Foreclosure assistance available through revived program

By Kim Shindle | Aug. 10, 2012 | 3 min. read

Homeowners facing foreclosure now have another resource to turn to. Pennsylvania’s Homeowners’ Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) will receive funding from the previously announced $25 billion state-federal settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage loan servicers.

According to Gov. Tom Corbett’s office, Pennsylvania has received its $66.5 million portion of the settlement.  HEMAP is slated to receive 90 percent of Pennsylvania’s share of the settlement funding during a multi-year period, with the remaining 10 percent to be split between consumer protection services provided by the state Attorney General’s Office and legal assistance for consumers related to housing issues. HEMAP will receive an additional $6 million this year to address an anticipated backlog of foreclosure applicants.

“With the receipt of these funds, HEMAP will now begin accepting applications,” Corbett said. “The foreclosure prevention assistance provided by HEMAP directly helps families in danger of foreclosure. This multi-year funding for HEMAP will not only help troubled homeowners but will play a role in restoring the health of our state’s housing industry.”

Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) administers HEMAP. PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr. said, “HEMAP has a proven track record for working to keep families in their homes, which helps communities as a whole. Many families and neighborhoods will benefit from this renewed funding for HEMAP.”

HEMAP was started in 1983 to help homeowners avoid foreclosure during a recession taking place at that time. During the last 29 years, it has provided foreclosure prevention assistance to more than 46,000 families. With an 85 percent success rate for helping families stay in their homes, the program has become a national model for foreclosure prevention.

“We believe HEMAP is needed now as much as it was in the past,” said Scott Elliott, PHFA director of communications. “HEMAP assists families in keeping their homes and it helps communities by preventing neighborhoods from becoming blighted when foreclosure signs depress housing values in an area. We think HEMAP is an important part of the solution in helping to revitalize the Pennsylvania housing market by keeping properties out of foreclosure.”

Homeowners who are at least three months delinquent on their mortgage may be eligible for assistance through HEMAP. When they call PHFA, they will be directed to a local counseling agency for help completing a HEMAP application. They should take all paperwork regarding their mortgage delinquency with them to that meeting, including an Act 6 notice, if they have received one.

Homeowners interested in more information about HEMAP may visit PHFA’s website or call toll-free during weekday business hours at 800-342-2397.

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