minimum requirements and debtors are being subjected to a “Buyer’s Premium” as part of the online sale process. A Buyers Premium is a hidden fee based on the property sale price and is paid by the successful bidder at sale. In addition, these counties are left vulnerable to sell to out-of-state speculators who are purchasing these homes online and letting them rot once they realize the property, they purchased is not the investment they intended to make. 
 
Plain and simple, this regulation will protect our communities from blight caused by out-of-state speculators, protects debtors from hidden fees and creates a uniform system across the state that our Sheriff offices can follow as they build out these processes in the digital age. 
 
It is important to note, this legislation would NOT expedite or change the foreclosure process in any way until the point of proceeding with a sale. All the safeguards and methods of loss mitigation and dispute resolution in matters of foreclosure will remain intact. 
 
Thank you for your consideration to join this legislation.



Introduced as HB2141