Federal help may be available for Pa. homeowners in danger of foreclosure

    Housing advocates are urging Pennsylvanians who are behind on their mortgage payments to apply for assistance before a deadline next month.

    The state’s homeowner emergency loan program was shut down earlier this year due to insufficient funds, but federal money remains for those who need help paying their mortgage.

    House Democrat Mark Cohen of Philadelphia says there’s no guarantee the federal Emergency Housing Loan Program will continue next year, so Pennsylvanians should try to benefit from it now.

    “As of a couple weeks ago, there was a surplus of $96 million for Pennsylvania in the program,” Cohen said. “The deadline for applying is Sept. 16, and it takes some time to apply, you can’t just do it in 10 seconds.

    Eligible homeowners must have experienced an involuntary drop of 15 percent or more in their income, be at least three months behind on their mortgage payments or they must have received a foreclosure notice.

    A spokesman for the agency administering the program says applying right away is crucial, because counseling agencies are getting backed up due to high demand.

    More than 50 percent of applications for the federal loans have been approved.

    Homeowners can call 800-342-2397 during business hours to learn how to apply for an emergency loan.

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