Posted on 20 Comments

Letter From a Squatter

4712 Castor Avenue

We reported last week on the Northwood Civic meeting and noted that the squatters who had been occupying 4712 Castor Avenue had departed.  Yesterday an email came in from the squatter.  So I asked her if I could share it with you.

Hello, My name is Elizabeth.
I recently saw your post about the property on 4712 Castor Ave. I recently moved from there, I was living in there as a squatter. I didn’t have a place to go or shelter my son. I lived in that property for about 7 months and I tried my best to fix up the property, mowing the lawn, keeping up the property and trying to make it a better looking property for that area. I cleaned up the house from top to bottom, and I tried my best to get in contact with many people from City Hall to some city council members and no one had any information about this property.

I wanted to keep it and obtain it like my own, I had to move out because it went to sheriff sale for the second time and I still think it’s still up for sheriff sale. I’m not sure if you can help me out with this situation. I admire the property, I took care of it for about 6-7 months. And no one I went to seemed to care, I just want to live there, fix up the property so it can decrease crime and bring a up the community since this house been abandoned for quite some years. Thank You for reading and if you can come up with any ideas, please feel free to email me. Thank you again!

There was nobody that I recall who had anything negative to say about Elizabeth.  The issue is with the bank or whoever owns the property now.  They let it sit vacant and it becomes a target for whatever element wants to use it.  In a way, Elizabeth was doing the neighborhood a service by occupying it and taking care of it.  These properties that go to foreclosure are a ticking time bomb in Northwood.  If they accumulate for any period of time it can only lead to more problems.

20 thoughts on “Letter From a Squatter

  1. I do not care how long somebody has lived in this property or what upkeep was done. If everyone else is paying either a mortgage or rent to live somewhere why does she think she should have it any different? Just because a property is empty does not mean you have the right to just move yourself in there. Go about the proper channels to inquire about the home before you break the law.

  2. What about heat, water and electric? If the utilities were turned off how was this woman living in this house with her son? How can this woman maintain the upkeep on this property without utilities? I’m sure we are going to see many empty homes in the Northwood/Frankford area. Neighbors should come together and help to maintain the outside of empty homes on their block. Keeping lawns and hedges cut, sweeping the outside property and snow removal would go a long way in keeping the property looking “lived-in”.

    Also, I have been having problems with the Frankford Gazette website. My computer keeps freezing and it takes so long to navigate on the site. My computer is old, but I was wondering if anyone else has noticed any problems.

  3. Elizabeth had the utilities turned on. Not sure how that works but nobody asked me if I owned my house when I had them turned on so I guess they don’t care as long as they get paid. Email me about your slow computer freezing up problem if it continues.

  4. Wow the squatter has a computer? Times are a changin’

  5. I spoke to Elizabeth,I was told by her that she bought the house from Fannie Mae.If she had been honest ,I could have helped her.There was also elec. and cable hooked-up .. Barry Howell Pres. NWCA.

  6. Something does not make sense. She claims that she had no place to go with her son. If she could afford to pay the utilities on that property then she could afford to rent an apartment. Imagine the cost to heat that big house. The utility companies may not check to make sure you own the property but they will run a credit check on your name and social security number. If she did not have a payment history with the utility companies then she would have had to leave a deposit. It sounds to me like she just wanted to live in a large home in Northwood.

  7. The brownstoner picked up the letter, they may have amusing comments

  8. Wow! I have loved that house since I was a little girl (about 40 yrs.) and I still do. If I had known that all I had to do was just move in, I would be in the house of my dreams. Instead I bought a house legally and cant even enjoy my frontsteps. Something’s not right here! I see people doing what they want, with no regard to the law, and getting away with it or working loop-holes everytime I even look my front door. A laundry soap container got into a trash bag accidentally and I got a ticket because someone felt up my trash bags. I’m tired of law-abiding citizens getting the crappy end of the stick! Thanks Philadelphia! You cant stop people from living in houses that aren’t theirs or keep people from running an unlicensed business out of a row house but you can find a plastic container in a thick black trash bag. GOOD JOB! (and I’m off again, sorry)

  9. Hello, I would like to start off by saying Thank you for your comments. Reply to LongtimeRentPayer: I tried to pay the mortagage off fannie mae didn’t accept it, I tried to contact people from city hall to bid on the property they said no. I wasn’t trying to live there FREE…I tried to pay it off and I tried to pay off the taxes and give money to the city for this property and they said NO. They gave me the run around. They didn’t know who owned it or who has the deed…etc.

