Not for Profit Foreclosure Prevention Assistance

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					Foreclosure
Prevention
Resource Guide




Summer/Fall                      Prepared by:
                                 GPUAC Foreclosure
2009 Edition                     Prevention Task Force

Visit us on the Web: www.gpuac.org/foreclosurehelp.htm




           Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition
           1207 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Table of Contents
Letter from the President and CEO  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 1
Purpose  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 2
Quick Contacts  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 3
Housing Counseling and Preventing Foreclosure .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 4
Understanding the Mortgage Foreclosure Process .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 5
Note on Sheriff ’s Sale and Eviction Timeline by County  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 8
How can I Prevent the Sheriff ’s Sale?  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .11
City of Philadelphia’s Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .13
Products Directory  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 14
                    FHA Rate and Term Refinances  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 14
                    HOPE for Homeowners (H4H)  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .15
                    Homeowners’ Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP)  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 16
                    Homeowners’ Equity Recovery Opportunity Loan Program (HERO)  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .17
                    Home Affordable Modification Program  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 18
                    Home Affordable Refinance Program  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 19
                    Preserving Homeownership And Savings Education Strategies (PHASES) Grant  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 20
                    REfinance to an Affordable Loan Program (REAL)  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 21
                    EFSP (Emergency Food and Shelter Program)  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 22
                    PNHS—Foreclosure Prevention Remediation Loan  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 23
                    PHIL—Plus and Mini-PHIL Home Improvement Loan  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 24
City of Philadelphia’s Financial Hardship Agreements for Property Taxes  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 25
Pennsylvania Real Estate Tax Law for Property Taxes  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 26
                    Bucks County  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 27
                    Chester County  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 28
                    Delaware County  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 29
                    Montgomery County  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 30
Housing Counseling Agency Directory  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .31
Samples of Notices  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .33
                    Act 91 Notice  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .33
                    Complaint  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 34
                    Important Notice  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .35
                    Judgment  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 36
                    Sheriff’s Sale Scheduled  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 37
Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition
Bringing together business and community leaders to solve urban problems.
1207 Chestnut Street • Philadelphia, PA • Phone: 215-851-0110 • Fax: 215-851-0514 • www.gpuac.org


July 2009



Dear Friends:

Foreclosure does not have to be the outcome for homeowners. With that message in mind, the Greater Philadelphia
Urban Affairs Coalition (GPUAC) and its partners are pleased to provide you with the Summer/Fall 2009 edition
of the Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide . This publication is primarily designed to help professionals in
the five-county Philadelphia metropolitan area support their clients who are at risk of losing their homes through
foreclosure . Many homeowners may also find it useful . Developed by a team of experts, the Guide demystifies
the foreclosure process, offers ways to preserve the clients’ ownership of their homes and provides important
contact information .

The list of Quick Contacts on page three tells you how to reach experts who may be able to assist your client in
urgent situations . Housing Counseling and Preventing Foreclosure explains what preventative steps homeowners
can take to avoid foreclosure with the assistance of a housing counselor .

For those who want to better understand the foreclosure process and timelines, go to the chart, Understanding
the Mortgage Foreclosure Process on page five . Following this is a detailed explanation of what each stage means
and what your options are . Examples of the legal notices and documents a homeowner may receive are provided
in the final section of the Guide, Samples of Notices. For readers who need to better understand the rights and
options of homeowners who have reached the final stage of a scheduled Sheriff’s Sale, go to How Can I Prevent
the Sheriff’s Sale?

As the foreclosure problem grows across the country, new programs have emerged and existing programs are
being improved to help homeowners . The Products Directory (of the table of contents) contains national, state and
local programs available to homeowners to avoid foreclosure . Content in this section are programs, loan products,
services and grants . The descriptions of the products and services contain the vital information in a simplified
format . Most of these products are intended for homeowners not yet in foreclosure, but who may be at risk .

The Housing Counseling Agency Directory (pages 31–32) provides contact information for 53 housing counseling
agencies throughout the five-county Philadelphia metropolitan area . Homeowners should contact a housing
counselor if they are anticipating or experiencing difficulties making their monthly mortgage payments .

If you would like additional copies of the guide, you can access the electronic version at www .gpuac .org/
foreclosurehelp .htm or you can e-mail Rachel Moore at rmoore@gpuac .org to place an order . We hope this
Guide will help you to better serve your clients .

Sincerely,




Sharmain Matlock-Turner
President and CEO
Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition
    Purpose
    This resource guide is intended to raise awareness about the home foreclosure process, related grant and loan programs and
    housing counseling resources for the five-county Philadelphia metropolitan area . The Guide is designed to help professionals
    who encounter homeowners facing foreclosure, as well as to demystify the foreclosure process for homeowners and help them
    take advantage of the opportunities to preserve ownership of their homes . Please contact the individual administering agencies
    for more information .

    About the GPUAC Foreclosure Prevention                           Your Feedback
    Task Force                                                       We welcome your feedback, additions or corrections: please
    GPUAC’s Foreclosure Prevention Task Force is helping to          contact Don Kelly (215-851-1738; dkelly@gpuac .org) . An
    develop a system-wide strategy of combating the mortgage         electronic version of the Guide will be updated and posted
    foreclosure crisis in Philadelphia and helping to prevent un-    online at www .gpuac .org at the end of every quarter .
    necessary foreclosures . The Task Force is made up of bank-
    ers, bank regulators, housing counselors, legal aid attorneys,   Disclaimer
    community advocates and local government agency repre-           While this document represents our updated research,
    sentatives . The Task Force was formed in September 2007         GPUAC does not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of
    and presented recommendations and strategies to GPUAC’s          the information below . We strongly suggest contacting the
    Community and Economic Development (CED) Committee               administering agency for further information . The law often
    in April 2008 .                                                  changes . Each case is different . This resource guide is meant
                                                                     to give you general information and not to give you specific
    The Task Force presented strategies and recommendations
                                                                     legal advice .
    in three areas: Education and Awareness, Affordable and Ben-
    eficial Mortgage/Financial Products, and Government and
    Mortgage Industry Policies and Regulations .                     Prepared By
                                                                     Roger Ashodian      GPUAC Foreclosure Prevention
    GPUAC’s Mission                                                                      Task Force Member
    GPUAC’s mission is to unite government, business, neigbor-       Hardik Savalia      Greater Philadelphia Urban
    hoods and individual initiative to improve the quality of life                       Affairs Coalition
    in the region, build wealth in urban communities and solve
    emerging issues . We aim to achieve this by improving life       Jennifer Schultz    Community Legal Services
    chances for youth and young adults, building wealth in urban
    communities and strengthening the nonprofit sector .             Edited By
                                                                     Rachel Moore        Greater Philadelphia Urban
                                                                                         Affairs Coalition

                                                                     Haley Loram         Greater Philadelphia Urban
                                                                                         Affairs Coalition




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             Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide • Summer/Fall 2009 Edition • www .gpuac .org/foreclosurehelp .htm
Quick Contacts
Visit us on the Web: www .gpuac .org/foreclosurehelp .htm

Phone Contacts
Foreclosure Hotlines     SaveYourHomePhilly Hotline                  215-334-HOME         www .phila .gov/ohcd
                         Don’t Borrow Trouble Hotline                888-275-8843         www .dontborrowtroublesepa .org
                         (Suburban Philadelphia)
                         Pennsylvania Housing Finance                800-822-1174         www .phfa .org
                         Agency Hotline


Housing Counseling       Homeownership Counseling                    215-731-1723         www .hcadv .org
                         Assoc . of Delaware Valley
                         (see full list of agencies on pp . 31–32)

Making Home              Fannie Mae                                  1-800-7FANNIE        www .fanniemae .com/loanlookup
Affordable Hotlines
                         Freddie Mac                                 1-800-FREDDIE        www .freddiemac .com/mymortgage

Legal Assistance         Community Legal Services                    215-227-2400         www .clsphila .org
(income limits)
                         Philadelphia Legal Assistance               215-981-3800         www .philalegal .org
                         Community Impact Legal Services             610-380-7111         www .cilspa .org
                         Legal Aid of Southeastern PA                877-429-5994         www .lasp .org

Lawyer Referral          Philadelphia Bar Association Lawyer                              www .philadelphiabarlawyers .com
                         Referral Service
                         Lawyer Referral Service of Bucks            888-991-9922         www .bucksbar .org/html/
                         County Bar Association                                           community_referral .htm
                         Chester County Lawyer Referral Service      610-429-1500         www .chescobar .org/public/lrs .html
                         Lawyer Referral Service of the
                         Barristers Club of Delaware County          610-566-6625         delco .pa .barristersclub .com/about/
                                                                                          about_elrs .asp?ref=dcba
                         Lawyer Referral Service – Montgomery
                         County Bar Association                      610-279-9660         www .montgomerybar .org/public/lrs/
                                                                     ext . 201            index .php


Other                    Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs          215-851-1738         www .gpuac .org
                         Coalition
                         Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office               215-686-3530         www .phillysheriff .com/homeloss .html
                         Suburban Philadelphia Sheriffs’
                         offices (see pp . 8–9)

Additional               Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia        For consumer information, community resources, research
Information              Virtual Foreclosure Resource Center         and publications, policies and regulations and news .
Resources                                                            www .philadelphiafed .org/foreclosure
                         The Community Investment Network            A national resource containing latest information, data, perspec-
                                                                     tive and opinion, reliable research reports and networking; also
                                                                     for easy access links to government, not-for-profit and corporate
                                                                     organizations and other information sources .
                                                                     www .communityinvestmentnetwork .org



