(HARRISBURG) – – The Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) is operating again as a result of a new law that was sponsored by Senator John R. Gordner (R-27). Senate Bill 1433 was introduced in the spring by Senator Gordner to utilize funds from a recent settlement with the nation’s lenders to re-institute the effective mortgage assistance program in Pennsylvania. Governor Tom Corbett signed the bill into law as Act 70 in early July.
“The Attorneys General of 49 states, including Pennsylvania, 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 received approximately $60 million to be used for consumer and mortgage foreclosure protection programs.”
Funds were received by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) late last week, and this week, PHFA informed lenders that HEMAP applications can now be accepted for homeowners who have received foreclosure notices.
Senate Bill 1433 created 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 had been unable to serve new clients since September 2011.
“HEMAP has proven to be highly effective,” said Senator Gordner. “Nearly 85 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.
Homeowners facing foreclosure can obtain more information about the HEMAP program at PHFA’s website at www.phfa.org or by contacting Senator Gordner’s offices.
Contact: Todd Roup