ATTENTION HOMEOWNERS: Sept. 16 is deadline for $96 million in aid
The Corbett administration and Republicans in the General Assembly slashed funding for the Homeowners' Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program. However, thanks to the Obama administration, short-term relief will remain available through September and applications are still being taken for a federal program.
HEMAP, created in 1983, has helped thousands of homeowners who have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own and are unable to make their monthly mortgage payments because of involuntary unemployment, underemployment or unexpected medical bills.
Thanks to the federal funds, $96 million remains available for distribution. However, applications must be submitted by September 16. Homeowners facing foreclosure must apply through an approved HEMAP Consumer Credit Counseling Agency.
To find the nearest approved HEMAP counseling agency, homeowners needing assistance should call the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) right away at 1-800-342-2397. Operators are available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The approved list of agencies is also available on the PHFA website.
Homeowners may be eligible for a declining balance, deferred payment "bridge loan" for up to $50,000 or 24 months of mortgage payment assistance if they:
· Have a loss of at least 15 percent of income;
· Have missed at least three mortgage payments or received a foreclosure notice due to job loss, income reduction and/or illness;
· Are likely to be able to start making payments again within two years;
· Are at or below 120 percent of area median income;
· Are applying for help with a mortgage on their primary residence, which is a 1- to 4-unit residence or condominium unit.
Remember, funding is limited so call today. And if you know someone who could benefit from this program, please pass this information along.