                                                                                                                                         3
                  Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide • Summer/Fall 2009 Edition • www .gpuac .org/foreclosurehelp .htm
    Housing Counseling and Preventing Foreclosure
    No matter what stage of homeownership you’re in, a housing        What is the benefit of seeing a housing
    counselor can help you . Whether you are purchasing your first
                                                                      counselor?
    home, trying to navigate the world of homeownership or are
                                                                      Housing counseling sessions are one-on-one . You receive
    worried about foreclosure, attending a housing counseling ses-
                                                                      specialized advice and assistance that is unique to your
    sion can help you sort through the options . Housing counsel-
                                                                      situation . In the counseling sessions, a housing counselor
    ors are trained professionals who are knowledgeable about the
                                                                      will evaluate your finances and let you know if the time is
    various aspects of the home buying and foreclosure process .
                                                                      right to purchase a home, refinance your current mortgage
                                                                      for a lower rate or if you should strengthen you financial
    What do housing counselors do?                                    situation before doing anything else . Counselors will also
    If you are planning to purchase your first home, counselors       help you explore what options you may have to avoid fore-
    help you prepare for homeownership by providing informa-          closure or to restructure or refinance a mortgage you feel
    tion, education and advice about the process . A session with     has unfair terms or you are having trouble paying .
    a housing counselor may include establishing a household
    budget, credit and debt management, determining affordabil-
                                                                      How much does it cost?
    ity, shopping for a home, making an offer on a home, choos-
                                                                      Approved nonprofit housing counseling agencies are free . (See
    ing a lender, identifying loan products, closing a purchase
                                                                      pages 31–32 for the directory of housing counseling agencies .)
    transaction, identifying grants and adjusting to life as a new
                                                                      The only fee you may have to pay is for your credit report to
    homeowner . Even if you have owned a home for a few years,
                                                                      obtain your credit score . You are entitled to a free credit report
    but still feel in the dark about what to do or are experienc-
                                                                      up to three times per year, but you have to pay for your credit
    ing difficulties with your mortgage, housing counselors can
                                                                      score . Avoid for-profit companies that charge for their services,
    assist you . You will benefit from the same services as a first
                                                                      especially those who solicit you through the mail . Keep the
    time homebuyer .
                                                                      following tips in mind when you are seeking help:

    How can housing counselors help with                              •	 A reputable counselor will not guarantee to stop the fore-
                                                                         closure process, no matter what your circumstances . Work-
    foreclosure prevention and other mortgage
                                                                         ing with a legitimate counselor can certainly increase your
    problems?                                                            chances of keeping your home—but be wary of people who
    Housing counselors can help people at risk of foreclosure .          promise a sure thing . Get the details of your transaction,
    This includes people who experience a hardship in their life         along with any promises, in writing first .
    that makes it difficult to pay their monthly mortgage payment .
    Housing counselors know about programs you can take ad-           •	 Do not let a counselor pressure you to sign paperwork you
    vantage of so you can avoid losing your home . The sooner you        have not had a chance to read through carefully or that you
    take action, the more the counselor can help you .                   do not understand . Do not sign any blank forms or let the
                                                                         counselor fill out forms for you . Be sure to talk with an at-
    At this time of rising mortgage delinquencies and foreclo-           torney before signing any contract, forbearance agreement,
    sures, housing counselors are playing a special role to help         loan modification or anything that transfers the title of your
    homeowners . Counselors can evaluate homeowners’ options             home to another party .
    and take steps to restructure their mortgages to affordable
    rates . This helps to avoid delinquency and foreclosure . Since   See the approved housing counseling agency directory on
    everyone’s situation is unique and many programs are avail-       pages 31 and 32 to find a counselor near you . Some housing
    able, it is important to receive assistance from a knowledge-     counseling agencies are experiencing an extraordinary num-
    able housing counselor . They will help identify and pursue the   ber of requests for service and may not be able to schedule
    option(s) best suited to each homeowner . Housing counsel-        an appointment right away . If you have a time limit in which
    ors can help homeowners navigate or apply for the programs        to take action to save your home, try more than one counsel-
    designed to prevent foreclosure and keep mortgages afford-        ing agency to make sure you meet all applicable deadlines .
    able, such as the resources listed in the Products Directory
    (see pages 14–30) .

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             Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide • Summer/Fall 2009 Edition • www .gpuac .org/foreclosurehelp .htm
Understanding the Mortgage Foreclosure Process
This chart is meant to give you an idea of what happens if you do not do anything to stop the foreclosure . The chart shows
the shortest amount of time that can pass between each step . At each step, there are actions you can take to defend against
foreclosure that will also result in extending the timeline below . The following section explains each step in detail .


   Current
                 I am behind on my mortgage payments


   1 month
                 More than 60 days


  2 month
                 At least 30 days       I received an “ACT 91 NOTICE—TAKE ACTION TO SAVE YOUR HOME FROM FORECLOSURE”
                                                         OR
                                        I received a Notice of Intention to Foreclose (See example on Page 33)
   3 month
                 At least 20 days
                                        I received a Complaint                                     Conciliation Conference
                                        (See example on Page 34)                                   (Philadelphia only)

  4 month
                                        I received the “Imortant Notice” letter
                 At least 10 days       (See example on Page 35)

                                        I received the ‘Praecipe’ Judgment
                                        (See example on Page 36)
   5 month
                                                                                                   There are still things that
                                        My house is scheduled for Sheriff ’s Sale                  you can do before the Sheriff ’s
                                        (See example on Page 37)                                   Sale to try to save your house.
 6 months



 7 months
                Varies from 2 ½
                to 5 months

 8 months
                                        Sheriff ’s Sale is held & property is sold
                                        This means you don’t own the property any more.


 9 months
                                                     I received the “Complaint for Ejectment”
                                                     This is a new lawsuit. Like above, you will get a letter
                                                     titled “Important Notice” and another “Judgment”.
10 months
                 See pages 8–10 for information on Sheriff ’s              The Sheriff has given me a move-out date
                 Sale schedules and move out procedures.


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                Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide • Summer/Fall 2009 Edition • www .gpuac .org/foreclosurehelp .htm
    Step 1:                                                             The mortgage company cannot foreclose on your home while
                                                                        you have a pending HEMAP application . You MUST meet
    I am behind on my mortgage payments
                                                                        with an approved housing counseling agency within 33 days
    If you fall behind in your mortgage payments or your mortgage
                                                                        of the date on the notice to apply for HEMAP .
    company bills you for additional charges you cannot pay or
    do not believe you owe and refuse to pay, you will receive any      NOTE: If you have an FHA loan you will not get an Act 91
    number of letters stating that if you do not pay, you may face      notice, but you will get a notice telling you your rights . FHA
    foreclosure, lose your home and/or have negative credit infor-      loans are not eligible for HEMAP .
    mation reported about you . Until you receive the official notice
    in Step 2, you are not really in foreclosure (although it may be    Step 3:
    treated that way by the mortgage company or credit agencies) .
                                                                        I received a Complaint
                                                                        If you do not “cure” your delinquency or meet with a housing
    Step 2:                                                             counselor within 33 days, the mortgage company must file
    I received a Notice of Intention to Foreclose                       a legal document in the local Common Pleas Court, called a
    If you are less than 24 months behind on your mortgage, are         “complaint”, claiming that you are in default of the mortgage .
    behind less than $60,000 and do not have a federally insured
                                                                        Service of the mortgage foreclosure complaint. The Sheriff’s
    mortgage (FHA), you must receive an Act 91 notice before
                                                                        office in your county must hand deliver a copy of the mort-
    your mortgage company can file a foreclosure case against
                                                                        gage foreclosure complaint to an adult at the homeowner’s
    you in court — at the top it says “Act 91 NOTICE — TAKE
                                                                        residence (unless the Court has permitted a different form of
    ACTION TO SAVE YOUR HOME FROM FORECLOSURE” .
                                                                        service, such as posting on your door or certified mail) .
    This notice may also be combined with a Notice of Intention
    to foreclose (for those whose original loan amounts were            Responding to the mortgage foreclosure complaint. You have
    $217,873 or less), advising you of how much you are alleg-          20 days from the date the Sheriff delivered the complaint to
    edly behind on payments or any other basis upon which the           respond either by filing preliminary objections or an answer,
    mortgage company claims you are in default and stating              in the Common Pleas Court . You must also “serve” (send by
    what you must do to reinstate your mortgage . If your original      mail) a copy to the lawyer for the mortgage company .
    mortgage loan amount was $217,873 or less but you do not
                                                                        Philadelphia Only: Conciliation Conference
    meet the criteria above for receiving an Act 91 Notice, you
                                                                        On April 16, 2008, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
    still must receive a “Notice of Intention to Foreclose”, advis-
                                                                        created the “Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion
    ing you of how much you are allegedly behind on payments
                                                                        Pilot Program” to help homeowners save their homes . Fore-
    or any other basis upon which the mortgage company claims
                                                                        closures of owner-occupied homes filed after September 9,
    you are in default and stating what you must do to reinstate
                                                                        2008, has a “conciliation conference” scheduled when the
    your mortgage .
                                                                        case is filed . Homeowners receive a notice stating when their
    Before these notices can be sent to you, you must be at least       court hearing is scheduled . Before appearing in court, hom-
    three months in arrears (they can be sent on the 2nd day of         eowners must prepare a proposal to resolve the mortgage
    the 3rd month) . These notices usually come by both certified       default and send it to the lawyer for the mortgage company .
    and first class mail . There must be a separate notice for each     Homeowners can do so by scheduling an appointment with
    person who signed the mortgage . The notices give you 30            a certified housing counseling agency (see pages 31–32) .
    days to “cure” (get caught up on) the delinquency and, if you       Appointments can be scheduled by calling the Save Your
    are eligible, to meet with a housing counselor to apply for the     Home Philly Hotline . At the conference, the mortgage
    “Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Payments”                 company lawyer will be there, as well as a court-appointed
    (HEMAP) program of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance                 mediator . See page 13 for a more detailed explanation .
    Agency . If you “cure” the delinquency or, if you are eligible
    for HEMAP, you meet with a housing counselor, no                    Step 4:
    mortgage foreclosure action can be started in court (there
                                                                        I received the “Important Notice” letter
    is no such thing as mortgage foreclosure outside of court in
                                                                        If you do not file a response to the mortgage foreclosure
    Pennsylvania) .
                                                                        complaint, the mortgage company lawyer must send you a
                                                                        notice of default, informing you that you have not responded

