Sample Letter to Legislators
July ___, 2011
The Pennsylvania Homeowners’ Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) provides a critical lifeline to homeowners who are facing foreclosure due to no fault of their own. The recipients of HEMAP loans are prudent homeowners who simply fell upon hard times. Many of them were blindsided by sudden unemployment or medical issues. Most HEMAP recipients are on their way to recovering their financial stability, but need a little help.
The effectiveness of HEMAP far exceeds any other foreclosure prevention program. In its more than twenty year history, 85% of HEMAP recipients have saved their homes – this with an average loan of $11,000. And, most loans are repaid, which allows the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), who administers HEMAP, to recycle the money to provide loans for other homeowners.
Failing to fully fund HEMAP will speed up the foreclosure process in Pennsylvania. While HEMAP was fully funded and operational, homeowners could get up to 120 days to try to resolve his or her financial difficulties before the lender was allowed to start a foreclosure proceeding. Because HEMAP was not funded at a level sufficient to continue operations, the notice requirements under HEMAP will no longer apply starting on August 27, 2011.
HEMAP has made a real impact in your district. More than _____ homeowners in this district have received HEMAP loans. Given that some experts are expecting another spike in foreclosure filings in 2012, this is the worst time to stop funding HEMAP.
These major changes to foreclosure law and the elimination of a program that consumer advocates and banks agree works – comes at the same time that Pennsylvania has a surplus of over $______. Taking $20M from the surplus to protect homeowners makes sense and will save the Commonwealth money in the long-term.
We will be contacting you in the coming weeks to determine whether you are willing to stand up for homeowners in our district and sponsor or co-sponsor legislation to increase the funding level for HEMAP to at least $20M.
You can download the sample letter Word Document by clicking here (you can right click your mouse on the link and save target as to save it to a specific location on your computer)