Cedar Park Neighbors (CPN) is participating in the city's first ever "Illegal Signs Initiative." The city will pay CPN 50 cents for every bandit sign that we gather before Saturday, June 16th. CPN will then use the money to host our Friday night jazz series, administer our scholarship program for neighborhood youth, organize zoning meetings, distribute holiday baskets, and more.
What is a bandit sign?
Bandit signs are signs that are illegally posted on public property, such as the ubiquitous "We Buy Houses" signs. However, for this project, CPN is ONLY interested in predatory commercial real estate signs. CPN has NO interest in collecting signs about yard sales, house parties, lost pets, etc.
What should I do when I have collected bandit signs?
Please drop your bandit signs off on the porch of one of the following CPN board members: 1008 South 47th Street (Al), 506 South 48th Street (Mike); 5117 Catharine Street (Catherine); or 934 South Saint Bernard Street (Joe).
What's the problem with these signs?
The "We Buy Houses" signs are particularly nefarious as they often prey on long-time homeowners who are in desperate situations into giving up their family homes for pennies on the dollar. It destroys the inter-generational transfer of wealth and worsens the racial wealth gap.
A typical situation unfolds like this: A family faces financial hardship - mom loses job, cousin is locked up and needs bail, dad needs to hire immigration lawyer, etc. The house is worth $100,000 with a $50,000 mortgage. They contact one of these We Buy Homes outfits. The buyer comes to the house and says, "Your house is worth $75,000, but it looks like your mortgage is almost $60,000. Let's see what we can work out." Buyer then offers homeowner $15,000 (i.e., $75,000-$60,000), but then says, "There's a 10% fee for the buyer, and it's going to cost an additional $3,000 for the taxes plus an additional $500 to record the new deed." Homeowner accepts a net of $10,000 because that's what the buyer says they are due. Meanwhile, if homeowner had gone to a legitimate realtor, they may have netted $45,000.
Many people also think these signs are ugly.
Are these bandit signs illegal?
Yes. Philadelphia Code 10-1200 prohibits the posting or advertising upon any sign on a utility pole, streetlight, traffic or parking sign or device, including any post to which such sign or device is attached; historical marker; or city-owned tree or tree in the public right-of-way.
Can I collect only bandit signs in Cedar Park?
Please gather signs from anywhere in Philadelphia.
Have another question?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.