    Second I did have the utilities turned on, they never asked me for anything. I was living there with my husband and son, and we paid all the bills on time and was willing to pay off the mortgage or make payments like everyone else, they kept turning us down. All we wanted to do was keep up with this property that has been abandon for YEARS keeping away drug dealers and any type of crimes that can result in this property. The city never gave us any information but I guess if I was a drug dealer or having prositutes in the house…No One Would Complain. I thank everyone who tried to help us out…and money wise don’t ask how we kept up with the house with bills…two working adults trying to keep that area nice and drug free….trying to keep up with the property doing repairs. Trying to make your block look great and everyone is complaining about my money and why I did what I did…worry about how now crimes will rise in that house/area because of the city not helping…there are more crimes to worry about in this city then someone who is trying to make the area comfortable.

  10. The problem facing many neighborhoods is that these foreclosed properties will sit vacant for long periods of time and that makes them a target for all things undesirable. Vacant properties are a big problem. Yes we need to prevent properties from going to foreclosure but once they do we need a way of quickly turning them around and getting good families back in them.

  11. You know what?! The point is, I know what the price range is in that neighborhood. When my husband and I were living in a one bedroom apartment with 2 kids and decided we could try to buy a home, the realtor never once took us to that neighborhood to see those big beautiful single homes. Trust me, if we could have walked around to pick and choose our home, we would have been right there but that’s not how things are done. Banks want their money and more money (but that’s a whole other greedy issue). Vacant properties are a big problem and yes we need to prevent properties from going to foreclosure. We also need to figure out why big banks get help and the “little people get none”. Banks don’t care and realtors tell people they can afford a mortgage without considering other bills. I’ve heard it already. That’s where foreclosures come from. Still doesnt mean you can pick and choose. I’m SOOO SICK AND TIRED OF PEOPLE DOING WHAT THEY WANT EVEN IF IT’S WRONG!!!!! What is wrong with people these days? No consideration or morals. The future will be like Escape from New York!

  12. Northwood’s abandominiums are no different than Detroit – “Detroit homeless shelters prepared to deal with the chronically homeless are struggling to accomodate a drastic increase in homeless families:”

    Empty homes being occupied by squatters is just one sign of a greedy dysfunctional society of wealthy institutions & individuals vs. everyone who is not.

    Empty homes are just one leading indicator that the economy is broke and there is no recovery in sight.

    Squatters are just working a broken system – they have no real stake in the neighborhood – they have nothing to lose. Living in a cold empty house is putting one self & child at undue health risk. Homeless shelters that are safe for women & children. That is why they exist in the first place.

    On another note –

    There are many thing that cross my mind – like what if another group of squatters decide that they want to move into 4712 Castor because they like the place too? What if they threaten to hurt someone?

    Does the first squatter tell the second squatter that they cannot come in, as I was squatting here first? Will squatter # 1 call the police and ask for an eviction on squatter # 2?

    Mr. Snyder (the owner on record and the deed is still in his name) could have just as easily refused to leave his home, and the bank would have been just as powerless to eject him as they are at ejecting the homeless squatters.

    I have little to no sympathy as I see the third floor window wide open – taking in the cold & the rain – so the squatter is squandering heat while damaging the building.

    The home-made private property sign recently put on the front lawn of 4712 Castor will not keep anyone away while the windows are wide open in the winter.

    Hey here is a sign:

    BANGALORE | Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:41am EST

    (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp has put up for sale at least $1 billion worth of toxic mortgage assets, the New York Post said on Monday, citing sources.

    Bids are due by the end of December for the assets, which includes already written-off loans and mortgage-servicing rights, the paper said.

    The asset sale is part of a larger effort by the bank to unwind a trove of assets in the wake of the purchases of Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch, the Post said.

    Bank of America declined to comment to the New York Post. The company could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.

    Does it it mean anything to squatters?

    Not at the moment.


  13. For the record –

    The third floor window has been closed and the sign on the front lawn [“Private Property – Keep Out”] is now gone or the wind blew it down, so I know that the occupants of 4712 Castor are reading this message board.

    On December 01, 2010 Elizabeth Says:

    “I tried to pay the mortagage off fannie mae didn’t accept it, I tried to contact people from city hall to bid on the property they said no. I wasn’t trying to live there FREE…I tried to pay it off and I tried to pay off the taxes and give money to the city for this property and they said NO. They gave me the run around. They didn’t know who owned it or who has the deed…etc.”

