Although the story provoked some amusement at the Penn Forest Township Supervisors regularly scheduled Tuesday meeting, Zoning Officer Joseph Steber warns that stories of accidental home-foreclosures in the township are no joke. The foreclosures have occurred due to addresses that were never updated following a 2004 Penn Forest Township address change.
Some residents of the township never notified their banks or mortgage lending companies of the address changes after the 2004 reorganization. This lack of notification is now creating a serious burden for some township residents who have been accidentally served foreclosure papers.
Because the sheriff's office, which serves the foreclosure notices, only goes by the address of the house, several residents have had their houses foreclosed even though they were not behind on payments. Foreclosure causes a serious headache for the involved homeowners, many of whom have had to spend time and money fighting to get them overturned.
Steber told the supervisors that he has spoken with the sheriff, who will now have to check the address of each foreclosed house against the property's tax parcel number. However, the accidental foreclosures have been occurring as recently as a few weeks ago.
In order to prevent more occurrences of this kind, Steber advises that residents of Penn Forest Township who have addresses affected by the 2004 address change to personally notify their banks and mortgage lending companies, and even credit card companies, of their current address to ensure that no more mishaps occur.
"It's not enough to just send a change of address notification in the mail," he said, "often what happens is that those forms never make it out of the billing department. To be sure that you are safe you have to personally call each company."