Sheriff's sale protest: "Don't sell our homes!"

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

"Stop selling people's homes," chanted protestors outside the First District Plaza at 3801 Market Street.

Action News was there as demonstrators took their concerns to the building where foreclosed homes were being sold at sheriff's sale for the first time this year.

The Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign headed by activist Cheri Honkala says the sales should be further delayed. Honkala was escorted from the building after symbolically trying to buy properties with monopoly money.

"We think it's very important that our city stop selling people's properties while the economy is bad," said Honkala.

William Smith says he refinanced his home after he had brain surgery. His Juniata Park house wasn't on today's list of 3000, but he says it is coming up.

"They say I owe now $2,600, and I am being threatened with foreclosure, and there's not a thing I can do about it," said Smith.

The demonstrators say the foreclosures should be put off at least until $105 million in HUD funding for Pennsylvania's Emergency Home Loan Program can be tapped.

"Who knows how many of those properties could be saved?" said Honkala.

Tuesday's sheriff sale was ordered by a Common Pleas Court judge after a three-month moratorium.

"I do sympathize with the homeowners who are losing their homes. Unfortunately, I still have to do my job and follow the court's orders," said Sheriff Barbara Deeley.

While the sheriff sale moved ahead Tuesday, no deeds for the properties sold will be awarded for 90 days. It is hoped that some of those loosing their homes may be able to save them after all.

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philadelphia, pennsylvania, home sales, economy, protest, university city, juniata park, local/state, cathy gandolfo
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