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A mortgage is a loan that is secured by real estate, usually a house.  There are different types of mortgages, including purchase-money mortgages, FHA and VA mortgages, home equity loans, and reverse mortgages.  Pennsylvania law requires that a mortgage company send a homeowner a notice of intent to foreclose at least thirty days before filing a foreclosure, stating why the loan is in default and how much is owed.  Many times this notice is also labeled “Act 91 Notice,” and it advises the homeowner of the right to apply for assistance from Pennsylvania’s Homeowner’s Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, or HEMAP.  Homeowners with FHA or VA loans are eligible for special assistance programs and modifications.  In addition, the federal government has signed agreements with most mortgage servicers under the Making Home Affordable program (MHA) to offer help to homeowners.  MHA options include forbearances for people receiving unemployment income, modifications for those who meet eligibility requirements, refinances for those who owe more on their homes than they are worth, and cash for short sales.  Housing counselors can help homeowners access these programs.

What we can do: 

We help many homeowners with mortgage problems.  We receive most of our referrals from housing counselors who identify cases where a lawyer’s assistance is necessary.  The problems we address often involve servicing, such as misapplied payments or unauthorized tax or insurance charges.  Other problems include dealing with a mortgage company when the original borrower has died or moved away or when our clients have been the victim of fraud by the seller or mortgage broker, and helping homeowners who have been wrongfully denied assistance such as a loan modification.

How to get help:

Walk-in Intake

Community Legal Services
North Philadelphia Law Center

1410 West Erie Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19140
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
9:00 am -12:00 pm

Phone Intake

Save Your Home Philly Hotline

*If you are in foreclosure or have received a foreclosure notice