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             Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide • Summer/Fall 2009 Edition • www .gpuac .org/foreclosurehelp .htm
to the complaint and that judgment can be entered against           the house until a separate court case, called an “ejectment
you if you do not file a response in the Common Pleas Court         action”, is brought against you and won by the new owner .
within 10 days of the Notice (the day it was sent, not the day      Again, the mortgage company or other buyer at the Sheriff’s
you receive it) .                                                   Sale must file another complaint in the local Common Pleas
                                                                    Court, this time claiming that you no longer have a right to
Step 5:                                                             possess your home because you lost legal title to it in the
                                                                    Sheriff’s Sale .
I received a Judgment and my house is
scheduled for Sheriff ’s Sale                                       NOTE: If you choose to remain in the house, the new owner
If you still do not file a response to the mortgage foreclosure     has the right to demand fair market value rent . Often, they do
complaint, the mortgage company can take a “default” judg-          not try to collect this, but you should know they can demand
ment against you . At the same time, the mortgage company           that money in the ejectment suit .
will file a “Writ of Execution” and schedule a Sheriff’s Sale of    Service of the ejectment complaint. The Sheriff’s office
your home . The length of time varies from county to county         in your county must hand deliver a copy of the ejectment
(anywhere from 2 ½ to 5 months) between entry of default            complaint to each adult person in possession of the house
judgment and the date of the Sheriff’s Sale . The sheriff must      (unless the Court has permitted a different form of service) .
deliver a notice of the sale to each person who signed the
mortgage and post a big Sheriff’s Sale sign on your door .          Responding to the ejectment complaint. You have 20 days
                                                                    from the date the Sheriff delivered the complaint to respond
NOTE: If your house sells at Sheriff ’s Sale, you no longer         to the complaint, by filing either preliminary objections or an
own it and there is nothing you can do to save your home .          answer, in the Common Pleas Court . You must also “serve”
(Unless there was a technical defect in the foreclosure pro-        (send by mail) a copy to the lawyer for the mortgage compa-
cess, which is extremely rare .) County specific information on     ny or other buyer . If you do not file a response to the eject-
pages 8–10 .                                                        ment complaint, the lawyer for the mortgage company or
                                                                    other buyer must send you a notice of default (entitled “Im-
Step 6:                                                             portant Notice”), informing you that you have not responded
Sheriff ’s Sale is held & property is sold                          to the complaint and that judgment can be entered against
If you have not taken any action to prevent the Sheriff ’s Sale     you if you do not file a response in the Common Pleas Court
from taking place (such as having the judgment opened, “re-         within 10 days of the Notice (the day it was sent, not the day
instating” the mortgage or filing a bankruptcy petition) and if     you receive it) .
the mortgage company has met all the requirements for the
Sheriff ’s Sale to proceed, the sale will take place in a public    Step 8:
place, usually the local county courthouse . Once someone           The Sheriff has given me a move-out date
buys your home at the sale (often the mortgage company              If you still do not file a response to the ejectment complaint,
itself), you no longer own it . However, you do not have to         the mortgage company or other buyer can take a “default”
leave your home at that time .                                      judgment against you . At the same time, the mortgage com-
Sometimes, the new owner may try to contact you . They may          pany or other buyer will file a “Writ of Execution” or a “Writ of
offer “cash for keys”—money for you to promise to move out          Possession .” The Sheriff will deliver this notice to the house .
by an agreed upon date or offer to allow you to stay and pay        The Sheriff will also schedule a time that you must be out
rent . The new law does not require the new owner to do any         by . If you remain beyond that time, a deputy sheriff can go
of this . Accepting these offers is your decision . If you do not   out to your home and forcibly evict you . The length of time
reach an agreement with the new owner, they will probably           varies from county to county depending upon the workload
proceed to eject you .                                              of the Sheriff’s office, but the Sheriff ’s office is not allowed to
                                                                    take longer than 90 days to evict you once the writ is filed . In
                                                                    some counties, a representative of the Sheriff’s office will no-
Step 7:
                                                                    tify you a few days before coming out to evict you, but this is
I received a “Complaint for Ejectment”                              not required . You still have a right to keep all of your personal
The new owner of the house cannot remove you from the               possessions from the home .
home, only the Sheriff can . They may ask or demand that
you leave, but you can choose to remain in possession of
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                 Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide • Summer/Fall 2009 Edition • www .gpuac .org/foreclosurehelp .htm
    Note on Sheriff’s Sale and Eviction Timeline (by county)
    Bucks County
    Length of time between filing writ of execution and date of               Other information provided:
    Sheriff ’s Sale:                                                          $2,000 deposit must be posted by the mortgage company’s law
    Approximately three months (see schedule available from                   firm at the time of filing the writ of execution to have the property
    website: www .buckscounty .org/government/rowOfficers/Sheriff/            listed for Sheriff’s Sale to cover the Sheriff’s commission and adver-
    SheriffSales2008 .pdf); sales take place on the 2nd Friday of each        tising costs; the unused portion will be returned either after the sale
    month, with the exception of the second Fridays that fall on a day        or if the case is resolved and the sale does not take place .
    the courthouse is closed and are held in the James Lorah Audi-
    torium, 132 North Main Street, Doylestown, PA 18901 (corner of            General Sheriff ’s office website link for more
    Broad and Main Streets) directly across from the courthouse .             information and Sheriff ’s Sale listings:
                                                                              www .buckscounty .org/government/rowOfficers/Sheriff/
    Procedure once judgment is entered and writ of possession is              SheriffRealEstateSalesListings .aspx
    filed in post-foreclosure ejectment action:
    Notice provided                                                           Contact information:
                                                                              Sheriff’s Office
    Length and specificity of notice to former owner and/or                   Edward J . Donnelly, Sheriff
    occupants regarding forcible eviction:                                    Bucks County Court House
    30 days minimum by Sheriff’s Office policy (unless there are ex-          55 E . Court Street, 1st Floor
    tenuating circumstances that require less notice); a particular date      Doylestown, PA 18901
    for the eviction is provided to the former owner and/or occupants         Main Number: 215-348-6124
    of the property; a $100 deposit must be posted by the mortgage            Real Estate: 215-348-6132
    company’s law firm toward the costs of a locksmith, moving and            Civil Rates: 215-348-6130
    storage of any personal possessions still at the premises .               Civil Rates (out of County): 215-348-6122
                                                                              Personal Property: 215-348-6129




    Chester County
    Length of time between filing writ of execution and date of               for any personal possessions still at the premises or the Sheriff’s
    Sheriff ’s Sale:                                                          office will not proceed with the ejectment and will require that a new
    Approximately three months (see schedule available from website:          writ be issued; the former owner/occupants are given the oppor-
    dsf .chesco .org/sheriff/lib/sheriff/pdf/legalcal2008 .pdf); sales take   tunity to take any possessions with them that they can put in their
    place on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 11:00 a .m ., except           vehicle or otherwise remove from the premises and can designate
    December and are held at the Chester County Justice Center,               their own storage facility in lieu of the storage facility arranged by
    Sheriff’s Department, 201 West Market Street, Suite 1201, in a            the mortgage company or other new owner of the property .
    Courtroom to be assigned the week of the sale .
                                                                              Other information provided:
    Procedure once judgment is entered and writ of possession                 $2,000 deposit must be posted by the mortgage company’s law
    is filed in post-foreclosure ejectment action:                            firm at the time of filing the writ of execution to have the property
    Notice provided                                                           listed for Sheriff’s Sale to cover the Sheriff’s Fees and advertising
                                                                              costs; the unused portion will be returned either after the sale or if
    Length and specificity of notice to former owner and/or
                                                                              the case is resolved and the sale does not take place .
    occupants regarding forcible eviction:
    Sheriff’s deputy serves former owner/occupants with writ of               General Sheriff ’s office website link for more information and
    execution and provides between 6 and 30 days notice of the date           Sheriff ’s Sale listings:
    of forcible ejectment (usually the actual length of notice is about       dsf .chesco .org/sheriff/cwp/view .asp?a=3&q=609171#2005
    three weeks); a particular date for the eviction is provided on the
    writ posted on the property to the former owner/occupants of the          Contact information:
    property; the mortgage company’s law firm or that of any other            Office of the Sheriff
    new owner of the property must confirm that they are ready to             Chester County Justice Center
    proceed 24 hours in advance of the scheduled ejectment date               Carolyn B . Welsh, Sheriff
    and arrange for a locksmith, moving truck and storage facilities          201 West Market Street, Suite 1201
                                                                              West Chester, PA 19380-0991


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             Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide • Summer/Fall 2009 Edition • www .gpuac .org/foreclosurehelp .htm
Delaware County
Length of time between filing writ of execution and date of             action and the firm must arrange for a locksmith, bonded moving
Sheriff ’s Sale:                                                        company and a storage facility within Delaware County for entry
Approximately three months, in accordance with a schedule of            and removal of any personal possessions still at the premises
deadlines for getting all paperwork in to schedule a Sheriff’s Sale     and confirm these arrangements with the Sheriff’s office 2 days in
on a property . The schedule is not on the website, but is available    advance of the scheduled date for the ejectment or the ejectment is
from the Sheriff’s office . Sales take place about three months af-     postponed and must be rescheduled .
ter the paperwork has been submitted, on the third Friday of each
month at 11:00 a .m . (unless the third Friday is a holiday, when the   Other information provided:
sale will be held on Thursday) and are held in the County Council       $2,000 deposit must be posted by the mortgage company’s law
Meeting Room on the first floor of the Government Center                firm at the time of filing the writ of execution to have the property
Building, Delaware County Court House, Front Street & Veterans          listed for Sheriff’s Sale to cover the Sheriff’s commission and adver-
Square, Media, PA 19063 .                                               tising costs; the unused portion will be returned either after the sale
                                                                        or if the case is resolved and the sale does not take place .
Procedure once judgment is entered and writ of possession is
filed in post-foreclosure ejectment action:                             General Sheriff ’s office website link for more information and
Notice provided                                                         Sheriff ’s Sale listings:
                                                                        www .co .delaware .pa .us/sheriff/realestate .html
Length and specificity of notice to former owner and/or
                                                                        Contact information:
occupants regarding forcible eviction:
                                                                        Sheriff’s Office
Approximately two weeks by Sheriff’s Office practice (but in
                                                                        Joseph F . McGinn, Sheriff
special circumstances a former owner/occupant could be ejected
                                                                        Delaware County Court House
without notice); first the writ of possession is served; then, unless
                                                                        201 W . Front Street, Room 101
special circumstances justify an ejectment without further notice,
                                                                        Media, PA 19063
a date is provided to the former owner and/or occupants by mail
                                                                        Main Number: 610-891-4296
and posting of the property on a form used by the Sheriff’s Of-
                                                                        FAX: 610-891-1765
fice; a $250 deposit must be posted by the mortgage company’s
                                                                        Real Estate: 610-891-4305
or new owner’s law firm for Sheriff’s costs in the ejectment




