Vinsko & Associates, P.C.
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From real estate to family law matters, Vinsko & Associates, P.C. is the keystone to any legal strategy.
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Vinsko & Associates, P.C.
Bold Representation. Sound Results.
From real estate to family law matters, Vinsko & Associates, P.C. is the keystone to any legal strategy.


What should buyers know about judicial tax sale purchases?

Property owners are responsible for paying their property taxes in Pennsylvania. When they fail to do that, a house can be put up for sale through a public auction. Homes sold in this way are often let go for a fraction of what the property’s price would be if secured via a private sale.

If a property doesn’t sell at an auction because of liens that exceed the property’s value or any other reason, the judicial tax sale process will start. Understanding the basics of this process may help buyers to decide if this is a viable option for investing in a property that is being sold in this way.

The judicial tax sale process

Judicial tax sales in Pennsylvania are conducted under the Real Estate Tax Sale Law, which is a more rigorous process compared to the upset tax sale. The judicial process is initiated after a property fails to sell at an upset tax sale, primarily due to existing liens that exceed the property’s value.

A court order must be obtained for a judicial tax sale, and all parties with an interest in the property are given notice. This legal proceeding ensures the removal of most liens and encumbrances on the property, making it a potentially cleaner title for the buyer compared to properties bought at upset tax sales.

Potential for a clean title

One of the main attractions of buying property at a judicial tax sale is the possibility of acquiring a property with a clean title. Because the sale is court-ordered and involves a legal process to notify all interested parties, many liens that might encumber the property are cleared. Buyers should be aware that not all encumbrances, such as certain federal liens or property covenants, are automatically eliminated.

Right of redemption

Buyers should know that, in Pennsylvania, there is a right of redemption for original property owners. This means that after a property is sold at a judicial tax sale, the original owner may have the opportunity to reclaim their property by paying the sale price, plus additional costs and interest, within a specific timeframe.

Conducting thorough due diligence by reviewing a property’s title history and seeking assistance from a legal representative familiar with real estate law is a good idea when purchasing property in this way. This may help a buyer to determine if this option is a good fit for their needs.

What to know about upset sales in Pennsylvania

Upset sales are a unique feature of Pennsylvania’s property tax enforcement strategy. This approach is designed to recover unpaid property taxes, municipal claims and certain other debts without erasing existing liens or mortgages on a particular property owned by someone who is in debt. 

If you are looking to purchase a property that is subject to an upset sale, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into. While these properties can be good investments, there are risks attached to them that aren’t factors in more traditional real estate purchase scenarios. 

What are upset sales?

An upset sale is a public auction where properties affected by delinquent taxes are sold to the highest bidder. The term “upset price” refers to the minimum bid for a property, which typically includes the amount of unpaid taxes, accrued interest, penalties and any other charges the property owner has accrued. 

Unlike other types of tax sales, such as judicial sales, upset sales do not clear the title of a property. This means that any existing liens, mortgages or encumbrances remain in place, and the buyer will be held responsible for them going forward. If you purchase a property that is classified as an upset sale, your legal and financial burdens may be much greater than they would be normally. Therefore, only if the purchase price is sufficiently low is buying an upset sale property potentially a good investment. 

Buyer considerations

Under state law, property owners are granted until the day before an upset sale to pay their debts in full, including all taxes, interest, penalties and fees, to prevent their property from being auctioned. Partially because property owners are tied to their property up until the day before a sale, their financial situation can impact the burdens placed upon a potential buyer until that time. It isn’t always easy to know what obligations are attached to an upset sale property at the time of sale, as something new may have developed only days before. 

As such, potential buyers at an upset sale need to conduct thorough due diligence before participating. This includes researching the property’s title to understand any liens or encumbrances that will not be eliminated by the sale. It’s also advisable to physically inspect the property, as properties are sold “as is,” and there may be issues that could affect the value or usability of the property.

Given the complexities of upset sales and all that is at stake, it is generally a very good idea for potential buyers of upset sale properties to seek legal guidance before committing to a purchase. 

Securing your investment: Understanding title insurance in Pennsylvania

In the intricate web of real estate transactions, lies a crucial safeguard often overlooked—title insurance. Pennsylvania’s real estate market thrives amidst a complex landscape where ensuring the integrity of property ownership holds paramount importance.

