Pennsylvania’s Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program
Unfortunate circumstances and events can sometimes lead Pennsylvania residents to fall behind on their mortgage payments, putting them at risk for having their property foreclosed upon. Luckily, Pennsylvania offers a mortgage foreclosure diversion program that allows homeowners to work things out with their lenders while offering protection against unfair, deceptive, or predatory banking practices. Facing the possibility of foreclosure can be a difficult experience, but you don’t have to go through it alone.
The attorneys from Young Marr & Associates can provide assistance as you navigate the complicated process surrounding a Pennsylvania mortgage foreclosure diversion program. They can work with you, the diversion program, and your lender to help you get a fair outcome. Get in touch with Pennsylvania mortgage foreclosure diversion program attorneys from Young Marr & Associates soon to schedule a free consultation with a qualified legal representative. Call (215) 701-6519 today.
Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion in Pennsylvania
The mortgage foreclosure diversion program offered by the State of Pennsylvania issues mortgage assistance loans to homeowners who are having trouble paying off their mortgage. When a homeowner qualifies for this program, their lender will not be able to proceed with foreclosure if the homeowner is making Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) payments.
The mortgage foreclosure assistance program loans up to $60,000 to qualifying homeowners and can last up to 36 months from the date of delinquency. Homeowners are required to pay up to 40% of their monthly income towards HEMAP payments. The minimum monthly payment to HEMAP under Pennsylvania law is $25 per month.
The process of qualifying for a mortgage foreclosure diversion program begins when a homeowner misses mortgage payments and lenders begin sending notices. Thirty days prior to the 120th day of mortgage delinquency, the lender will send the homeowner a notice informing the homeowner about HEMAP, along with a listing of the Housing Finance Agency office near them.
After the mortgage has been delinquent for 120 days, the bank will file for foreclosure with the court in the county where your home is located, after which you will be served court papers by the county sheriff.
Next, homeowners may be entitled to a conciliation conference and/or a temporary stay of the foreclosure proceedings, depending on the county where their home is located. The owner of the home being foreclosed on will have 30 days to respond to the foreclosure notice with objections and/or counterclaims. If the homeowner objects or has counterclaims against the foreclosure notice, the dispute may take months to resolve.
The property will then be listed as part of a sheriff’s sale after the court rules in favor of the lender. Then, the sheriff will give all occupants of the foreclosed upon home a notice of 30 days, both on the property and in the sheriff’s office. If residents of the home continue to occupy it after the sheriff’s sale, then a complaint in ejectment will be filed.
How to Avoid Foreclosure in Pennsylvania
To have a successful defense, homeowners whose houses have been foreclosed upon must file an answer to the foreclosure complaint. Filing an answer gives homeowners an opportunity to admit or deny the claims made in the notice. Defenses pertain to the lender’s fault regarding the foreclosure, such as failure to credit payments made by the homeowner or failing to honor grace periods.
If a homeowner does not file a response to the foreclosure notice, the foreclosure will proceed. After you fail to file an answer to the foreclosure notice, the lender will be able to file a “motion for summary judgment,” which is an official legal request for the judge to sign off on the foreclosure sale.
Homeowners who are facing foreclosure should note that they are protected by Sections 3180 and Section 3183 of Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure, which set the rules for mortgage foreclosures. There are also laws that are meant to protect homeowners in Pennsylvania from foreclosure, such as The Homeowners Emergency Assistance Act and The Loan Interest & Protection Law.
Homeowners facing foreclosure should note that there are two notices that they will receive. The Pennsylvania Act 6 Notice will outline the model that lenders follow, which requires full disclosure on the part of the homeowner. Homeowners will also receive Act 91, which will provide homeowners with information about mortgage assistance programs that give financial aid and support to borrowers.
Another way to avoid home foreclosure in Pennsylvania is to declare bankruptcy — either Chapter 13 or Chapter 7. Chapter 13 bankruptcy will allow the person filing for bankruptcy to catch up on the mortgage payments they have missed, known as “mortgage arrears.” After filing for Chapter 13, debtors will make a plan to deal with past-due or delinquent payments.
With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, debtors will not be allowed to catch up on missed payments. Chapter 7 bankruptcy buys time for the debtor by triggering what is known as an “automatic stay,” which will temporarily postpone foreclosure proceedings and enable the homeowner to address their debt in other ways. A mortgage specialist from Young Marr & Associates can explain these options in greater detail.
Mortgage Foreclosure Attorneys Serving Pennsylvania Homeowners
With the help of an experienced foreclosure attorney from Young Marr & Associates, you may be able to enter into a mortgage foreclosure diversion program. Protect your home, your finances, and your peace of mind talking to an experienced attorney well-versed in the foreclosure process. Contact Young Marr & Associates and schedule a free consultation to talk about your options. Call (215) 701-6519 today.