Pa. officials still unsure if mortgage settlement money will go to HEMAP

    Top state administrators say it’s a bit early to tell whether the commonwealth’s $266 million cut of a nationwide mortgage services settlement could breathe life into a program meant to help Pennsylvanians avoid foreclosure.

     

    This is not the first attempt to resurrect the Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, or HEMAP.

    The program closed last July after its state funding was nearly eliminated.

    Senate Democrats and housing advocates have suggested it receive some of the money from a settlement with five of the largest banks involved in home lending abuses.

    State budget Secretary Charles Zogby says it’s too soon to say if any portion of that could go toward HEMAP.

    “That’s ultimately to be decided. We want to be in a position to make decisions when we know how much money we’ll have as a state and when those dollars will be coming, so it may be a little premature to get out in front of ourselves,” said Zogby.

    A spokesman for the Attorney General’s office says the majority of the money from the mortgage settlement will go toward individual lending fraud victims.

    But $69 million will go to the Attorney General’s office, and an agreement on how that money is spent may not be finalized for another couple of months.

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