Montgomery County
Length of time between filing writ of execution and date of             Other information provided:
Sheriff ’s Sale:                                                        $3,020 deposit must be posted by the mortgage company’s law firm
Approximately two months (see schedule available from website:          at the time of filing the writ of execution to have the property listed
sheriff .montcopa .org/sheriff/cwp/view,a,1529,q,41042 .asp); sales     for Sheriff’s Sale to cover the Sheriff’s commission and advertising
generally take place on the last Wednesday of each month (except        costs; the unused portion will be returned either after the sale or if
in November and December, when they are scheduled earlier               the case is resolved and the sale does not take place
in the month) at 1:00 p .m . and are held in Courtroom “A” at
the Montgomery County Courthouse, Swede and Airy Streets,               General Sheriff ’s office website link for more information and
Norristown, PA 19404 .                                                  Sheriff ’s Sale listings:
                                                                        sheriff .montcopa .org/sheriff/cwp/view,a,1529,q,41007 .asp
Procedure once judgment is entered and writ of possession is
filed in post-foreclosure ejectment action:                             Contact information:
Notice provided                                                         Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department
                                                                        John P . Durante, Sheriff
Length and specificity of notice to former owner and/or                 Court House, 1st Floor
occupants regarding forcible eviction:                                  P .O . Box 311
Sheriff’s deputy serves former owner/occupants with a Writ of           Norristown, PA 19404
Possession and provides a 30 day notice to vacate the property .        610-278-3331
After 30 days has expired Sheriff’s Deputies will schedule a date
for eviction; the mortgage company’s law firm must provide a
moving truck and storage facilities for any personal possessions
still at the premises .




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                  Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide • Summer/Fall 2009 Edition • www .gpuac .org/foreclosurehelp .htm
     Philadelphia County
     Length of time between filing writ of execution and date of                Other information provided:
     Sheriff ’s Sale:                                                           The mortgage company must pay a $2,000 deposit at the time of
     Approximately three months between filing and sale (see schedule           filing the writ .
     available on the website www .phillysheriff .com/homesales .html)
     Sales take place on the first Tuesday of each month, check website         General Sheriff ’s office website link for more information and
     for updates . The sales take place at 10:00 a .m . at The First District   Sheriff ’s Sale listings:
     Plaza, 3801 Market Street, 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, PA .                   www .phillysheriff .com

     Procedure once judgment is entered and writ of possession                  Contact information:
     is filed in post-foreclosure ejectment action:                             Philadelphia City and County Sheriff’s Department
     Notice provided .                                                          John D . Green, Sheriff
                                                                                100 South Broad Street, 5th floor
     Length and specificity of notice to former owner and/or                    Philadelphia, PA 19110
     occupants regarding forcible eviction:                                     SheriffGreen@PhillySheriff .com
     The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas serves the former                   Main Phone: 215-686-3530
     owner/occupants with a Writ of Possession and provides a 30 day            Real Estate Phone: 215-686-3535, 3534
     notice to vacate the property . After 30 days have expired Philadel-       Real Estate Fax: 215-686-3971
     phia Sheriff’s Real Estate Division will provide the former owner/
     occupants with a formal eviction notice; the mortgage company
     must provide a moving truck, locksmith and storage facilities for
     any personal possessions still at the premises .




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               Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide • Summer/Fall 2009 Edition • www .gpuac .org/foreclosurehelp .htm
How can I prevent the Sheriff ’s Sale?
READ THIS FIRST—                                                       Rescue Loans
Below is a list of suggestions on trying to work out a problem         There are programs designed to help people get out of preda-
with your mortgage . Not every option below is right for every-        tory mortgages and in exchange give people fairly-priced
one . You also need to remember that even while you are trying         loans . These programs differ in their requirements, applica-
to find a solution, the mortgage company may be moving                 tion policies and other rules . See a more comprehensive
forward for the foreclosure process in court . If you have court       discussion of these programs starting on page 14 .
papers or a Sheriff’s Sale scheduled, you cannot ignore those
deadlines .                                                            Petition to Strike the Judgment
If you have a Sheriff’s Sale scheduled, the mortgage company           If judgment is taken against you, but something was wrong
can voluntarily postpone or stop the Sheriff’s Sale . This is rare .   in the way the judgment was done, you can file a Petition
If the mortgage company says it will do this, get it in writing        to Strike the Judgment . The errors that allow a judgment
and then confirm with the Sheriff that the sale is postponed .         to be stricken include improper service, lack of jurisdiction
                                                                       and other procedural errors . If granted, then it is as if the
                                                                       judgment were never issued . You can then respond to the
Right to Reinstate
                                                                       complaint and fight the foreclosure . Please note: filing this
At any time up until one hour before the Sheriff’s Sale, you
                                                                       petition does not stop the Sheriff’s Sale . Only when the court
can “reinstate” the mortgage by paying to the mortgage com-
                                                                       grants the petition is the Sheriff’s Sale stopped . It can take
pany the missed payments, late charges, plus court costs and
                                                                       several months for a court to grant a petition . If you want to
attorney’s fees . Be careful that you are not charged excessive
                                                                       stop the Sheriff’s Sale while the court considers the petition,
attorney’s fees because they must be “reasonable” and actu-
                                                                       you need to file a separate petition to stay the Sheriff’s Sale
ally paid by the mortgage company . There are several ways to
                                                                       (see below) .
get money to reinstate . Pennsylvania runs a program called
HEMAP, which helps homeowners bring their mortgages
current . Other local organizations provide grants to help             Petition to Open Judgment
bring loans current . See a more comprehensive discussion              If judgment is taken against you and you have a good
of these programs starting on page 14 .                                defense, you can file a Petition to Open Judgment within 10
                                                                       days and have the default judgment set aside . If granted, you
                                                                       can then respond to the complaint and fight the foreclosure .
Right to Payoff in Full
                                                                       Please note: filing this petition does not stop the Sheriff’s
At any time up until one hour before the Sheriff’s Sale, you
                                                                       Sale . Only when the court grants the petition is the Sheriff’s
can satisfy the mortgage or judgment by paying the complete
                                                                       Sale stopped . It can take several months for a court to grant a
amount owed on the mortgage . If there is a judgment, you
                                                                       petition . If you want to stop the Sheriff’s Sale while the court
must pay the amount set by the court in the judgment, plus
                                                                       considers the petition, you need to file a separate petition to
interest . If there is no judgment yet, you have to get a payoff
                                                                       stay the Sheriff’s Sale (see below) .
figure from the mortgage company or its lawyers . There are
several ways to get money to reinstate . You could refinance
your house into a new mortgage . The state, the federal                Petition to Stay
government, nonprofit organizations and even some private              You can try going to a judge and asking him or her to post-
banks have programs to refinance homeowners into more                  pone the sale while you work out the problem . The courts
affordable loans . See a more comprehensive discussion of              call this “staying” the sale . You have to file a formal motion
these programs starting on page 14 .                                   with the court to do this . Philadelphia County has created a
                                                                       form petition designed for people without lawyers . In some
                                                                       instances, the judge may require you to provide protection to
                                                                       the mortgage company for the costs of the delay . This protec-
                                                                       tion is often in the form of a bond or money deposit, with



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                  Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide • Summer/Fall 2009 Edition • www .gpuac .org/foreclosurehelp .htm
     the court . Staying the sale does not stop it forever, it only
     postpones it . You still need to come up with a way to resolve
     mortgage delinquency .


     What about bankruptcy?
     Also, at any time up until one hour before the Sheriff’s Sale,
     you can stay the Sheriff’s sale by filing a bankruptcy in the
     federal bankruptcy court . If you file during the hour immedi-
     ately before the sale, it will stop the sale, but the mortgage
     company can insist that you pay the entire mortgage off
     during the bankruptcy to avoid having another Sheriff’s Sale
     scheduled .

     But beware! Filing the bankruptcy petition does not solve the
     problem completely . Bankruptcy law requires everything stop
     (including Sheriff’s Sale), so that the bankruptcy court can
     figure out how to handle your finances . If you file a Chapter
     7 bankruptcy, then you either have to immediately bring the
     mortgage fully current or surrender the house . If you file a
     Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can make payments over 3–5
     years to bring the house current . During those 3–5 years, you
     are still in the bankruptcy .

     Read more about bankruptcy at:
     www .clsphila .org/content .aspx?pointid=174&id=191 .

     There is also a requirement that before filing bankruptcy,
     you get credit counseling from a bankruptcy court approved
     counselor .

     Visit the official list at
     www .usdoj .gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/cc_approved .htm
     (link to list) .

     If you do not have the credit counseling certificate when you
     file bankruptcy, there is a chance that the bankruptcy will be
     kicked out .

     Lastly, get a lawyer to help you . Filing a bankruptcy yourself is
     a lot like doing your own taxes, but without the instructions .
     There are lots of forms, it involves your finances, there are
     many rules that are not easily understood and mistakes can
     have big consequences . Some people can handle it on their
     own, but many feel in over their heads .




