As a homeowner facing the daunting possibility of losing your home, it’s crucial to be aware of your rights and the steps you can take to protect it. In Pennsylvania, the Act 91 Notice plays a significant role in the foreclosure process.
If you’re facing the possibility of losing your home, we know the overwhelming emotions and challenges that come with it. However, it’s important to remember that you are not alone, and there we have resources available to assist you during this difficult time.
Throughout this guide, we will explain the Act 91 Notice in detail. We’ll provide insights into the foreclosure process in Pennsylvania, including how to protect your homeowner’s rights, and the role of the Homeowner’s Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP).
We will also shed light on the importance of credit counseling and how our certified counselors can support you in exploring alternatives such as loan modification.
Credit Counseling Center has certified HEMAP counselors available today that will play a crucial role in preventing the foreclosure of your home, particularly when it comes to Act 91 notices.
Please note that the Credit Counseling Center does not lend money. However, we can help you through this at no cost to you. That means we’ll help you with paperwork, and even appear in court with you.
Credit Counseling Center has submitted over 20,000 HEMAP applications since the founding of CCC in 1994. We have a consistent success rate with HEMAP applications and all Loss Mitigation/Foreclosure Prevention activities.
We have worked aggressively over the years to help keep homeowners in their homes using every available option.
As a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, we are a leading PA Housing Finance Agency for foreclosure prevention, and we are HUD certified.
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What is the Act 91 Notice?
The Act 91 Notice is a crucial legal requirement under Pennsylvania law for mortgage lenders seeking to foreclose on residential properties. It is a signal from your lender that they intend to initiate foreclosure proceedings if necessary steps are not taken. The Act 91 notice serves as a formal notification to homeowners about their rights and the availability of financial assistance programs.
The Act 91 Notice includes essential information such as the amount you owe, the timeline for payment, the consequences of non-payment, and details about available financial assistance programs. This is important information to have available when you speak to Credit Counseling Center.
Why did I receive an Act 91 Notice?
Receiving an Act 91 Notice indicates that your mortgage lender is considering foreclosure proceedings against your property. It is typically sent when you are delinquent on your mortgage payments.
What should I do if I receive an Act 91 Notice?
When you receive an Act 91 Notice, it is crucial to take immediate action. By working with our certified HEMAP counselors like ours at Credit Counseling Center, you can leverage the expertise and experience necessary to navigate the foreclosure process and increase the chances of preserving your home.
Review the notice carefully. Thoroughly read and understand the contents of the notice, paying close attention to the deadlines and instructions provided. Then, contact one of our HEMAP certified credit counselors and we will guide you through the process and timeline.
Gather necessary documents. Collect and organize all relevant financial documents, such as pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, and any correspondence related to your mortgage.
Can I contest the foreclosure proceedings?
Yes, you have the right to contest the foreclosure proceedings. Consulting with an attorney experienced in foreclosure defense can provide you with the necessary guidance and help you navigate the legal process.
What are the consequences of not responding to the Act 91 Notice?
Failure to respond to the Act 91 Notice can lead to further legal action, including the initiation of foreclosure proceedings. It is crucial to take the notice seriously and explore available options promptly. If you do not, your situation will get worse and you will be at risk of being sent an Act 6 notice.
What is the difference between an Act 6 Notice and Act 91 Notice?
An Act 6 notice is a 30-day notice of intention to foreclose. It’s also known as a Notice of Acceleration and is sent to homeowners with an FHA or USDA loan. It is designed to give you a final opportunity to prevent foreclosure.
You never have to worry about receiving and Act 6 notice if you have what’s called a non-conventional loan. Though you don’t qualify for assistance under non-conventional loans, we can still counsel you.
Counseling stops foreclosure from moving forward and allows counselors to work with other avenues of payback.
At Credit Counseling Center, we have a team of Certified HEMAP counselors dedicated to helping Pennsylvania residents like yourself prevent foreclosure and find a path to financial stability.
Here’s how we help you get through an Act 91 notice, and help prevent foreclosure of your home.
A Financial Assessment – Our credit counselors will help you review your financial situation, including your income, expenses, and debts. We analyze your budget to identify any areas where adjustments can be made to help you meet your mortgage obligations.
