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Real Estate Win at Philly City Hall

Client, a local business, purchased a property at a Sheriff’s Sale over unpaid property taxes. Within the statutory time, the original owner filed a successful redemption petition to allow him to buy back the property from the client and pay back the taxes to the City of Philadelphia. However, he never did. When client went to sell his property, a cloud came up on the title. The title company informed him that the previous owner’s right of redemption was standing in the way of selling. A very frustrated client hired real estate lawyer Thomas D. Kenny of Kenny, Burns & McGill to remedy this problem. Attorney Kenny filed a motion to intervene on behalf of client and a motion to vacate the redemption. Essentially, attorney Kenny was requesting the court to restore the original sheriff deed in favor of the client and divest the original owner of his redemption rights. The most important element of allowing redemption of the property is the ability to redeem. A recent court decision noted this in its conclusion. See City of Philadelphia vs. F.A. Realty Investors Corp 146 A.3d 287, 300 (Pa. Commw. 2016).  “However, we agree with the City’s argument that the trial court erred in granting Appellant’s petition to redeem because it could not show it was ready, willing, and able to pay the redemption price.” (p.300). Redemption of real property sold under a tax or municipal claim is governed by Pennsylvania Statute, Title 53, Section 7293, which provides, in relevant part: (b) Any person entitled to redeem may present his petition to the proper court, setting forth the facts, and his readiness to pay the redemption money; whereupon the court shall grant a rule to show cause why the purchaser should not reconvey to him the premises sold; and if, upon hearing, the court shall be satisfied of the facts, it shall make the rule absolute, and upon payment being made or tendered, shall enforce it by attachment. The case wound up in Philadelphia City Hall at 1400 John F. Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA wherein both sides had their day in court. Attorney Kenny emerged victorious when the motions court granted the relief sought by petitioner.

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