    The mortgage – back taxes, and other liens were in excess of $275,000.00, and that was back in August. If any of what you have said is true then you have the financial ways and means of either renting or buying a home in a different location – meaning your homelessness is a self-imposed hardship.

    On several occasions I have received inquiries from various Philadelphia Police Officers who were asking who may be the owners; as they would like to purchase the property and live in Northwood. My wife was cleaning the leaves off the street (one month ago) and an officer in his patrol car asked the same questions.

    What you have accomplished through your illegal occupation of the premises – is: you have chased away the would be purchasers of the property; and all the while, you are banking your money and living free but not comfortable – knowing that the sheriff will be there again.


  14. Today –

    Several repairmen from Bank of America (who I presume are the lien-holders that purchase the mortgage from Country-Wide), were at 4712 Castor Avenue, with their truck & ladders – doing some work.

    They said that there was a woman squatter there but they chased he away.

    They also said that there is no longer any pipes or plumbing present; it’s all missing, and that the place would be a nice house if it was not so stripped of the plumbing.


  15. Up-date:

    Although there have been some lights turned on in the building, there have been no foot prints in the snow until yesterday. BTW – the pavements are not shoveled. In case of a slip & fall file a lawsuit against the City & the Bank of America.


    There was a broken front window, and the men from Bank of America were there again placing new boarding over windows, as they were taking digital photos.

    I spoke to them and they said they were doing a “damage assessment report,” as this property was going (in the near future), to the Sheriff Sale – again.

    The problem, as I see it, is that the Banks who have some culpability in causing the property to degrade into this condition in the first place; and they are still trying to sell it for $260,000 Plus in the present damaged state.

    It will continue to sit vacant, as it needs another (estimated) $100,000 worth of repairs. The banks should be forced to take a loss as the property is a solid shell – that’s it!

    From my E-Mails, a history of the 4712 Castor Ave. 19124:

    Re: 4712 Castor Saturday, October 26, 2002 4:56 PM

    From Former NCA President Grace Muller:


    Paul Sager called me about 4712 Castor.  He lives at 956 Herbert St.  I
    left a message for him to call me back about this.  But can you stop by his
    house and talk to him… see if he is willing to sign on to a deed
    restriction lawsuit if it comes to that?

    Also, it might help if Paul Sager calls Joe Zaleski at Mariano’s office and
    requests a copy of the build permits.  I asked Joe for this… but he hasn’t

    I hope you can help work on 4712.  I’m tied up working on the nursing
    home problem.  What do you think about 50+ kids moving into the area??

    Seems to me we can’t control the ones we have.


    Re: 4712 Castor Friday, November 8, 2002 2:54 PM

    From former NCA President, Grace Muller:

    “Rich Snyder:  57 Chevy and 73 Mustang convertible… antique cars…
    willing to put a stone facade…. not a business.

    Jim Howarth went over and talked to the owner.  The owner told him he is
    building the garage to store his ’57 Chevy, a ’73 Mustang convertible, and
    another antique car.

    The owner told him he is not operating a business out of his home. The deliveries were for the shed and maybe parts for his cars?? 
    The owner told him he is willing to put a stone facade on the garage. 
    He also said he was not aware of the Burke deed restriction. 

    Jim said the owner is very approachable and the owner said he has a nice
    house and wants to keep it that way.  He wants to find a stone facade that
    matches his house.
    The owner said he is willing to meet with the neighbors if we want.

    What do you think?


    Re: SAVE AND RETAIN! Friday, May 9, 2003 1:36 PM

    From Leonard Williams, NCA Director Emeritus (deceased)

    “Dear Joe,

    Suggest you print and share with our expert on the Burk Deed Restriction.

    Thinking is very applicable to 4712 Castor Avenue.



    May 9, 2003


    An interesting variation of the Burk Deed Restriction seldom championed to the Northwood Community provides interesting thought and answer to the question raised when “outbuilding” or garages are discussed as being prohibited as “frame structures.”

    If “frame structures” are prohibited, then what structures are permitted?  What was on the mind, the intent, the thinking of the revered, master community planner Burk?

    An examination of other recorded expressions of Burk’s primary “single family dwelling” restrictions clearly defines his requirement and the only other possible existing structural alternatives in his time.

