ABOVE PHOTO: Sheriff Jewell Williams hands a check to Christine Woodard.
The Office of the Sheriff of Philadelphia City and County under the direction of Sheriff Jewell Williams, has already given back over $2 million to individuals legally entitled to funds left over after a property has been sold at sheriff’s sale.
Among the most recent satisfied customers to receive a check was Christine Woodard of Southwest Philadelphia.
Woodard, who was owed money from a property that was owned by her deceased mother and was sold at sheriff’s sale, found out about the sale last November and began the process of recovering the unclaimed funds generated after the sale.
“From the first time I contacted Ms. Brown (Deputy Sheriff Angelinel Brown) and Mr. Guess (Lieutenant Monte’ Guess) they were very generous and treated me very nice,” said Woodard.
Lt. Guess and Deputy Sheriff Brown make up what is called the Defendant Asset Recovery Team (D.A.R.T.) of the Office of the Sheriff of Philadelphia City and County and is devoted to helping people through the process of retrieving money owed them from property sold at a sheriff’s sale.
“We help them understand what they need in regards to identification, paperwork, and the steps they must make before they even make a claim,” said Lt. Guess.
“Most people don’t know,” added Deputy Sheriff Brown, “that you must first establish an estate with the Register of Wills before we can even pull up a deed on a property”.
According to Sheriff Williams, this process helps to eliminate fraud and expose those trying to impersonate a legitimate claimant.
“There are people out here who will take advantage of any situation they think they can exploit for money,” said Sheriff Williams, “and this process is no different. That’s why our staff goes the extra mile to insure the rightful heirs to the property get what they are owed”.
Woodard, who has three children ages 15, 9 and 4, says she will use the much-needed money to straighten out some credit issues and help other members of her family.
“I would say to anyone going through this process that you must have patience and understand the sheriff’s office is short staffed, but they will work with you to get it done”, said Woodard..
For more information on the process of applying for unclaimed funds, visit the sheriff’s website at www.officeofphiladelphiasheriff.com.