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STEWART MELROSE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/07/86)

decided: July 7, 1986.

STEWART MELROSE, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY HOMEOWNER'S EMERGENCY MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, in case of Stewart Melrose, Appeal No. Fact 60, dated March 11, 1985.

COUNSEL

Howard P. Rovner, Rovner, Allen, Seiken & Rovner, 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 519]

Stewart Melrose (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

Appellant owns a home in Philadelphia which is encumbered by a mortgage. In April of 1980, Appellant was placed on unpaid sick leave from his position with the City of Philadelphia and, in June of 1980, he was laid off by the City. Since that time, he has remained unemployed except for part-time jobs, and he has received, at various times, unemployment compensation, public assistance, and loans from family members. At his hearing before the Agency, Appellant testified that

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 520]

    he had obtained employment in January of 1985, and is currently earning approximately $385 per week.

Appellant defaulted on his mortgage payments in April of 1980. He alleges that, although he has attempted to make partial payments on the mortgage, the mortgagee has refused to accept any amount less than the full amount owed. At the present time, Appellant's mortgage has an outstanding principal balance of approximately $21,000, the amount of the monthly payment owed is $289, and Appellant is over $17,000 in arrears.

Appellant applied for emergency mortgage assistance, which was denied by the Agency on the ground there was no reasonable prospect of Appellant being able to resume full monthly payments within three years and pay the mortgage by maturity.*fn2 The Agency noted that Appellant had not made any mortgage payments and had not had a full-time job in four years. The Agency also found that Appellant had an unfavorable residential mortgage credit history for the previous five years, because the delinquency began in April of 1980, while Appellant was not laid off until June of 1980.*fn3

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 521]

Appellant appealed the Agency's initial decision, which was affirmed by a hearing examiner, who determined that Appellant did not have a reasonable prospect of resuming full mortgage payments in thirty-six ...


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