    For example:

    UNDER AND SUBJECT nevertheless to certain building restrictions as follows:

    That no building shall be erected or built or permitted to be erected or built upon the hereby granted tract of land or any part thereof except for use as a private dwelling or as a private garage in connection with a dwelling or as a bank or as a church or as a house-keeping apartment, house [sic] shall any building thereon erected or converted or used for any purposes that there shall be no wooden division fence between sub-division of the hereby granted tract of land but that divisions may be made by an iron-fence not to exceed 1 foot in height or a suitable hedge not to exceed that height, that no private dwelling house shall be erected on any lot having less than 75 feet in front that no dwelling house or bank or church or house keeping apartment house shall be erected which shall cost less than $5500.00 to construct that no building shall be erected within 25 feet of the building line or said _ _ _ _ _ _ Avenue or _ _ _ _ Street through [sic] unenclosed porches (temporary enclosures by screens and glass excepted) may extend to with 1{?} feet of said building lines, that no garage shall be erected in connection with any private dwelling unless the same be constructed or brick, stone or cement (emphasis added) that no building shall be erected within 8 feet of the building line of said _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Street, that no bank or housekeeping apartment house shall be erected having more than two floors above the first of [sic] ground floor name a total of three floors above the ground.

    This excepted variation of a Burk Deed Restriction is offered to answer any questions as to whether a steel, iron or aluminum corrugated covered frame garage or outbuilding is permitted under the Northwood restrictions.

    This specific variation resoundedly indicates “NO.”


    4712 CASTOR AVE – Zoning Violations Wednesday, February 9, 2005 2:18 PM

    I sent this out to all NCA Officers & Directors:

    Unit Number
     Zip Code
    4712 CASTOR AVE           19124-2401
    Owner Information
    Owner(s)     DOLORES M
    Account Number     233126100
    Mailing Address      
    Property Characteristics
    Land Area     N/A     EQID     E612SM0540
    Improvement Description     DET W/D.GAR 2.5 STY STONE     GMA     E612
    Improvement Area     N/A     Beginning Point     SWC HERBERT ST
    Exterior Condition     Average     Unfinished Improvements

    Illegal Business, Building of the Garage, explosive gas storage (including propane) and use of a motorized forklift, violates the Burk Deed restriction in Northwood. Lack of proper building permits and Business Privilege Tax violates L&I, Zoning and other Philadelphia Ordinances.

    WEB Site:

    BRUJA,INC.        TOOLS


    FREE SHIPPING on 100.$ and over orders !!!(continental US)

        * SPECIALS   ***********

        * AUTO
        * GENERAL
        * MACHINIST
        * POWER
        * GRINDING

    AMEX,Discover,Visa,MC,SSL secure link —PAYPAL by e-mail only(e-mail list of items)

    email tool model,name,and manufacturer(or any combination of info)to:,Orders 24hrs using our new shopping cart system(can only order items that are linked)New pages and catagories will be added as soon as possible.Call TOLL FREE(1-877 278-5246)ORDERS ONLY!FAX in orders at this number too.,9am to 5pm, M-F other times you may get lucky or leave a message(IF YOU DON’T LEAVE A MESSAGE I CAN”T RETURN YOUR CALL) .Email orders to item number and price required. I’ll return mail with total shipping and product availability. Orders can be prepay money order or check,Visa,Master Card,Amex,Dicover. In stock items will be shipped same day.Out of stock items ship in one week or according to availibility ,Only new products on this page.


            Company info

    Bruja inc, is an internet based company. No show room availible(If that changes will update)

    Main shipping is located at 4712 castor ave.,Phila.,Pa. 19124

    All contact with company will be through e-mail or phone.(e-mail preffed)

    Our company goal is to bring a large and useful selection of hand and power tools to

    the internet and provide prompt service to individuals and industries alike.

                                 thank you,



    IPS Look-up shows this information:

    Registrant:       Make this info private
           BRUJA.COM  (26528583O)
           4712 CASTOR AVE
           PHILADELPHIA, PA 19124
           Phone: (215) 535-6165
           Fax: 999 999 9999
           Domain Name: BRUJA.COM

           Administrative Contact , Technical Contact :      
           SNYDER, RICHARD
           4712 CASTOR AVE.
           PHILA., PA 19124
           Phone: (215) 535-6165
           Fax: (215) 535-0294
           Record expires on 16-Sep-2012    
           Record created on 17-Sep-1998
           Database last updated on 08-Jul-2004

           Domain servers in listed order:     Manage DNS”

    I sent this to all NCA Officers, Directors & Membership as well as Councilman Clarke:

    Re: ZONING MATTER Friday, October 21, 2005 2:56 PM

                                                          October 21, 2005

                                                                 ZONING MATTER

    To Councilman Darryl Clark
    Attention: Ms. Harris,
    Re: 4712 Castor Ave.

