Thousands of Pennsylvania families faced with the possible loss of their homes through foreclosure have received help from the Homeowners' Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP). This unique program, created by Act 91 of 1983, is the only one of its kind in the nation. HEMAP is a cost effective means to prevent homelessness among Pennsylvanians. By giving assurance of steady mortgage payments, it allows homeowners to seek alternate employment, job training, and/or education when they need it most. The program is funded by State appropriations and repayment of existing HEMAP loans.
HEMAP is a loan program designed to protect Pennsylvanians who, through no fault of their own, are financially unable to make their mortgage payments and are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. HEMAP funds loaned to prevent foreclosure are not a grant. These funds are a loan and must be repaid. Please note that FHA Title II (purchase) mortgages are not eligible under this program.
When approved for HEMAP assistance, a loan is created (secured by a mortgage on the property being threatened by foreclosure) to bring the delinquent payments current. Two types of assistance are available to the homeowner depending on their income and financial situation: continuing mortgage assistance loans and non–continuing mortgage assistance loans.
If a homeowner qualifies for a non–continuing mortgage assistance loan, their mortgage is brought current to a specified date and the homeowner is responsible for making all subsequent monthly mortgage payments to their lender along with a monthly payment to HEMAP. The homeowner may also be required to make a cash contribution toward the mortgage delinquency at the time the HEMAP loan closes.
If a homeowner qualifies for a continuing mortgage assistance loan, their mortgage is brought current to a specified date and then HEMAP subsidizes their monthly mortgage payment to their lender.
All HEMAP loans, continuing or non–continuing, are limited to a maximum of 24/36 months from the date of the mortgage delinquency, or to a maximum of $60,000.00, whichever comes first.
HEMAP loan recipients are required to pay up to 35/40 percent of their net monthly income, as determined by HEMAP, towards their total housing expense. The minimum monthly payment/contribution to HEMAP, set by law, is $25.00 per month per mortgage assisted.
Total housing expense is the sum of the mortgagor’s monthly mortgage payments, including escrows, utility costs, hazard insurance expenses, real property taxes and, in the case of cooperatives and condominiums, the monthly amount the unit is assessed for the maintenance of common elements.
If the homeowner qualifies for a continuing mortgage assistance loan, the homeowner sends their designated monthly payment/contribution amount to HEMAP. HEMAP combines the amount sent by the homeowner with HEMAP funds and forwards the full monthly mortgage payment directly to the lender on the homeowner's behalf. Homeowner's contributions are set at 35/40 percent of the household net monthly income (NMI) less the utility expense and homeowners insurance costs, if it is not escrowed.
The interest rate on mortgage assistance loans varies from year to year. Follow the link above under the "Notices" heading for the current rate. Interest is charged when household income requires repayment based on the 35/40 percent calculation. If income does not require repayment based on the 35/40 percent calculation, interest will not be charged and will be adjusted back and forth to nine percent as necessary. There is a mandatory minimum payment of $25.00 per month per mortgage assisted.
Interested homeowners can visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to receive more information about the HEMAP application process; or, choose to search for an approved HEMAP Counseling Agency near you.