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              Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide • Summer/Fall 2009 Edition • www .gpuac .org/foreclosurehelp .htm
City of Philadelphia’s Residential Mortgage
Foreclosure Diversion Program
Purpose:                         To help homeowners save their homes through early Court intervention .

Program:                         Homeowners attend their scheduled Conciliation Conference to attempt to work out
                                 affordable mortgage workout plan in order to avert foreclosure .

Program Features:                •	 If a new foreclosure compliant is filed and the home is owner occupied then the court will
                                    schedule a Conciliation Conference and send the conference appointment date and time
                                    to the homeowner .
                                 •	 If the homeowner is being foreclosed on and has not received a notice for a Conciliation
                                    Conference, they can file a request with the prothonary’s office for a conference hearing
                                    as long as the property is owner-occupied .
                                 •	 Homeowners have the opportunity to save their homes by attending their Conciliation
                                    Conference .
                                 •	 Before appearing in court, the homeowner must meet with an OHCD approved housing
                                    counseling agency to prepare and submit a proposal to resolve the mortgage default and
                                    send it to lender and the lawyer representing the mortgage company .
                                 •	 Housing counselor will work with homeowner to determine if a loan work-out is possible
                                    with the lender .
                                 •	 Free legal representation may be available for those that qualify .

Eligibility Requirements:        •	 Property must be located in the City and County of Philadelphia .
                                 •	 Property must be 1–4 residential units, condominium unit or a residential co-op unit .
                                 •	 Homeowner must reside in property .
                                 •	 Mortgage foreclosure complaint against the property must have been filed .

Geographic Area Served:          Philadelphia County

Costs Or Fees:                   No cost .

Administering Agency:            City of Philadelphia

Procedures:                      •	 Homeowners will receive a notice of their Conciliation Conference date along with the
                                    Complaint .
                                 •	 Homeowner should call the Save Your Home Philly Hotline first . They will be put in touch
                                    with the appropriate organization and can receive advice (see below) .
                                 •	 Homeowners who did not receive a conciliation hearing appointment can request one
                                    and by filing Defendant’s Certification of Premises As Residential owner-occupied
                                    and Request for Conciliation Conference form with the prothonary’s office no later than
                                    10 days before the date of the Sheriff Sale .

Contact Information:             Save Your Home Philly Hotline 215-334-4663

For More Information:            More information and forms are available at: courts .phila .gov




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                 Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide • Summer/Fall 2009 Edition • www .gpuac .org/foreclosurehelp .htm
     Products Directory
     The products and programs listed in this section are resources to help people to avoid foreclosure . The descriptions of the
     products and services contain the vital information in a simplified readable format . Content in this section are programs,
     loan products, services and grants .

      FHA Rate and Term Refinances

      Purpose:                         Refinancing of existing FHA or non-FHA mortgages for homeowners current on their
                                       existing mortgage .

      Program:                         Refinancing option

      Program Features:                •	 Fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgage
                                       •	 Maximum Term—30 Years
                                       •	 Maximum Loan-To-Value ratio (LTV) on FHA 1st mortgage — 97 .75%
                                       •	 Interest rates decided by lender based on current market rates
                                       •	 1–4 unit properties, including condominiums and manufactured housing permanently
                                          affixed to foundation

      Maximum Amount                   $420,000 (amount is based on a 1 unit residence)

      Subordinate Financing            •	 No restrictions on new or existing subordinate financing . No restriction on Combined LTV .

      Eligibility Requirements:        •	 Borrower must be owner-occupant .
                                       •	 Non-occupant co-borrowers permitted .
                                       •	 Satisfactory credit history .
                                       •	 A sustained history of employment .
                                       •	 Sufficient income to make the mortgage payment .
                                       •	 Existing loan must be current for the month due .

      Geographic Area Served:          All 50 states

      Costs Or Fees:                   Customary and reasonable closing costs and prepaid expenses . Closing costs and
                                       expenses may be included in new mortgage amount .

      Mortgage Insurance:              Up Front Premium (may be financed in new loan): 1 .75% of loan amount
                                       Annual Premium (paid monthly): 0 .55% of loan balance

      Administering Agency:            Federal Housing Administration

      Procedures:                      Contact an FHA-approved lender .

      Contact Information:             Contact a FHA-approved lender (for a list of lenders visit www .fha .gov) or call
                                       1-800 CALL FHA (1-800-225-5342) .

      For More Information:            www .fha .gov




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HOPE for Homeowners (H4H)

Purpose:                    Refinancing of existing FHA or non-FHA mortgages for homeowners current or delinquent on their
                            existing mortgage . Existing mortgage must have been originated on or before January 1, 2008 .

Program:                    Refinancing option

Program Features:           •	 Fixed rate mortgage .
                            •	 Minimum 30 year term; maximum 40 year term .
                            •	 Maximum Loan-To-Value Ratio (LTV) on FHA 1st mortgage — 96 .5% .
                            •	 Interest rates decided by lender and based on current market rates .
                            •	 1-4 unit properties, including condominiums, cooperative units and manufactured housing
                               permanently affixed to foundation .

Maximum Amount              $550,440 (amount is based on a 1 unit residence)

Subordinate Financing       Not permitted .

Eligibility Requirements:   •	 Borrower must be owner-occupant .
                            •	 Non-occupant co-borrowers not permitted .
                            •	 Satisfactory credit history .
                            •	 A sustained history of employment .
                            •	 Sufficient income to make the mortgage payments .
                            •	 Existing mortgage debt-to-income ratio greater than 31%:
                                 •	 As of March 1, 2008 for fixed rate loans and ARMs with no resets after March 1, 2008 or
                                    following any ARM resets that occurred or are scheduled to occur after March 1, 2008 .
                            •	 Borrower must have made at least six (6) payments on the existing mortgage .
                            •	 Monthly payment on new mortgage must be less than payment(s) on existing mortgage(s) .
                            •	 Borrowers must share initial equity and appreciation with FHA at the time loan is paid off .
                            •	 Existing lien holders must waive prepayment penalties and late charges, as well as remove all
                               liens against the property .
                            •	 Existing lien holders are required to accept the proceeds of the H4H mortgage as payment in full .

Geographic Area Served: All 50 states

Costs Or Fees:              Customary and reasonable closing costs and prepaid expenses . Closing costs and expenses may
                            be included in new mortgage amount .

Mortgage Insurance:         Up Front Premium (may be financed in new loan): 3 .00% of loan amount
                            Annual Premium (paid monthly): 1 .50% of loan balance .

Administering Agency:       Federal Housing Administration

Procedures:                 Contact an FHA-approved lender .

Contact Information:        Contact a FHA-approved lender (for a list of lenders visit www .fha .gov) or call
                            1-800 CALL FHA (1-800-225-5342) .

For More Information:       www .fha .gov



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     Homeowners’ Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP)

     Purpose:                        Assures steady mortgage payments for families in danger of foreclosing their homes .

     Program:                        Emergency/Rescue Loan

     Program Features:               9 .00% APR
                                     Two types of assistance depending on their income and financial situation: continuing
                                     mortgage assistance loans and non–continuing mortgage assistance loans . Loan recipients
                                     of a non–continuing loan must begin repayment immediately following loan closing . Loan
                                     recipients of a continuing loan must begin repayment immediately following termination of
                                     continuing loan disbursements .
                                     All HEMAP loan recipients are required to pay up to 40 percent of their net monthly
                                     income, as determined by HEMAP, towards their total housing expense . Repayment is set
                                     based on income, but must be at least $25 .00 per month per mortgage assisted .

     Maximum Amount                  All HEMAP loans, continuing or non–continuing, are limited to a maximum of 24 months
                                     from the date of the mortgage delinquency or to a maximum of $60,000 .00, whichever
                                     comes first .

     Eligibility Requirements:       •	 At least 60 days delinquent on their mortgage and have received an Act 91 Notice from
                                        their lender .
                                     •	 One– or two–family residence . A home used primarily for business purposes is not
                                        eligible .
                                     •	 Property must be owner occupied and located in the state of Pennsylvania .
                                     •	 FHA Title II loans are not eligible .
                                     •	 Favorable mortgage credit history prior to the delinquency during the previous five years .
                                     •	 The homeowner must be suffering financial hardship due to circumstances beyond their
                                        control .
                                     •	 The homeowner must have a reasonable prospect of resuming full mortgage payments
                                        within 24 months and paying the mortgage in full by maturity .
                                     •	 PHFA/HEMAP must have at least a 3rd lien position .

     Geographic Area Served:         State of Pennsylvania

     Costs Or Fees:                  No cost to homeowner

     Administering Agency:           Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency

     Procedures:                     The application process can take up to four months to complete . An applicant must meet
                                     with a designated counseling agency within 33 days from the date of the Act 91 Notice in
                                     order to begin the application process . This must be done within 30 days from the Face–
                                     to–Face Meeting . While applications are processed, foreclosure actions cease, as long as
                                     the procedural time limits are met . The applicant must also prepare a Letter of Circum-
                                     stance explaining the exact reason their mortgage is delinquent and include verification .

     Contact Information:            Local HUD approved agency . See the list of HUD approved agencies on page 31 .

     For More Information:           General Information: 1-800-342-2397 or visit www .phfa .org/consumers/homeowners/
                                     hemap .aspx




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Homeowners’ Equity Recovery Opportunity Loan Program (HERO)

Purpose:                         For Pennsylvanians who are not able to afford their current mortgage payments . This pro-
                                 gram is for borrowers not eligible for PHFA’s REAL program (REfinance to an Affordable
                                 Loan, see page 21) or another mortgage refinance product available in the general market
                                 due to credit issues or owing more than your home’s current appraised value .

Program:                         Refinancing option

Program Features:                100 percent financing but, instead of refinancing your current mortgage into a new loan,
                                 PHFA purchases your loan directly from your current lender and then sets you up on an
                                 affordable repayment agreement .

