- April 01, 2009
- All Pennsylvania Issuing Offices
- Philadelphia Nuisance Liens
Philadelphia has hired a collection company to collect unpaid nuisance liens. Hundreds of property owners are receiving the collection letters for nuisance liens. Since the violation date is the date of the lien, not the billing date, the lien may predate our policy. Unless the search is done properly, the nuisance lien will be missed.
The nuisance lien exists as of the violation date and will for some time not be found in the municipal court. To determine whether there is a nuisance lien against a property, the property address must be checked in both the "old nuisance system" and the "new nuisance system." This dual system searching is required because the two systems contain different data. The search may only be performed on a computer in City Hall, not online or in any other database. There are two separate logins. Although the search is free, there is a cost to print the results when liens are found. If there are no liens in the system, a "none found" report CANNOT BE PRINTED. We can only rely on the notation of the searcher that both the old and new systems have been searched and no nuisance liens have been found. Most searchers need to be instructed to run both these searches and certify that the search was performed and the results thereof. You must remember to instruct the searcher to run these searches again for the pre-settlement bringdown.
Municipal liens are not divested by a Sheriff's Sale of the property unless they are paid.
Since the City of Philadelphia is not promptly entering the liens into their systems, you must order a certification from the Department of Revenue, Agency Receivables: Phone: 215-686-9039 and FAX: 215-686-6828.
Schedule B for an Owners policy must contain an exception: Possible outstanding City of Philadelphia Municipal Liens.
If you have questions relating to this bulletin, please contact Pennsylvania Underwriting Personnel or Stewart Legal Services.
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