Senator Gordner Introduces Legislation To Fund Important Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program

(HARRISBURG) – – Legislation that will provide a multi-year funding stream for the Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) has been introduced by Senator John R. Gordner (R-27).  Senate Bill 1433 utilizes funds from a recent settlement with the nation’s lenders to re-institute the effective mortgage assistance program in Pennsylvania.

“The Attorneys General of 49 states, including Pennsylvania, have reached a $25 billion settlement with the country’s five largest lenders to end mortgage servicing and foreclosure abuses that stemmed from the recent lending scandal,” said Senator Gordner.  “Pennsylvania will receive $50 to $60 million to be used for consumer and mortgage foreclosure protection programs.”

Senate Bill 1433 creates a trust fund with the settlement dollars for the purposes of funding consumer protection programs and HEMAP for an extended period of years and requires no tax dollars. Due to state funding issues, HEMAP faces elimination in a tight budget.

“HEMAP has proven to be highly effective,” said Senator Gordner.  “In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee this week, we learned from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency that nearly 80 percent of homeowners who took part in the program remain in their homes.  That’s good for our communities and a necessary part of an economic recovery.”

HEMAP, created in 1983, provides temporary assistance to homeowners facing the loss of their homes due to circumstances beyond their control, such as the recently unemployed and those facing medical emergencies.  The program works with those likely to be able to resume future payments and has assisted 46,000 Pennsylvania families since its inception.

Senate Bill 1433 targets 90 percent of the settlement funds for HEMAP and 10 percent to the Attorney General’s office for housing consumer protection programs.  The bill has broad bi-partisan support with 22 Republican and Democratic senators as co-sponsors.