Maximum Amount                   $417,000

Eligibility Requirements:        •	 The combined gross annual income of all borrowers may not exceed $120,000 . Certain
                                    exceptions may apply .
                                 •	 You have made an effort to meet your financial obligations to the best of your ability .
                                 •	 You have sufficient and stable income to support timely repayment of the HERO loan
                                    in regular, monthly installments . (All borrowers must agree to make monthly mortgage
                                    payments by automatic payment directly from your bank account .)
                                 •	 You own the mortgaged property and reside in it as your permanent residence .
                                 •	 If you have stopped making your mortgage payments, you can account for your cash flow
                                    by showing how you have escrowed, saved or redirected those funds .
                                 •	 The HERO loan must be in first lien position .

Geographic Area Served:          State of Pennsylvania

Costs Or Fees:                   7 .95% APR with no points and no origination fee .

Administering Agency:            Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency

Procedures:                      Get an application from PHFA .

Contact Information:             1 .800 .822 .1174

For More Information:            www .phfa .org/consumers/homeowners/real .aspx




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     Home Affordable Modification Program

     Purpose:                    To help homeowners in or at risk of, mortgage foreclosure or with mortgage payments that are straining
                                 their budgets, whose loans are owned, guaranteed and/or securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or
                                 serviced by a participating lender, modify their mortgage loans to make payments affordable over the term
                                 of their loans and avoid foreclosure .

     Program:                    Loan modification with financial incentives .

     Program Features:           •	 Modification of interest rate, term and/or principal balance to make mortgage payments affordable
                                    (no more than 38% of income; 31% of income preferred) .
                                 •	 Capitalization of arrearages; possible extension of term to 40 years total .
                                 •	 No modification fees or cash contributions may be required by the lender .
                                 •	 90-day trial period; if trial period payments are made, modification becomes effective .
                                 •	 Interest rate reduction for first five years, with limits on future increases .
                                 •	 Financial incentives to servicers and lenders; $1,000 per year reduction in principal balance for first five
                                    years for homeowners who stay current on modified loan .
                                 •	 If net present value test indicates the value of payments under the proposed modification agreement
                                    exceeds the foreclosure value, the servicer must modify the mortgage for eligible homeowners; others
                                    may also be offered modifications .
                                 •	 Participating servicers must accept modification applications from all eligible borrowers (in for one,
                                    in for all) .
                                 •	 Additional incentives available to extinguish junior liens on homes for which the first mortgage is
                                    modified under the program .

     Maximum Amount              $729,750 unpaid principal balance prior to capitalization of arrearages for one unit properties (higher for
                                 2–4 units)

     Eligibility Requirements:   •	 The property is a 1–4 residential unit and owner-occupied as primary residence .
                                 •	 The loan is owned, guaranteed and/or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or the servicer has
                                    entered into a participation agreement with the U .S . Treasury .
                                 •	 The mortgage loan must have been originated on or before January 1, 2009 and borrowers will be
                                    accepted into the program through December 31, 2012 .
                                 •	 Borrowers in bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings are not eliminated and those in active litigation need
                                    not waive their rights to enter into a modification agreement .
                                 •	 The modification must result in an at least 6% reduction in the mortgage payment .

     Geographic Area Served:     All 50 states

     Costs Or Fees:              None

     Administering Agency:       United States Treasury Department together with mortgage servicers and lenders .

     Procedures:                 Apply through a HUD-approved housing counseling agency or call your mortgage servicer or lender and
                                 ask about the Home Affordable Loan Modification application process .

     Contact Information:        See page 31 for HUD-approved agencies .

     For More Information:       To determine if your mortgage is owned, guaranteed and/or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, please
                                 call or visit:
                                 •	 For Fannie Mae: 1-800-7FANNIE (8:00 a .m . to 8:00 p .m . EST) or visit www .fanniemae .com/loanlookup .
                                 •	 Freddie Mac: 1-800-FREDDIE (8:00 a .m . to 8:00 p .m . EST) or visit www .freddiemac .com/mymortgage .
                                 This information is not a guarantee of eligibility for the refinance program .


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             Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide • Summer/Fall 2009 Edition • www .gpuac .org/foreclosurehelp .htm
 Home Affordable Refinance Program

 Purpose:                        To help borrowers current on their mortgage payments, whose loans are owned, guaranteed and/or secu-
                                 ritized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, refinance into more affordable loans that will remain affordable by
                                 reducing the interest rate and/or converting adjustable rate mortgages into lower cost fixed rate loans .

 Program:                        Refinancing option

 Program Features:               •	 Interest rates based on market rates at the time of the refinance .
                                 •	 No prepayment penalties or balloon payments .
                                 •	 Some loans not owned or securitized by Fannie Mae may be eligible to finance all closing costs and obtain
                                    a small amount of cash (2% of the mortgage amount not to exceed $2,000) if there is sufficient equity .
                                 •	 Loans owned or securitized by Freddie Mac may be able to include transaction costs (not to exceed
                                    $2,500) in the refinanced amount .

 Maximum Amount                  $729,750 unpaid principal balance prior to capitalization of arrearages for one-unit properties (higher for
                                 2–4 units)

 Eligibility Requirements:       •	 The property is a 1–4 residential unit and owner-occupied .
                                 •	 The loan is owned, guaranteed and/or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac .
                                 •	 At the time of application, the applicant is current on mortgage payments (no more than 30-days late
                                    in the last 12 months or, have never missed a payment if the applicant had the loan for less than 12
                                    months) .
                                 •	 The first mortgage will not exceed 105% of the current market value of the property .
                                 •	 Sufficient income to support the new mortgage payments .
                                 •	 The refinance improves the long term affordability or stability of the loan .
                                 •	 The program expires on June 10, 2010 . Your refinance transaction must be closed and funded on or
                                    before that date .

 Geographic Area Served:         All 50 states .

 Costs Or Fees:                  Lender points and/or fees may apply, but may be included in the refinanced loan .

 Administering Agency:           United States Treasury Department together with mortgage servicers and lenders .

 Procedures:                     Call your mortgage servicer or lender and ask about the Home Affordable Refinance application process .
                                 Borrowers whose loans are owned or securitized by Fannie Mae may also apply through any Fannie Mae
                                 approved lender . Ask the lender you choose if it is authorized to provide a Home Affordable Refinance .

 Contact Information:            Call your mortgage servicer or lender . The phone number is located on your monthly mortgage statement
                                 or you can visit www .hopenow .com/ for assistance .

 For More Information:           To determine if your mortgage is owned, guaranteed and/or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, please
                                 call or visit:
                                 •	 For Fannie Mae: 1-800-7FANNIE (8:00 a .m . to 8:00 p .m . EST) or visit www .fanniemae .com/loanlookup .
                                 •	 Freddie Mac: 1-800-FREDDIE (8:00 a .m . to 8:00 p .m . EST) or visit www .freddiemac .com/mymortgage .
                                 This information is not a guarantee of eligibility for the refinance program .

 Lenders and servicers are implementing the program now and it may take time before they are ready to process all applications. It will help your
lender and speed up the application process if some information and documents are available as before you call, such as monthly gross (before tax)
income of all the borrowers on the loan, recent pay stubs, most recent income tax return, any information about a second mortgage, account
balances and minimum monthly payments due on all credit cards and account balances and monthly payments on other debts such as student
loans and car loans.



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                   Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide • Summer/Fall 2009 Edition • www .gpuac .org/foreclosurehelp .htm
     Preserving Homeownership And Savings Education Strategies (PHASES) Grant

     Purpose:                        Money Management International (MMI) has created a program through a $1 million
                                     grant from HSBC . The PHASES grants can assist qualified homeowners in participating
                                     states who are experiencing temporary financial distress and who are past due on one or
                                     two mortgage payments .

     Program:                        Grant

     Maximum Amount                  $7,500

     Eligibility Requirements:       •	 Must be located in the state of Pennsylvania .
                                     •	 No more than 2 months behind on mortgage payments .
                                     •	 Must be experiencing temporary financial distress .
                                     •	 No credit score requirement .

     Geographic Area Served:         AZ, CA, CT, FL, IL, MD, MA, MI, NV, NJ, OH, PA, TX and VA

     Costs Or Fees:                  Free counseling session .

     Administering Agency:           United States Treasury Department together with mortgage servicers and lenders .

     Procedures:                     •	 Call the PHASES hotline to set up an appointment with a MMI housing counselor .
                                     •	 The first phone call is an initial eligibility screening .
                                     •	 For homeowners that qualify for the grant, an appointment for a counseling session will
                                        be made during the screening .
                                     •	 If there is an MMI office in the area, the counseling session will be held at an office .
                                        NO WALK-INS ARE ACCEPTED, THE HOTLINE MUST BE CALLED FIRST .
                                     •	 In the Delaware Valley, MMI has office locations in Easton, Pottstown, Quakertown,
                                        Wyomissing and Whitehall .
                                     •	 If there are no MMI offices in the area, counseling sessions are done via the Web
                                        (applicant is guided by an MMI counselor) .
                                     •	 User ID and password is given .
                                     •	 Application must be filled out, then homeowner is denied or approved .

     Contact Information:            1-888-589-6959, staffed 24 hours a day

     For More Information:           Call 1-888-589-6959 or visit www .mmiphases .com




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REfinance to an Affordable Loan Program (REAL)

Purpose:                         For homeowners who would not typically qualify for typical refinance options due to their
                                 credit history

Program:                         Refinancing option

Program Features:                30-year fixed rates, 100 percent financing with flexible credit underwriting

Maximum Amount                   $417,000

Eligibility Requirements:        •	 The combined gross annual income of all borrowers may not exceed $120,000 . Certain
                                    exceptions may apply .
                                 •	 You are no more than 59 days past due on your existing mortgage .
                                 •	 You must have a credit score of at least 620 OR meet all of the following conditions:
                                      •	 Your mortgage payment adjusted in the last 12 months to a higher interest rate
                                         or a fully amortized payment and you have made no more than two, 30-day late
                                         payments since the adjustment .
                                      •	 Your mortgage payment history 12 months prior to the adjustment must show no
                                         history of late payments .
                                      •	 Also, your credit history of debt shown no more than three, 30-day late payments
                                         12 months prior to mortgage adjustment .
                                 •	 You may borrow up to 100 percent of your home’s value based upon a current appraisal
                                    (or 95 % for a credit score below 620) .
                                 •	 Your monthly total debt costs (credit cards, car loans, installment loans, REAL mortgage
                                    payment, student loans, etc .) may not be more than 50 percent of your total gross
                                    monthly income (or 45% for a credit score below 620) .

