RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF PHILADELPHIA COUNTY LOCAL RULE 3129.2(b)(1)

WHEREAS, The Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure require that notice of the sale of Real Property provide inter alia, "a brief description of the property to be sold, its location [and] any improvements..." Pa. R. C. P. 3129.2 (b)(1);

WHEREAS, in Philadelphia County property descriptions have generally included a description of the property which includes the metes and bounds defining the lot. Such a description, sufficient under the holdings of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Shimkus v. Klimatis, 377 Pa. 546 (Pa. 1954) and Senge v. Border, 319 Pa. 481, 483 (Pa. 1935), is not necessary, see Nutt v. Berlin Smokeless Coal & Clay Mining Co., 262 Pa. 417 (Pa. 1918)(advertisement which simply refers to the number of the warrant of a tract of land is a sufficient description), and results in descriptions that are lengthy, uninformative and potentially confusing to the average interested party or bidder at Sheriff’s sales;

WHEREAS, inclusion of the metes and bounds description results in unnecessary costs being borne by all interested parties, including judgment creditors initiating the sale and judgment debtors, without a corresponding benefit to any party or constituency;

WHEREAS, an unnecessarily lengthy description is particularly problematic when the advertising costs become an obstacle to preventing a Sheriff’s sale;

WHEREAS, Local Rule 3129.2 (b)(1) seeks to remedy both of those problems as it relates to the sale of Residential Properties consisting of four (4) or fewer dwelling units by permitting a notice that is both shorter and more informative than the metes and bounds descriptions currently being used, and thereby saving costs and reducing potential confusion;

WHEREAS, the debtors’ and creditors’ bar and housing advocates support Local Rule 3129.2 (b)(1) since it reduces costs to their respective constituencies, without a resulting undue detriment to other interested parties or constituencies;

WHEREAS, members of the Philadelphia Bar Association, including many attorneys handling foreclosure matters in Philadelphia, have played an indispensable role in providing the highest quality legal services to thousands of debtors who are in need of more cost effective advertising, which would facilitate the reinstatement of defaulted loans and thus prevent foreclosure sales, or would allow homeowners subject to foreclosure to realize more of the available equity in their homes in the event of a sale; and

WHEREAS, the Bench, Bar, City Law Department, the Sheriff of Philadelphia County, housing advocates and various other constituencies, via the Mortgage Foreclosure Steering Committee, have reached consensus regarding appropriate means by which the Sheriff’s sale advertising process may be made more cost-effective and equitable, without undue detriment to other interests or constituencies, including the adoption of the proposed Local Rule.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association supports Local Rule 3129.2 (b)(1), and urges the Philadelphia County Board of Judges to adopt Local Rule 3129.2 (b)(1).

AND, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Chancellor or his designee are authorized to take whatever steps are deemed necessary to communicate the views of the Philadelphia Bar Association to the appropriate members of the Philadelphia County Board of Judges and to otherwise effectuate this resolution.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: NOVEMBER 22, 2005