    Dear Councilman,
    As per my e-mail, I am also sending you a fax with the zoning notice as a separate page.

    There will be a Zoning Hearing on Tuesday, October 25, 2005 at 9:30 AM. The Northwood Civic Association needs your support in opposing this application.

    Mr. Richard Snyder seeks permit and variance to legitimize his ongoing illegal business. See attached Zoning Notice.

    The Northwood Civic Association is opposed to commercial ventures in Northwood’s DEED RESTRICTED residential area.

    Mr. Snyder lives in this Deed Restricted area.

    History of the Property:

    Nearly three years ago Mr. Haworth, (then president of NCA), knocked on his door and confronted Mr. Snyder while the project was under construction.

    Mr. Snyder told President Haworth, that it was not a business, but storage shed for classic cars.

    The neighbors knew better. The classic cars still litter his landscape like a junkyard.

    Neighbors were seeing tractor trailers being unloaded by Snyder as he rode upon his forklift, and have been complaining to you and L&I ever since.

    Since this was an illegal and clandestine operation, we had very little authority to force him to cease and desist.

    The Northwood Civic Association has been opposed to Mr. Snyder’s conduct for the last few years.

    Please attend the hearing and support the Civic Association’s position.

    Thank you.

    President : Joseph J. Menkevich

    Re: “SEEN THE BEST OF TIMES, THE WORSE OF TIMES, NOW WORSER IS COMING!” Monday, November 26, 2007 11:30 AM

    4712 Castor Avenue, Richard M. Snyder, balance $242,056.79

    This property contains “improvements,” most notably



    At least that was the story Mr. Snyder fed a ——– NWCA President when he came to inspect the premises, remember that?

    He didn’t even want or demand to inspect the innards of that massive warehouse and the crowded inventory of mail order handtools.

    Didn’t fool Judge Edward R. Becker, you or me. 

    Do have to say one thing, though.  Snyder hide his fork lift, front end loader that he used to unload tractor/trailers on Castor Avenue pretty well during that “inspection exercise.”

    Only problem is whether or not some drug rehabilitation nonprofit operation will buy it and move in!  Nice location for a methadone clinic, it would be private.

    How do you keep ’em out?



    I am no longer part of the NCA but I keep (kept) records of everything:

    Re: 4712 Castor Ave Friday, September 5, 2008 7:17 PM

    4712 Castor Ave. 19124 23rd Wd 13,638.80
    sq. ft. BRT# 233126100 Improvements:
    Residential Property
    RICHARD M. SNYDER C.P. April Term,
    2007 No. 0523 $242,056.79 Phelan
    Hallinan & Schmieg, L.L.P.

    Philadelphia Courts: First Judicial District of Pennsylvania
    Saturday, September 6, 2008 4:56 PM

    Philadelphia Courts: First Judicial District of Pennsylvania
    Court of Common Pleas ” Philadelphia Municipal Court ”

    First Judicial District, Pennsylvania
    Trial Division – Civil

    Search by person name or company name

    @5714878     SNYDER, RICHARD M     4712 CASTOR AVE PHILADELPHIA PA 19124
    Case ID:  070400523  COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS INC VS SNYDER     DFT     05-APR-2007

    Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office

    This site helps us make the Philadelphia Sheriff’s office more accessible to you. … Regulations regarding cases scheduled for Sheriff’s Sale on August 5, 2008 and …

    RE: August 3, 2010 Mortgage Foreclosure – 4712 Castor Ave. Monday, August 16, 2010 7:53 PM

    Would you please pass this information along to the president of the Northwood Civil Association, as there have been squatters living in 4712 Castor Avenue for several months …

    Mortgage Foreclosure listings for Tuesday, August 3, 2010
    August 3, 2010 10:00 a.m. at The First District Plaza,…… 4712 Castor Ave. 23rd Ward 13638.80 sq. ft. BRT# 233126100 Improvements: Residential Property…

    4712 Castor Ave.     23rd Ward 13,638.80 sq. ft. BRT# 233126100 Improvements: Residential Property 
    RICHARD M. SNYDER     C.P. April Term, 2007 No. 00523     $260,063.38     Phelan Hallinan & Schmieg, LLP

