Sheriff Rochelle Bilal and the Office of the Philadelphia Sheriff announced that Sheriff Sales will resume virtually on April 6.
Due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements necessary to protect bidders and employees, it has not been safe to hold in-person auctions. However, Sheriff Sales of foreclosed and tax lien properties will now resume via online auctions.
The online auction company Bid4Assets to produce the virtual sales. The company currently performs the same auction services for Montgomery, Bucks, Berks, Monroe, and Adams counties.
“Our last in-person Sheriff Sale was held in March of last year,” Sheriff Rochelle Bilal said. “With so much uncertainty still surrounding when it will be safe to hold large, in-person gatherings, the urgency of the situation demanded that we think outside of the box. We determined that holding virtual sales was the best way to go, and that Bid4Assets presented the best opportunity for a successful resumption of sales. By order of the courts, these properties must be sold. We believe that these virtual sales will offer the best, safest solution for all involved.”
The auctions held by Bid4Assets will open the sales to a global audience. As a result, there is more potential for funds to be returned to former homeowners whose properties have been sold.
To help familiarize people with the new system, the Sheriff’s Office will be holding two virtual town halls on the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office YouTube Account. The first, slated for March 15 at 1 p.m., will introduce the team behind the launch and will feature an extended question-and-answer session. The second, to be held on March 29 at 1 p.m., will feature a mock Sheriff’s Sale and a question-and-answer session. Questions can be submitted in real time on the Sheriff’s YouTube channel and by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.