Negotiating with Lenders – Our counselors have experience in working with your lenders and can negotiate often on your behalf. We engage in discussions with your mortgage lender to explore alternatives to foreclosure, such as loan modifications, repayment plans, or forbearance options.
Act 91 Application Assistance – Act 91 is a Pennsylvania law that provides additional protections to homeowners facing foreclosure. Our Credit Counselors can help you understand the Act 91 notice, its implications, and the options available to you under the law. We guide you through the process of applying for HEMAP assistance if you qualify.
Budgeting and Financial Education – Credit counselors and HEMAP counselors can provide financial education and budgeting assistance. We help you develop a realistic budget, improve your financial management skills, and provide guidance on how to rebuild your credit and prevent future financial difficulties – all for free!
How do I know if I qualify for HEMAP assistance?
The Homeowners’ Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, or HEMAP, is a loan program to prevent foreclosure. It is not a grant. Funds loaned under this program must be repaid.
According to PFHA.org, in order to qualify for HEMAP assistance:
- You must be at least 60 days delinquent on your mortgage and have received an Act 91 Notice from your lender.
- Your home must be owner–occupied and located in Pennsylvania.
- Your property must be a one– or two–family residence.
- You must have had a favorable mortgage credit history prior to the delinquency in the previous five years.
- You must be suffering financial hardship due to circumstances beyond your control. Loss of employment due to layoff, strike or plant closing, serious medical problems, divorce, or separation are typically circumstances beyond your control. On the other hand, quitting a job, committing a crime and being jailed, or money mismanagement are all examples of circumstances within your control.
- You must have a reasonable prospect of resuming full mortgage payments within 24 months and paying the mortgage in full by maturity.
- A home used primarily for business purposes is not eligible.
- Mortgage loans obtained primarily for business purposes are not eligible.
- FHA Title II loans are not eligible.
- A HEMAP loan cannot exceed $60,000.00.
- A HEMAP loan cannot exceed 24/36 months from the date of the delinquency.
- PHFA/HEMAP must have at least a third lien position.
- It is extremely important for you to do a complete self evaluation of your job history, job skills, and potential for securing future employment. This is to present an accurate picture of whether or not there is a reasonable prospect of being able to resume mortgage payments within the required time frame.
Receiving an Act 91 Notice can be a distressing experience for any homeowner. However, understanding your rights and taking proactive steps can help you navigate the foreclosure process and potentially find a solution to save your home.
Remember to review the notice carefully, reach out to your lender or servicer, seek professional advice with a credit counselor, and explore available financial assistance programs.
By taking timely action and exploring your options, you can increase the chances of finding a favorable resolution and protecting your home.
Get help with responding to your Act 91 Notice
Our credit counselors have an excellent track record of assisting homeowners with Act 91 and Act 6 situations, and we are here to guide you through the process.
In fact, Credit Counseling Center has one of the highest success rates when working with the Homeowners’ Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program for approval of applications. In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and surrounding counties, it can be difficult to get your applications processed correctly. Applications can be denied because of simple errors, and our counselors are expert at getting you through the process, so you can keep your home.
Stay strong, and let’s embark on this journey together.
In 2021, Paula was named Executive Director of Credit Counseling Center. She joined the organization in 2008 as a Credit Counselor and was quickly promoted to Director of Housing Counseling in 2009. Paula is a firm believer that each client is a representation of a family whose lives, financial challenges, and needs are important.
She developed and still leads the Center’s Foreclosure Prevention program; and has partnered with the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas Foreclosure Diversion Program. Her keen focus on making a positive impact in the community has generated numerous program collaborations with the United Way of Bucks County and a multitude of social service organizations in the region.
Previously, Paula served 21 on Active Duty in the US Air Force. Initially serving as a combat photographer and finishing the second half of her career as a recruiter, leading to the position of Flight Chief. Highly decorated, she has received awards from the Air Force and the Department of Defense.
An active leader in the Bucks County community, Paula donates her time annually as a board member for the annual Congressional Service Academy Nomination Interviews under the office of Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick. She is an active Chamber member in Lower Bucks, BucksMont, and Upper Bucks, advocates for financial literacy education opportunities at venues servicing low/moderate income consumers and senior citizen organizations.