    Today’s Search:

    Page 2 of this Pdf:

    [PDF] sheriff 0324
    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
    4712 Castor Ave. 19124 23rd Wd 13638.80 sq. ft. BRT# 233126100 Improvements: Residential Property. RICHARD M. SNYDER C.P. April Term,. 2007 No. …$260, 063.38

    Looks like another illegal business (Botanica) is operating in Northwood:

    Botanica Kongo
    4712 Castor Avenue
    Philadelphia, PA 19122
    (267) 232-8569

    Botanica Kongo

    4712 Castor Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19122
    (267) 232-8569 – (267) 319-9795 ‎

    Please call in advance for any Readings (consultations), also Candles, we prepare candles for any circumstances and spiritual baths, Rituals, and much more. – From the owner,+PA&cid=5534495390474936357


    Botanica Corazon De Jesus
    Place page
    4729 Roosevelt Boulevard
    Philadelphia, PA 19124-2344
    (215) 288-8284,+PA+19124&cid=16222457907359376900


  16. January 02, 2011

    Today – 4712 Castor Avenue:

    The plywood on the front door is ajar, as if it has been forced, and the plywood on the front left window has been removed.

    The window is now wide open.

    Draw your own conclusions as to why.


  17. Elizabeth-You and your family lied to every neighbor, official, and police officer that asked you about the property. You claimed it was yours and that you had purchased it from Fannie Mae. I knew this was a lie from the beginning since Fannie Mae has denied ownership of the property for years. Your family is nothing but a group of lying criminals; lying to a police officer is a crime. You did nothing to fix the property, only looted it of the fixtures that remained; stove, etc. This was observed when you moved out. Moved in with nothing; needed a moving van when you left???? What makes you think that residing in a property makes it yours? The prescription period in PA is 21 years before you can even file for title to an unclaimed property. If you really wanted this property why didn’t you bid for it during the sheriffs sale? Answer: because you had no intentions on buying it, just looting and taking what you can steal. If you’re family really needed a home and basic shelter, why did you decide that a 4,400 sq ft home on a large corner property was a reasonable dwelling for a homeless family? Why didn’t you buy a house the way most of us do, by paying for it? You’re nothing but a common thief and con-artist and should be jailed. Of course the judicial system would merely fine you for this crime; which of course you never pay anyway.

    Thanks to all the neighbors who kept everyone informed about this property while these burglars looted this property. We all knew what was going on, but we were helpless as our city govt. failed us once again and our laws protected the criminal elements rights. Our homes are our greatest assets, so don’t let these fly by night thieves ruin our beautiful neighborhood. Attend civic meetings and share what know of any wrong doing. Barry Howell does a great job as President. Thanks to J M for sharing all the history of this property; hopefully it will fall into the right hands. By the way, the utility bills and cable were never paid by these people.

  18. Yesterday was Martin Luther King day and some people in Philadelphia rallied over homelessness and mortgage foreclosures. They marched on the Sheriff’s department.

    As I am writing this – I have inside my head – thoughts of writing an Open Letter To Mayor Nutter and City Council:

    How to Bail Out Philadelphia From Financial Crisis.

    The answer is simple.

    Philadelphia needs to stop being the reinsurance company for the Banks who made bad loans and kicked the people to the curb.

    Philadelphia needs to stop being the collection agents & the watch dogs for the banks – The Banks use the City & it’s services to evict people from their homes and then those very same Banks force those homes to be abandoned indefinitely, to be vandalized & worse.

    No matter what happens – in the end Philadelphia, at the Tax Payer’s expense, becomes the fall guy.

    Philadelphia becomes the Re-Insurance company for the banks by supplying fire department services, police protection and sheriff department evictions –

    The full effect of which promotes vacant & abandoned properties and more homelessness. (I must mention again, at the expense of the Tax-Paying Public. We must pay higher taxes to continue to feed this insane frenzy/cycle).

    The quality of life for all Philadelphia residents becomes disrupted.

    Philadelphia needs to enact new legislation forcing the Banks to insure all their foreclosed on properties – just as if the bank actually owned the Home (banks do not own as much as people think – read on).

    Philadelphia needs to pass new legislation focusing on properties where an eviction took place, which says: The Financial Institution on Record must keep the property in a livable condition and insured against fire.