Geographic Area Served:          State of Pennsylvania

Costs Or Fees:                   No Fee: Rate 7 .625% APR
                                 Fee: 1% + $300, Rate 7 .375% APR

Administering Agency:            Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency

Procedures:                      Call approved lender, who will take your application, process and close the loan .

Contact Information:             For the names of participating lenders call 1 .800 .822 .1174

For More Information:            www .phfa .org/consumers/homeowners/real .aspx




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     EFSP (Emergency Food and Shelter Program)

     Purpose:                        Grants to local organizations to help homeowners cover rent, mortgage or utilities expenses

     Program:                        Grant

     Product or Service:             The United Way of SEPA receives an allocation for the county and organizes a local board
                                     to select recipients . FEMA disburses the grants directly to the individual agencies .
                                     One month’s Rent or Mortgage Assistance Grant—For principal and interest only . Grants
                                     also allow for first month’s rent payment .
                                     Grant Recipients for Rent Mortgage Utilities Assistance: Catholic Social Services, The Part-
                                     nership CDC, Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Inc ., TURN, Diversified Community Services,
                                     Inc ., Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service and
                                     Education Fund, United Communities Southeast Philadelphia and Face to Face Inc .
                                     For Food and Shelter Grant Recipients, contact United Way .

     Total Amount                    City of Philadelphia received $275,000 in 2009

     Eligibility Requirements:       Eligibility for assistance is limited to households with income at or below 150% of Federal
                                     Poverty Guidelines, with providers having discretion to award grants to households with
                                     income up to 250% of Federal Poverty Guidelines in up to 10% of the case .

     Geographic Area Served:         City of Philadelphia

     Costs Or Fees:                  No Fee: Rate 7 .625% APR
                                     Fee: 1% + $300, Rate 7 .375% APR

     Administering Agency:           FEMA

     Procedures:                     Call an agency listed below for assistance with FEMA EFSP Grants

     Contact Information:            Agency                                                                                                                      Phone
                                     Archdiocese of Philadelphia  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 215-587-3500
                                     Congreso  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 215-763-8870
                                     Diversified Community Services  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 215-336-3511
                                     Face to Face Inc .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 215-438-7939
                                     Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 215-496-9700 x112
                                     Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service & Education Fund  .  .  .  .  .  . 215-923-2600
                                     Tenant’s Union Representatives  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 215-940-3900
                                     The Partnership CDC  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 215-307-4917
                                     United Communities of Southeast Philadelphia  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 215-467-8700 x19

     For More Information:           www .efsp .unitedway .org




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PNHS—Foreclosure Prevention Remediation Loan

Purpose:                         Loan for payment of legal and Sheriff’s fees only to prevent foreclosure

Program:                         Term loan

Program Features:                •	 Maximum amortization period of 120 months .
                                 •	 Maximum deferral of 18 months .
                                 •	 Interest Rate: 6 .95% .

Maximum Amount                   $5,000

Eligibility Requirements:        •	 Owner-occupied primary residence .
                                 •	 Income at or below 115% of median adjusted for family size .
                                 •	 Maximum Loan To Value: 80% .
                                 •	 Single family unit, 1-4 unit attached/detached dwelling, condo and PUDs .
                                 •	 Qualifying ratios 33%/45% .
                                 •	 Recent credit file report is required and cannot be in bankruptcy or bankruptcy
                                    application .

Geographic Area Served:          City of Philadelphia

Costs or Fees:                   $100 application fee (covers cost of loan processing, credit report and other fees)

Administering Agency:            Philadelphia Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc . (PNHS)

Procedures:                      Call for appointment
                                 Full or alternate documentation

Contact Information:             Denise Jefferson-Bailey or Henry Moore
                                 Tel .: 215-476-4205
                                 Fax: 215-476-4271

For More Information:            www .phillynhs .org/loans .htm




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     PHIL-Plus and Mini-PHIL Home Improvement Loan

     Purpose:                        Helps homeowners with less-than-perfect credit . For small repairs, energy conservation
                                     improvements or larger renovations . Up to half of the loan may be used to pay off
                                     existing debts .

     Program:                        Repair Loan / Refinance Option

     Program Features:               •	 Terms up to 20 years for PHIL-Plus, 10 years for Mini-PHIL .
                                     •	 Most banks require no equity in property required .
                                     •	 No bank fees .

     Maximum Amount                  $25,000 for PHIL-Plus, $10,000 for Mini-PHIL

     Eligibility Requirements:       •	 Home must be owner-occupied .
                                     •	 Home must be located in the City of Philadelphia .
                                     •	 Income guidelines apply—see housing counselor for more information .

     Geographic Area Served:         City of Philadelphia

     Administering Agency:           Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition

     Procedures:                     Call your neighborhood housing counseling agency . To see a complete list of participating
                                     agencies, visit www .formyphillyhome .org

     Contact Information:            Shante Antrom-Gowans
                                     Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition
                                     Tel .: 215-851-1740
                                     Fax: 215-564-9912

     For More Information:           www .formyphillyhome .org




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             Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide • Summer/Fall 2009 Edition • www .gpuac .org/foreclosurehelp .htm
City of Philadelphia’s Financial Hardship Agreements for Property Taxes

Purpose:                        Allows income-eligible homeowners with delinquent property taxes to enter into an afford-
                                able payment arrangement .

Program:                        Written payment agreement .

Program Features:               Once approved, the homeowner must pay between 5% to 10% of the household’s monthly
                                income toward delinquent property taxes . The minimum payment is $25 . Alternatively, the
                                homeowner can request an individualized financial assessment (IFA) to determine how
                                much of the household’s monthly income is available to pay towards the delinquency .
                                Under the IFA, the minimum payment is $25 per month and there is no maximum payment .
                                No down payment or other lump-sum is required toward the delinquent property taxes . All
                                current property taxes must also be paid on time, although the homeowner can still apply
                                annually with the Department of Revenue for a separate installment agreement for the
                                current property taxes .
                                Note: Payment arrangements are available to everyone . It is the Financial Hardship
                                Agreement that has income eligibility requirements .

Maximum Amount                  No maximum . Agreements exceeding 24 months require approval of the City’s Law Depart-
                                ment . Agreements exceeding 48 months will be administered by the City’s Law Department .

Eligibility Requirements:       •	 Maximum household income of up to 60% of area median income (approximately
                                   $44,000 for a family of 4) .
                                •	 Homeowner must have adequate income to be able afford to pay the monthly payment
                                   under the agreement, plus the current year’s property taxes .
                                •	 Homeowner must reside in property .
                                •	 Homeowner must have legal or equitable title to the property . Examples include name on
                                   deed, lease purchase agreement and inheritance through will or intestate succession (no
                                   need to have probated the property) .
                                •	 The homeowner must not have breached a previous payment agreement, unless extenu-
                                   ating circumstances beyond the homeowner’s control caused the previous breach .

Geographic Area Served:         Philadelphia County

Administering Agency:           Linebarger, Goggan, Blair, & Sampson, LLP

Procedures:                     Call a housing counselor . For a referral to a housing counselor, call the Save Your Home Philly
                                Hotline . The counselor will help you complete the written application required by Linebarger,
                                Goggan, Blair & Sampson . The written application with supporting documentation will be
                                submitted and Linebarger will make a determination on the application within 45 days . If
                                accepted, the applicant is presented with a written agreement . Note: This written agreement
                                may contain waivers of legal rights . You may wish to review the document with an attorney
                                before signing .
                                Linebarger may conduct annual review of income, called “redetermination .” If income has
                                changed, the monthly payment amount can change accordingly . Failure of a homeowner to
                                respond to a request for redetermination can result in cancellation of the repayment agreement

Contact Information:            Save Your Home Philly Hotline (for a housing counselor) .  .  .  . 215-334-4663
                                Linebarger, Goggan, Blair, & Sampson, LLP  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 215-790-1117




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                Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide • Summer/Fall 2009 Edition • www .gpuac .org/foreclosurehelp .htm
     Pennsylvania Real Estate Tax Law for Property Taxes
     The Pennsylvania Real Estate Tax Sale Law, 72 Pa .C .S . §§ 5860 .101, et seq . (below), applies to all counties except Philadelphia,
     including the four suburban counties surrounding Philadelphia . Section 5860 .603 of the Tax Sale Law provides the basic
     standards under which counties offer payment agreements to homeowners with delinquent taxes .

     Payment agreements under the strict terms of the state statute require that the homeowner pay 25% of the delinquency,
     including interest and penalty, at the time of entering into the agreement and pay the balance due in not more than three
     payments within one year of the agreement date . However, each of the four suburban counties provides additional repayment
     plan options for those facing financial hardship .

              72 Pa.C.S. §§ 5860.603. Removal from sale; agreements to stay sale.
              Any owner or lien creditor of the owner may, at the option of the bureau, prior to the actual sale, (1) cause the
              property to be removed from the sale by payment in full of taxes which have become absolute and of all charges
              and interest due on these taxes to the time of payment or (2) enter into an agreement, in writing, with the bureau to
              stay the sale of the property upon the payment of twenty-five per centum (25%) of the amount due on all tax claims
              and tax judgments filed or entered against such property and the interest and costs on the taxes returned to date, as
              provided by this act and agreeing therein to pay the balance of said claims and judgments and the interest and costs
              thereon in not more than three (3) installments all within one (1) year of the date of said agreement, the agreement
              to specify the dates on or before which each installment shall be paid and the amount of each installment . So long
              as said agreement is being fully complied with by the taxpayer, the sale of the property covered by the agreement
              shall be stayed . But in case of default in such agreement by the owner or lien creditor, the bureau, after written notice
              of such default given by United States mail, postage prepaid, to the owner or lien creditor at the address stated in
              the agreement, shall apply all payments made against the oldest delinquent taxes and costs, then against the more
              recent . If sufficient payment has been made to discharge all the taxes and claims which would have caused the
              property to be put up for sale, the property may not be sold . If sufficient payment has not been received to discharge
              these taxes and claims, the bureau shall proceed with the sale of such property in the manner herein provided either
              at the next scheduled upset sale or at a special upset sale, either of which is to be held at least ninety (90) days after
              such default . If a party to an installment agreement defaults on the agreement, the bureau shall not enter into a new
              installment agreement with that person within three (3) years of the default .




