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Wed Jun 27, 2012, 02:26 PM

Pennsylvania's Mortgage Assistance Program has money once again

Pennsylvania Housings Finace Agency (PHFA) announcement of Governor's Colbert's signature of the law providing Money to PHFA so that it can re-start the Pennsylvania Homeowners Emergency Mortage Assistance Program (HEMAP).

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2011&sessInd=0&billBody=S&billTyp=B&billNbr=1433&pn

Regulations as to Act 91:
http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/012/chapter31/subchapBtoc.html

Technically Act 91 (as HEMAP is commonly called, being Act 91 of 1982) is NOT back in force till the Regulations saying so are issued. That should be a quick set of regulations since under the HEMAP act, if funded the program is mandatory.

This is GOOD NEWS, HEMAP has been called the greatest mortgage assistance program in the US. Other states are looking into adopting a similar program. It was cited as a model for Obama's plans for Mortgage assistance (But never was adopted, it helped homeowners more then banks).

Now Section 5 of the above Act I have problems with. I have had previous cases when HEMAP was in force, and have had Foreclosures dismissed for failing to follow HEMAP. Section 5 of the above Act still permits such dismissals but also permits a Court to "THE COURT MAY DISMISS THE ACTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE, ORDER THE SERVICE OF A CORRECTED NOTICE DURING THE ACTION, IMPOSE A STAY ON ANY ACTION OR IMPOSE
OTHER APPROPRIATE REMEDIES IN THE ACTION TO ADDRESS THE
INTERESTS, IF ANY, OF THE MORTGAGOR WHO HAS BEEN PREJUDICED
THEREBY.


Notice the change, while a Judge can still dismiss the action, a Judge can also continue the action till the Act 91 notice has been given and the 30 day complied with and then continue the case. Courts have ruled in the past they have NO JURISDICTION over the case if Act 91 is NOT complied with first (i.e. the case HAD to be dismissed). Thus the law is CHANGED, a Judge no longer MUST dismiss the case, he can just continue it till the Bank complies with Act 91. A Judge can even say the Act 91 is a waste of time and go ahead with the Foreclosure. Previously such a ruling was NOT permitted, now it is permitted.

Section 5 of this act is a pro-bank law, it is a fundamental change in the law covering HEMAP. Failure to give an Act 91 Notice is no longer an automatic bar for a Court to hear a Foreclosure action. A court can still dismiss the Foreclosure, but no longer MUST do so if Act 91 is NOT complied with.

Thus this act is as a whole Good, HEMAP is a great program, but this act has some bad points, mostly that they is no longer a complete bar to a foreclosure if the bank fails to follow what is required of it under Act 91 (The HEMAP Act).

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