June 12, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — House returns HEMAP funding bill to Senate for chamber’s expected approval. A bill to provide a multi-year funding stream to the state’s currently idled Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) is on its way back to the state Senate.
The state House of Representatives on Monday voted unanimously for the legislation, sponsored by Sen. John Gordner, R-Columbia, that would establish a trust fund to use the $266 million Pennsylvania is set to receive in installments as part of the $25 billion joint state-federal mortgage settlement with the country’s five largest loan servicers. The first installment will be $69 million. The legislation has to return to the Senate for that chamber’s expected concurrence due to changes made to the bill in the House. Senate Bill 1433 would not only fund HEMAP, which hasn’t provided assistance to new clients since September 2011 because of state budgetary issues, but also Attorney General consumer protection services and legal assistance related to housing issues. Ninety percent of the fund’s money is set aside for the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) to operate the HEMAP, with the remaining ten percent split evenly between the other two purposes. The legislation stipulates no more than $12 million will be distributed from the fund on a yearly basis for the targeted services. An additional $6 million will be appropriated immediately for HEMAP to address a backlog of new clients. According to the PHFA, since the program’s creation in