How PA Homeowners Get Mortgage and Utility Assistance Spotlight PA
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Pennsylvania received $350 million from the federal government to help homeowners who defaulted on their mortgages during the pandemic.
But withdrawing money is progressing slowly. As reported by Spotlight PAthousands of people are at a loss as aid programs are overwhelmed with demand and struggling to get vital information from their mortgage companies.
If you’re a Pennsylvania homeowner and need help keeping up with your mortgage payments and other housing expenses, here’s a basic guide to know when seeking help .
What is available?
The Pennsylvania Homeowners Assistance Fund helps pay homeowners’ insurance premiums and homeowners association fees, as well as mortgage delinquencies, utility bills, and property taxes. Some applicants are also eligible to help with future mortgage payments.
The maximum amount of assistance anyone can receive is $50,000. Among them are the caps you can receive in utility subsidies ($10,000), property tax subsidies ($14,000), insurance premiums ($3,000), and homeowner or condo fees ($5,000).
As of February 1, 2022, you can only receive each type of assistance once. For example, if you received the funds for your mortgage debt and then fell behind again, you would not be eligible for the next round of that type of assistance. assistance.
Payments from the program go directly to the mortgage or utility company.
View more information on the program site.
Must be a Pennsylvania homeowner experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic after January 21, 2020.
Invoices must be at least one month late to be eligible for debt relief.
To get help with ongoing mortgage payments, you must be up to date on your mortgage and pay at least 30% of your monthly income.
The property tied to the application must be your primary residence and the amount borrowed for the mortgage a certain limitdepending on the year you took out the loan and the location of the house.
I need to meet income requirementvaries by county or metropolitan area.
How long will it take?
Applications are not on a first-come, first-served basis. Homeowners are asked about their income, demographics, and whether they are at risk of foreclosure, whether they are at risk of shutting down utilities, or whether they are at risk of selling their homes due to late property tax payments. Priority will be given based on what.
Wait times also depend on how quickly the mortgage company responds to the program’s requests for information and whether that process encounters roadblocks.
Be prepared to wait at least a few months.
What if I need help with a mortgage or other housing costs?
In such cases, the program’s policy is not to work on other requests until mortgage assistance has been awarded, which could put utility and property taxes on hold for several months.
However, if you’re at risk of a utility outage, or you’re at risk of selling your property to pay off your taxes, you can first sign a form agreeing to help with those bills.
What if you’ve already been waiting months?
Unfortunately, long wait times are not uncommon. When the program launched last February, the internal goal was to help homeowners within 60 days. However, levels of demand and difficulties coordinating with mortgage lenders have pushed the average waiting time to over four months as of mid-December 2022.
If you are waiting and need an update, please contact your caseworker directly or set up an appointment through the program call center. Spotlight PA has found that some people have successfully reached the program via Facebook Messenger. Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency page.
Can I seize the property while I am waiting?
In most cases, mortgage companies require that foreclosure proceedings be held for at least 60 days after someone applies to the program. Program officials told Spotlight PA that many companies are willing to wait longer. If you receive a pre-foreclosure notice (sometimes called an Act 91 or Act 6 notice, depending on the type of loan), submit it to the program immediately.
Can I turn off the utility while waiting?
Yes, Spotlight PA has found it to happen in some cases, but program officials are trying to avoid this. There is no legal requirement for a power company to suspend an outage after someone applies for it. The program advises applicants who receive a closure warning notice to send it to their caseworker as soon as possible.
Read Spotlight PA’s full survey “Waiting Game” here.
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https://www.spotlightpa.org/news/2023/01/pa-homeowner-mortgage-utility-assistance-program-guide/ How PA Homeowners Get Mortgage and Utility Assistance Spotlight PA