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Bucks County

Purpose:                         To help homeowners avoid foreclosure by providing them with repayment plan options if
                                 they are delinquent on their property taxes due to financial hardship .

Program:                         No official program has been established, but the tax claim bureau will exercise flexibility
                                 for people experiencing financial hardship .

Program Features:                •	 The Tax Claim Bureau follows the Pennsylvania Real Estate Tax Sale Law, 72 Pa .C .S . §§
                                    5860 .101, et seq .
                                 •	 The homeowner must pay 25% of the delinquency, including interest and penalty, at the
                                    time of entering into the agreement .
                                 •	 The homeowner cannot pay the balance due in more than three payments within one
                                    year of the agreement date .

Maximum Amount                   No maximum .

Eligibility Requirements:        •	 Homeowner must have adequate income to afford to pay the monthly payment under the
                                    agreement plus the current year’s property taxes .
                                 •	 Homeowner must reside in property .
                                 •	 Homeowner must have legal or equitable title to the property . Examples include name
                                    on deed, lease purchase agreement and inheritance through will or intestate succession
                                    (no need to have probated the property) .

Costs Or Fees:                   No cost to apply .

Geographic Area Served:          Bucks County

Administering Agency:            Bucks County Tax Claim Bureau

Procedures:                      Call the Bucks County Tax Claim office to apply .

Contact Information:             55 East Court Street
                                 Third Floor, Administration Building
                                 Doylestown, PA 18901
                                 Phone: 215-348-6274
                                 Hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 a .m . to 5:00 p .m .

For More Information:            www .buckscounty .org/government/departments/Finance/TaxClaimBureau/index .aspx




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     Chester County

     Purpose:                        To help homeowners avoid foreclosure by providing them with repayment plan options if
                                     they are delinquent on their property taxes and cannot manage to pay the amount in four
                                     installments .

     Program:                        No official program has been established, but in 2002 the Chester County Commissioners
                                     passed a resolution to authorize the Tax Claim Bureau to establish more flexible payment
                                     terms .

     Program Features:               •	 More frequent, lower installment payments are permitted .
                                     •	 Homeowners must still generally make an initial payment of 25% of the delinquency,
                                        including interest and penalty at the time of entering into the agreement .
                                     •	 Homeowners must pay off the delinquency in full by June of the year following the year in
                                        which the agreement was made .
                                     •	 The Tax Claim Bureau follows the Pennsylvania Real Estate Tax Sale Law, 72 Pa .C .S . §§
                                        5860 .101, et seq .
                                     •	 The homeowner must pay 25% of the delinquency, including interest and penalty, at the
                                        time of entering into the agreement .
                                     •	 The homeowner cannot pay the balance due in more than three payments within one
                                        year of the agreement date .

     Maximum Amount                  No maximum .

     Eligibility Requirements:       •	 The property must be owner-occupied .
                                     •	 Property must be the primary residence of the homeowner, especially senior citizens on
                                        fixed incomes .
                                     •	 Homeowner must have adequate income to afford to pay the monthly payment under the
                                        agreement plus the current year’s property taxes .
                                     •	 Homeowner must have legal or equitable title to the property . Examples include name on
                                        deed, lease purchase agreement and inheritance through will or intestate succession (no
                                        need to have probated the property) .

     Costs Or Fees:                  No cost to apply .

     Geographic Area Served:         Chester County

     Administering Agency:           Chester County Tax Claim Bureau

     Procedures:                     Call the Chester Tax Claim Bureau to being the application process . If approved, agreements
                                     are entered into on forms available from the Tax Claim Bureau .

     Contact Information:            2 N . High Street, Suite 116
                                     P .O . Box 2748
                                     West Chester, PA 19380-0991
                                     Phone: 610-344-6360
                                     Fax: 610-344-4722

     For More Information:           dsf .chesco .org/chesco/cwp/view .asp?a=1413&q=573807




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Delaware County

Purpose:                         To help homeowners avoid foreclosure by providing them with repayment plan options if
                                 they are delinquent on their property taxes due to hardship .

Program:                         No formal program, but the Delaware County Tax Claim Bureau files tax agreements in
                                 accordance with the state statute . The Tax Claim Bureau will also enter into affordable
                                 payment agreements for properties that are owner-occupied, primary residences of
                                 homeowners who are experiencing hardship .

Program Features:                Often, hardship payment plans provide for monthly payments and extend the time for
                                 paying off the delinquency to periods longer than one year . Low-income homeowners can
                                 negotiate and make payments on their agreements through Legal Aid of Southeastern
                                 Pennsylvania (senior citizens only) or Community Impact Legal Services or directly with
                                 the Tax Claim Bureau .

Maximum Amount                   For hardship agreements, the Tax Claim Bureau reserves the right to inspect the property
                                 (although the agency does not often do so) and to annually update the financial data upon
                                 which the affordable repayment agreement was based .

Eligibility Requirements:        •	 Property must be owner-occupied and the primary residences of the homeowner .
                                 •	 The homeowner must be experiencing financial hardship and be able to demonstrate this .
                                 •	 Homeowner must have legal or equitable title to the property . Examples include name
                                    on deed, lease purchase agreement and inheritance through will or intestate succession
                                    (no need to have probated the property) .

Costs Or Fees:                   No cost to apply .

Geographic Area Served:          Delaware County

Administering Agency:            Delaware County Tax Claim Bureau

Procedures:                      Homeowner must complete a delinquent tax application form .
                                 Homeowner must provide the following information:
                                 •	 Income and expenses .
                                 •	 Information on the property and any other assets .
                                 •	 A description of the hardship that prevents the homeowner from making an initial
                                    payment of 25% of the delinquency and/or paying the delinquency in four installments .

Contact Information:             Government Center, Ground Floor
                                 201 W . Front Street
                                 Media, PA 19063
                                 Phone: 610-891-4293

For More Information:            www .co .delaware .pa .us/treasurer/taxclaim .html




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     Montgomery County

     Purpose:                        To help homeowners avoid foreclosure by providing them with repayment plan options if
                                     they are delinquent on their property taxes .

     Program:                        No formal program . However, Xpand (the firm contracted by the County to handle real estate
                                     tax collection) and the Tax Claim Bureau will enter into affordable payment agreements
                                     for homeowners who are experiencing hardships such as job loss, disability, health issues,
                                     need to care for a family member, senior citizens on limited fixed income, etc .

     Program Features:               •	 Agreements are entered into in accordance with the state statute by Xpand .
                                     •	 Most hardship agreements will include a 25% initial payment .
                                     •	 Homeowners entering into hardships agreements will often have monthly instead of
                                        quarterly payments (in appropriate cases, the 25% initial payment requirement can be
                                        modified) .
                                     •	 The Office of the Treasurer notes that Montgomery County has a tax payment option via
                                        the Internet on the county website .

     Maximum Amount                  None

     Eligibility Requirements:       •	 Properties must be owner-occupied and be the primary residence of the homeowner .
                                     •	 Homeowner must be experiencing hardships such as job loss, disability, health issues,
                                        need to care for a family member, senior citizens on limited fixed income, etc .
                                     •	 No income restrictions .

     Costs Or Fees:                  No cost to apply, however, homeowners will have to make an initial payment of 25% of the
                                     amount owed . Interest fees accrue every month .

     Geographic Area Served:         Montgomery County

     Administering Agency:           Xpand

     Procedures:                     Call Xpand to inform them you would like to enroll in a delinquent payment plan . In most
                                     cases, they will require that you make an initial payment of 25% of the amount owed . After
                                     the initial payment, Xpand will send an application to the homeowner .

     Contact Information:            Xpand: 1-888-343-2143
                                     Office hours Monday through Thursday: 9:00 a .m . to 7:00 p .m .
                                     Friday: 9:00 a .m . to 5:00 p .m .

     For More Information:           taxclaim .montcopa .org/taxclaim/site/default .asp




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Housing Counseling Agency Directory                                                                            Approved by




                                                                                                               HEMAP
                                                                                                                       OHCD
                                                                                                                              HUD
Name                                              Address                   City         Zip Phone




£ HEMAP – Pennsylvania’s Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program: Conventional mortgages only .
          Applicants must have received an Act 91 notice .

✹ OHCD – Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development: Must be 80% or below the median income .

✥ HUD – United States Department of Housing and Urban Development: Can do conventional or FHA mortgages .


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     Housing Counseling Agency Directory (Continued)                                                                    Approved by




                                                                                                                           OHCD
                                                                                                                    HMAP


                                                                                                                                  HUD
     Name                                       Address                           City           Zip Phone




     £ HEMAP – Pennsylvania’s Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program: Conventional mortgages only .
               Applicants must have received an Act 91 notice .

     ✹ OHCD – Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development: Must be 80% or below the median income .

     ✥ HUD – United States Department of Housing and Urban Development: Can do conventional or FHA mortgages .


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Samples of Notices
This section shows mock ups of five notices that a homeowner may receive by mail during the foreclosure process . While
each notice may contain many additional pages, the following shows an example of the first page of each notice .


                                                    Act 91 Notice




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                                                   Complaint




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                                  Important Notice




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                                                   Judgment




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                             Sheriff ’s Sale Scheduled




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Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide • Summer/Fall 2009 Edition • www .gpuac .org/foreclosurehelp .htm
Printing made possible by a grant from the Citi Foundation




                                       ®
Printing made possible by a grant from Bank of America

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Not for Profit Foreclosure Prevention Assistance document sample