    The Financial Institution of Record – must assume all liability for the property and immediately start paying the water, sewer & school taxes (just like any real homeowner does).

    Any Financial Institution that claims ownership to any property in the City of Philadelphia must accept the liabilities for that property and not pass them onto Philadelphia.

    Banks failing to meet these standards will forfeit the property; giving Philadelphia the right to seize the properties as “Blighted”!!!

    There is already a law on the books for “Blighted Properties” being taken by the City under Eminent Domain.

    The City could then sell them for ready cash, with a stipulation & a set amount of time, that the purchasers be required fix and insure the properties and get some people into them.

    Perhaps Philadelphia could create a program – and become the “bank” on that property. The City could & should then hold lotteries and somehow put the homeless back into a home that was taken away from a Bank.

    Philadelphia needs to stop wasting all it’s resources protecting the Banks and start protecting the citizens.

    PHILADELPHIA: Stop being the “insurance company of last resort” for Wall Street Corporations (the Banks), as the Fed already bailed them out.

    That being said – here is some excerpted news on Banks & Foreclosures:

    [Title problems – banks won’t warrant title to their own, foreclosed properties
    Posted on September 22, 2010 by mstopa]

    “…reporters across the country are scrambling to understand why GMAC has stopped all foreclosures in 23 states, including Florida.  The more I think about it, the more I think the answer is clear:

    Banks and title insurance companies have realized that title conveyed via foreclosure is unreliable.

    Let me put it in non-lawyer terms.  

    Even if a bank wins a foreclosure lawsuit, if service of process on the homeowner was ineffective (and it often is, especially if service was done via publication), or if the bank failed to join all necessary defendants (e.g. junior lien holders or the mortgage holder of record), or if the bank relied on evidence that was fraudulent (like the affidavits of Jeffrey Stephan, described in the blog below), then the Final Judgment may be vacated. 

    This means, essentially, that even if the bank won a foreclosure lawsuit, was the high bidder at a foreclosure sale, and sold the house to an independent third party, the original homeowner may still ask the Court to vacate the Final Judgment and re-take possession, and ownership, of the home….”

    Also Read From Yesterday:

    Activists Rally In Center City To Put Home Foreclosures On Hold Indefinitely

    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some neighborhood activists spent part of their Martin Luther King day of service trying to pressure the Philadelphia sheriff’s office to put home foreclosures on hold – indefinitely.

    Organizer Cheri Honkala, along with supporters and members of ‘The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign’ gathered near city hall, facing banker’s row:

    “Supposedly, tens of millions of dollars have come to Philadelphia, to save people’s homes, through housing and urban development.”

    But, she says it’s not helping homeowner’s on the brink of losing their properties because of the bureaucracy. Then, they moved further down South Broad Street, to the lobby of the sheriff’s office.

    The reverend Robert Johnson says his family was evicted illegally from his southwest Philadelphia home:

    “If we lived in New Orleans or Haiti, where an act of nature made us homeless, rescue would be on the way. What about those of us who are made homeless through corrupt mortgage companies? Where’s our justice?”

    For now, sheriff’s sales are not happening, anyway.

    They’re in the midst of a 50-day moratorium, because of a shakeup in the sheriff’s office.

    It follows a critical audit by the city controller’s office, including an ongoing, now forensic audit centering on alleged financial mismanagement.
    Reported By Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio

    There is one other answer and it may not be too far away:

    Mass Civil Disobedience!

    – Everyone refuse to leave their home. This would bust the system, as the City does not have the resources to arrest all the homeless; the same as – it does not have the resources to feed all the homeless.

  19. Squatters are usually NOT like the woman listed above. I can tell you, because I see them peppered throughout my neighborhood. Most are addicts, homeless, loud and obnoxious. My block was a family oriented block where kids come out and play at night and all is quiet after a certain hour.

    now, it’s loud music, loud arguments or laughter, drug use (and leftover beer cans everywhere), and I just duck in and out of my own home. They steal utilities, don’t take care of the property, and bring the whole neighborhood down.

    I pay a mortgage every month. I pay my utilities, even when it’s difficult. I bought a house in this neighborhood because it is what I could AFFORD! If I wanted to squat in a “nicer” neighborhood – live in an old stone home for free, etc…I guess that wasn’t an option for me. You see, I obey the law and work for what I have…, and I expect that others will as well.

  20. Jenn You can give me a call ,maybe we can help cleaning up your block. 215 533-6744 Barry Pres. Northwood Civic .

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