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H. RODNEY VALENTINE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/26/86)

decided: June 26, 1986.

H. RODNEY VALENTINE, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency in the case of Appeal of H. Rodney Valentine, No. Fact 20, Homeowner's Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, dated December 11, 1984.

COUNSEL

Louis S. Rulli, for petitioner.

Lawana M. Johns, for respondent.

Judges MacPhail and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 351]

H. Rodney Valentine (Appellant) appeals from an order of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (Agency) which affirmed the rejection of Appellant's application for emergency mortgage assistance under the Homeowner's Emergency Mortgage Assistance Act (Act 91).*fn1 We affirm.

Appellant owns a house, which is his principal residence, in the City of Philadelphia. The property is encumbered by a number of mortgages and liens, including a purchase-money mortgage, with an outstanding principal balance of approximately $20,500, and a second mortgage in the amount of $46,620, which represents the principal of a $20,000 loan plus interest at a rate of 19% for a term of seven years. The loan secured

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 352]

    by the second mortgage was used by Appellant to provide working capital for a business venture.

In 1983, Appellant's business failed. In September of 1983, Appellant defaulted on his first mortgage and, in October of 1983, Appellant defaulted on his second mortgage. As of the time of Appellant's hearing before the Agency, in October of 1984, the combined arrearages of both mortgages exceeded $12,000.

Appellant applied for emergency mortgage assistance, which was denied by the Agency on the ground that Appellant's total debt indicated no reasonable prospect of Appellant being able to resume full mortgage payments within three years and pay the mortgages by maturity.*fn2 Appellant appealed from the initial decision, which was affirmed by a hearing examiner, who concluded that the scope of assistance offered under Act 91 is not so broad as to encompass Appellant's situation, wherein a personal residence was mortgaged to obtain working capital for a business.

On appeal to this Court, Appellant contends that the Agency's denial of mortgage assistance was improper, because Act 91 expressly permits the granting of assistance in order to prevent foreclosure on mortgages obtained even for ...


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