Petition for Redemption


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A petition for redemption under 53 P.S. Section 7293 is a legal basis to recover a property sold at tax lien sheriff sale. Every year in Philadelphia, the Office of the Sheriff of Philadelphia with the city auctions properties with unpaid taxes. While the properties are sold at tax lien sheriff sales at discount rates they often come with drawbacks for investors. One of those drawbacks is the right of redemption, effectively allowing a prior owner to repurchase the property at the sheriff sale price plus ten per cent.


53 P.S. Section 7293 governs the Right of Redemption in Pennsylvania. According to the law, a prior owner who has lost his property at tax lien sheriff sale may petition the court to redeem or repurchase the property. To qualify for redemption the prior owner must file the petition within nine months of the date of the sheriff sale deed being acknowledged. According to the statute, a prior owner is a person with a legal interest in the Property. The statute does not permit redemption of vacant properties or land. Therefore, only an occupied structure may be redeemed or repurchased.


Often time a third-party purchaser will attempt to challenge a redemption action. The new investor may not want to surrender the property purchased at sale. Redemptions of sheriff sale properties are usually challenged on one of three grounds; 1.) petitioner has not shown they have the funds to repurchase the property; 2.) petitioner cannot show he is a prior owner within the meaning of the statute; or 3.) the petition is untimely and/or the property is ineligible for redemption


In order for a petitioner to successfully redeem a property, the third-party purchaser must be served with the petition for redemption. The court will hold a redemption hearing. At the hearing the burden will be on the prior owner to show they are entitled to redemption by a preponderance of the evidence or more likely than not standard. If the petitioner cannot establish a right to redemption the third-party purchaser retains the Property. If the petitioner proves a right to redemption they must pay the third party purchaser the cost of the property at auction, plus ten percent, please necessary expenses paid in reference to the Property.

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