Here’s what you should know about title insurance and its significance within the Keystone State’s real estate sphere.

The role of title insurance

Title insurance serves as a shield, protecting buyers and lenders against potential issues or discrepancies related to the property’s title. It provides coverage for unforeseen challenges such as undisclosed liens, conflicting ownership claims, or errors in public records. This insurance shields parties from financial loss and legal battles that might arise from title-related complications.

In Pennsylvania, like in many other states, two types of title insurance exist: lender’s title insurance, which safeguards the lender’s investment and owner’s title insurance, which protects the buyer’s interest in the property. While lender’s title insurance is typically mandatory for securing a mortgage, owner’s title insurance is optional but highly recommended to mitigate risks for the property owner.

Pennsylvania-specific title considerations

Pennsylvania’s real estate landscape boasts a unique set of considerations regarding title insurance. The state’s title insurance rates are regulated, providing a standardized fee structure across different insurance providers. This regulation ensures consistency in pricing, offering buyers and lenders a clearer understanding of associated costs.

Moreover, Pennsylvania employs the use of title agencies, acting as intermediaries between the buyer, seller and insurance underwriter, facilitating the title insurance process. These agencies conduct thorough title searches and examinations, verifying the property’s title history and identifying potential issues before issuing the insurance policy.

Navigating the intricacies of real estate transactions in Pennsylvania necessitates a comprehensive understanding of title insurance. This pivotal protection shields parties from unforeseen title issues, ensuring a smoother and more secure property acquisition process.

By recognizing the role of title insurance and Pennsylvania’s specific considerations in this realm, buyers and lenders can make informed decisions, safeguarding their investments and fostering confidence in property transactions. Embracing the protection and assurance offered by title insurance fortifies the foundation of real estate dealings, empowering stakeholders in their pursuit of property ownership.

Unpacking mortgage foreclosures in Pennsylvania: A closer look

In the heart of homeownership lies the ever-present concern of foreclosure, a daunting prospect that can unsettle even the most secure of dwellings. Pennsylvania’s stance in this realm echoes a unique tale amid the national landscape.

Here’s what you should know about mortgage foreclosures in the Keystone State and how it compares to the nation.

The foreclosure landscape in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania portrays a mixed picture in the realm of foreclosures. According to recent data, the state’s foreclosure rate has shown a consistent decline, signaling resilience and stability in its housing market. Factors contributing to this decline include robust economic growth, favorable employment rates, and proactive measures by policymakers to assist struggling homeowners.

However, despite this downward trend, pockets within the state still grapple with foreclosure challenges, especially in urban areas where economic disparities and housing affordability issues persist. Understanding the nuanced factors influencing foreclosure rates across different regions of Pennsylvania is crucial in addressing these localized challenges.

Comparative analysis: Pennsylvania vs. National trends

When juxtaposed against national statistics, Pennsylvania stands as a moderate player in the realm of foreclosures. The state’s foreclosure rate, although showing improvement, still mirrors the broader trend of occasional volatility influenced by economic shifts and housing market fluctuations. Nationally, the foreclosure landscape has witnessed ebbs and flows, with various states experiencing disparate impacts due to diverse economic conditions and regulatory frameworks.

It’s noteworthy that while Pennsylvania navigates a decline in foreclosure rates, vigilance and proactive measures remain imperative to sustain this positive trajectory. Continued support mechanisms, such as foreclosure prevention programs and accessible legal aid, can further fortify the state’s housing market resilience.

Mortgage foreclosures, though showing a downward trend in Pennsylvania, remain a pivotal concern requiring ongoing attention and proactive measures. Understanding the local nuances impacting foreclosure rates and recognizing the state’s position within the national context aids in crafting targeted solutions.


Empowering homeowners with resources, bolstering economic stability and fostering an environment conducive to sustainable homeownership are pivotal steps toward mitigating foreclosure challenges. Pennsylvania’s journey in this realm underscores the importance of proactive measures and collaborative efforts to safeguard homes and communities against the specter of foreclosure.

Strong Legal Counsel For Individuals, Families Businesses and Municipalities in Pennsylvania

Vinsko & Associates, P.C., opened its doors with a single aim: To provide legal counsel and exceptional representation to individuals, families and professionals in Pennsylvania. We have remained true to our mission ever since.
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Tax Sale Litigation

If you are behind in your real estate taxes for two years or more, your property can be exposed to a tax sale. Vinsko & Associates, P.C., has extensive experience in handling Pennsylvania tax sale litigation throughout the Commonwealth.

