The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) has set forth a proposal on how to distribute American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funds to Pennsylvania residents in need of assistance. The attached is the proposal. The public comment period on the proposal will run from September 11, 2021 to October 11, 2021. Any comments on the proposal may be made to https://www.phfa.org/haf/.
Please be advised that the proposal does not limit proceeding with foreclosures or Sheriff Sales in Pennsylvania. As drafted, the proposal will require the eligible homeowner to take affirmative steps to reach out and request assistance.
Addressed in the proposal are the eligibility requirements, as well as what expenses qualify for assistance, which does include mortgage payment assistance for qualified individuals. The proposed eligibility of participants is as follows:
- Homeowner must be a natural person or trustee of a living trust that holds title to the property. Heirs, equitable owners, and successors-in-interest, as that term is defined in section 1024.31 of Title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations (12 CFR 1024.31), meet this ownership requirement. A reverse mortgage, a loan secured by a manufactured home, or a contract for deed (also known as a land contract) may fall within this definition.
- Homeowner must have experienced a Qualified Financial Hardship after January 21, 2020 (including a hardship that began before January 21, 2020, but continued after that date).
- Homeowner must currently own and occupy the property as their primary residence and be located in Pennsylvania.
- Homeowner must meet the Homeowner Income Eligibility Requirements.
- Homeowner must agree to provide all necessary documentation to satisfy program guidelines within timeframes established by the State, including self-attestation.
- The original, unpaid principal balance of the homeowner’s first mortgage or housing loan, at the time of origination, was not greater than the conforming loan limits in effect at time of origination.
- Based on Treasury guidance, HAF funds should supplement other loss-mitigation efforts. Thus, homeowners will be encouraged to utilize other loss mitigation resources, if available, while simultaneously applying for HAF.
Additionally, there will be income requirements based upon the location of the homeowners property. As PHFA works towards finalizing rules for the program we will keep you updated.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to Andrew Marley, Managing Attorney for Pennsylvania Foreclosure or our Value Department.