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File #: 210295    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: IN COUNCIL - FINAL PASSAGE
File created: 4/8/2021 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action:
Title: Authorizing the Committee on Law & Government to hold hearings examining the decision to permanently move sheriff sales online, and further to explore the ramifications of and any unintended consequences that may arise from this decision.
Sponsors: Councilmember Parker, Council President Clarke, Councilmember Squilla, Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Gauthier, Councilmember Jones, Councilmember Henon, Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez, Councilmember Bass, Councilmember Brooks, Councilmember Domb, Councilmember Gilmore Richardson, Councilmember Green, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Thomas
Attachments: 1. Signature21029500
Title
Authorizing the Committee on Law & Government to hold hearings examining the decision to permanently move sheriff sales online, and further to explore the ramifications of and any unintended consequences that may arise from this decision.

Body
WHEREAS, On March 10, 2021, the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office circulated a press release entitled, "Sheriff Rochelle Bilal Announces Virtual Sheriff Sales Beginning April 06, 2021." While the press release was forthcoming about the fact that online sales would resume on April 6th, and further that the Office of the Sheriff had selected online auction company Bid4Assets (Bid4Assets.com) to manage the virtual sales, it was not explicitly clear that this change was permanent; and

WHEREAS, On March 18, 2021, WHYY's PlanPhilly published an article entitled, "Philly sheriff sales to move online, sparking fears of real estate speculation." For many Councilmembers and their staff, this was the first time that they learned that sheriff sales would resume on April 6th and that they would be virtual. Furthermore, and most importantly, this was the first time Councilmembers and their staff, as well as many individuals who had been aware of the resumption of sales via a virtual platform on April 6th, learned that the change to virtual sales was going to be permanent; and

WHEREAS, City Council's Committee on Law & Government is responsible for "all...matters relating to cooperation with...inter-City and inter-County governments." In order for sheriff sales to permanently become virtual, cooperation is the operative word. Clear communication and transparency are also vitally important to successful cooperation; and

WHEREAS, While the Sheriff, an independently elected position, has the authority to make such a decision, this is not merely a minor procedural change. It will have significant implications for many parties outside of the Sheriff's Office. Firstly, many homeowners will be impacted by this decision, and if there are a...

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