Real Estate Law & Litigation

If you are looking for assistance with your real estate matter in Pennsylvania, look no further. Our real estate lawyers and trained staff can assist you with any and all issues regarding real estate.

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When child custody is an issue that you must face, you need a trusted lawyer to guide you through the steps necessary to do what is in the best interest of the child.

Business & Corporate Law and Litigation

We have considerable experience handling legal matters for small entrepreneurial businesses as well as large well-established corporations.

Employment Law

If you have been affected in your job because of your national origin, your gender, your age, your religion, your disability status, or sexual orientation, call us today.

Estate Probate Planning & Litigation

At Vinsko & Associates, P.C., we understand how complex Pennsylvania probate law is and how confused it can leave families as well as personal representatives.

Municipal & Government Law

If you have been affected in your job because of your national origin, your gender, your age, your religion, your disability status, or sexual orientation, call us today.

Personal Injury

Our experienced Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers have settled for hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past few years, and we will work just as hard for you!

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Throughout our years of practice, we have learned the ins and outs of the law. When you bring your case to us, we take the burden from your shoulders and put all our efforts toward finding the best solution. If this requires litigation, we are not afraid to step up to the plate. Our attorneys have successfully litigated in state and federal court.

Seasoned Litigators In Your Corner

Throughout our years of practice, we have learned the ins and outs of the law. When you bring your case to us, we take the burden from your shoulders and put all our efforts toward finding the best solution. If this requires litigation, we are not afraid to step up to the plate. Our attorneys have successfully litigated in state and federal court.

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Our clients are located all around Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia area. In a time where distance can be a barrier to premier services, technological advancements have allowed us to remove that obstacle for our clients. We frequently use teleconferencing to meet with stakeholders to discuss details of the case, our goals, and our strategies. Any legal matter can be overwhelming and burdensome, but no matter where you are in the state, you can count on Vinsko & Associates, P.C., to go the extra mile for you.

Founded In 2003

A full-service Pennsylvania law firm with offices in downtown Wilkes-Barre and in center-city Philadelphia, our lawyers have a history of providing competent legal representation throughout the Commonwealth.

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If you are Selling, Buying or Refinancing a property, whether it be residential or commercial, click here. We can give you estimated closing costs which includes transfer taxes, title insurance, recording fees and other costs you will see. Don’t wait until the last minute to find out how much you will spend. Use our Closing and Settlement Service Center and you will obtain information directly from our real estate closing and settlement staff.

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Whether you are dealing with a real estate, business or family law issue, the legal system can be perplexing. At Vinsko & Associates, P.C., our attorneys have more than 32 years of combined experience navigating complex legal issues and developing effective strategies for our clients. When we are formulating a strategy, we never stop when we think we have reached the end. We keep digging, discovering new information and finding alternative ways to solve the issue at hand. It’s one of the many things that sets us apart from our competitors. Clients can depend on us to guide them through their legal issue.

Testimonials From Our Clients:

Working with Vinsko & Associates on the closing of mine and my wife’s house was amazing. They were with us every step of the way during the whole process. They went above and beyond for us and we are so grateful for them and all of their help. – Jason G.
I would highly recommend Vinsko & Associates, P.C. for all legal needs. Their level of knowledge, legal prowess, and professionalism is above and beyond all others I’ve experienced. They obviously take pride in developing relationships and invest themselves in the success of their clients. – Melody P.
Bill and Brian did excellent work for us! Thanks to them we won our case. They made sure no stone went unturned and took care of us and our best interest every step of the way. We always felt like they had our backs! – Jennifer K.
One of the BEST Law firms I have ever dealt with in my career. Vinsko & Associate were very responsive to my questions, my needs and everything that pertained to my legal cases. I have utilized them on multiple levels and cases and I ALWAYS felt as though I was their “ONLY” Client, NOT a Number… Kudos to all who represent this great company! – Chuck T.
Best lawyer in town! Bill has helped me with so much, from purchasing my home, starting a business, drafting wills, and handling contracts. Top notch expertise in all areas. The lawyer you want if you need things done right. Thanks Bill!!! – Matthew F.