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FRANCES P. CRAWL v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/30/86)

decided: June 30, 1986.

FRANCES P. CRAWL, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Housing Agency, in case of Notice of Decision of Hearing Examiner, RE: Frances P. Crawl, dated January 31, 1986.

COUNSEL

Frank J. Piatek, for petitioner.

Trent Hargrove, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Colins, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Colins.

Author: Colins

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 432]

Frances P. Crawl (petitioner) appeals a decision of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (Agency) which denied petitioner mortgage assistance under the Pennsylvania Homeowner's Emergency Assistance Act.*fn1 (Act No. 91).

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 433]

Petitioner, along with her mother and stepfather,*fn2 were obligors on a mortgage granted in December, 1980, by the People's Home Savings Association (mortgagee). In a notice dated June 8, 1984, from the mortgagee, petitioner was informed of her rights pursuant to Act No. 91 enabling her to apply for emergency mortgage relief.*fn3 Petitioner was denied assistance and informed of her right to an administrative hearing in an Agency Notice of Adverse Action dated February 12, 1985. An administrative hearing was conducted via telephone from Harrisburg on August 9, 1985. On August 28, 1985, a hearing examiner ordered the Agency's decision remanded for further investigation.*fn4 Petitioner was again denied assistance and informed of her administrative hearing rights in an October 22, 1985, Agency decision.

At her second administrative hearing on January 8, 1986, petitioner was permitted to discuss both rejections of assistance. On January 31, 1986, a hearing examiner affirmed the Agency's rejection of petitioner's application for assistance. It is from the order of January 31, 1986, that petitioner appeals.

In matters such as the instant one, the burden of proof lies with the Agency to prove that the impending foreclosure is a result of circumstances within the control of the applicant once the applicant has met the technical eligibility requirements. Our scope of review where the party with the burden of proof has prevailed

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 434]

    below is limited to a determination of whether constitutional rights were violated, an error of law was committed, or the findings are unsupported by substantial evidence. Hessler v. Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, 92 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 352, 500 A.2d 914 (1985).

Petitioner first contends that the Agency violated due process and fundamental fairness by rendering two different decisions for denial. Petitioner feels that this resulted in her receiving improper notice of the issues, thus preventing her from addressing specific factors at her second administrative hearing. We feel that petitioner was given ample opportunity to advance her claim, notwithstanding the fact that the reason ...


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