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(a) In addition to the remedies prescribed in sections 28, 31 and 31.1 of this act, 1 in cities of the first class, whenever a claimant has filed its tax or municipal claim in accordance with the requirements of this act, it may file its petition in the court in which the proceeding is pending, setting forth the facts necessary to show the right to sell, together with searches or a title insurance policy, showing the state of record and the ownership of the property, and of all tax and municipal claims, mortgages, ground rents or other charges on, or estates in, the land, as shown by the official records of the city or county, or the political subdivision in which the real estate is situate, and thereupon the court shall grant a rule upon all parties thus shown to be interested, to appear and show cause why a decree should not be made that the property be sold, freed and cleared of their respective claims, mortgages, ground rents, charges and estates. If upon a hearing, the court is satisfied that service had been made of the rule upon the parties respondent in the manner provided in this act for the service of writs of scire facias to obtain judgments upon tax and municipal claims, and that contemporaneously with the service of the rule on the parties respondent notice of the rule has been published by the claimant in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county, and in a legal periodical published therein, if any, and that the facts stated in the petition be true, it shall order and decree that the property be sold at a subsequent sheriff's sale at a time to be fixed thereafter by the claimant, clear of all claims, liens, mortgages, ground rents, charges and estates, to the highest bidder at such sale and after payment of the tax or municipal lien the balance of the proceeds realized therefrom, shall be distributed in accordance with the priority of the remaining claims, liens, mortgages, ground rents, charges and estates, and the purchaser at such sale shall take and forever thereafter have, an absolute title to the property sold, free and discharged of all tax and municipal claims, liens, mortgages, ground rents, charges and estates of whatsoever kind, subject only to the right of redemption as provided by law. The date of the sale shall be advertised in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county and in the legal periodical published therein.
(b) The deed to the purchaser shall be executed, acknowledged and delivered as in other real estate sales by the sheriff. Deeds for property exposed for any sale under this section shall not be executed, acknowledged and delivered any sooner than thirty days nor later than one hundred and twenty days after the purchaser pays the balance due to the sheriff for any sale held under this section. Any person interested may at any time prior to the proposed sale pay all the costs of the proceedings, including the cost for the title search or title insurance policy, and all tax and municipal claims, penalties and interest thereon, charged against the property whereupon the proceedings on petition shall at once determine.
(b.1) A city of the first class may, within thirty days of any sale held under this section, petition the court of common pleas to prohibit the transfer of any deed for any property exposed for any sale under this act which is located in that city to any purchaser who is proven to meet any of the criteria set forth in subsection (b.2).
(b.2)(1) The petition of a city of the first class shall allege that the purchaser has over the three years preceding the filing of the petition exhibited a course of conduct which demonstrates that a purchaser permitted an uncorrected housing code violation to continue unabated after being convicted of such violation and:
(i) failed to maintain property owned by the purchaser in a reasonable manner such that it posed a threat to health, safety or property; or
(ii) permitted the use of property in an unsafe, illegal or unsanitary manner such that it posed a threat to health, safety or property.
(2) A person who acts as an agent for a purchaser who sought to avoid the limitations placed on the purchase of property by this section shall be subject to the restrictions imposed by this section.
(3) Allegations under this subsection shall be proved by a preponderance of the evidence. In ruling on the petition, a court shall consider whether violations were caused by malicious acts of a current non-owner occupant and the control exercised by a purchaser in regard to his ownership interest or rights with other properties.
(b.3) A change of name or business status shall not defeat the purpose of this section.
(b.4) As used in this section:
“Purchaser” shall mean any individual, partner, limited or general partner, shareholder, trustee, beneficiary, any other individual with any ownership interest or right in a business association, sole proprietorship, partnership, limited partnership, S or C corporation, limited liability company or corporation, trust, business trust or any other business association.
“Uncorrected housing code violation” shall mean any conviction of a violation of the building, housing, property maintenance or fire code which is not remedied within six months of conviction.
“Violation” shall mean any conviction under a building, housing, property maintenance or fire code which posed a threat to health, safety or property, but not a conviction deemed by a court to be de minimis.
(c) For the purpose of enabling the petitioner in any proceedings to give the notice required, it may take the testimony of the defendant in the claim, or of any other person whom it may have reason to believe has knowledge of the whereabouts of any of the parties respondent, either by deposition, commission or letters rogatory.
(d) Any claimant may bid and become the purchaser of the property at such sale, and if such purchaser shall be a taxing authority within the city or county, such property while held and owned by such taxing authority, shall not be subject to tax claims, unless it be redeemed by the former owner or other person having the right to redeem, as provided by law. If, however, a city or county, or a taxing authority within the city or county, shall become the purchaser at said sale, the former owner or other persons, desiring to redeem, shall pay all taxes and municipal claims accrued and chargeable against the property prior to the sale thereof, together with the costs and interest thereon, and also all taxes and claims, whether filed or not, which would have accrued and become chargeable against the property had the same been purchased at the sale by some party other than the city or county, or a taxing authority within the city or county.
(e) Upon the delivery by the sheriff of a deed for any property sold under the provisions of this section, the judgment upon which such sale was had shall thereupon and forever thereafter be final and conclusive, and the validity thereof shall not be questioned for any cause whatsoever.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Pennsylvania Statutes Title 53 P.S. Municipal and Quasi-Municipal Corporations § 7283. Cities of first class; recovery of judgment; sale free from claims - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/pa/title-53-ps-municipal-and-quasimunicipal-corporations/pa-st-sect-53-7283.html
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