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ELIZABETH HORTON v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/14/86)

decided: July 14, 1986.

ELIZABETH HORTON, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Homeowner's Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, in case of Elizabeth Horton, File No. 51, dated May 10, 1985.

COUNSEL

David Sambolin, for petitioner.

Lawana M. Johns, with her, Michael Donadee, 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 601]

Elizabeth Horton (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 single-family residence in the City of Philadelphia. That property and a second property owned by Appellant are encumbered by a single, blanket mortgage. The second property, which is a three-story building consisting of a store and two apartments, was purchased with money Appellant obtained by refinancing the original mortgage on her residence.

In 1984, Appellant defaulted on her mortgage. Thereafter, in August of 1984, she applied for emergency mortgage assistance, which was denied by the Agency on the ground that Appellant had sufficient net worth to correct the delinquency within a reasonable time and make full mortgage payments.*fn2 The Agency noted specifically that Appellant could liquidate her second property in order to pay off the mortgage on her residence.

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 602]

On appeal, the Agency's initial decision was affirmed by a hearing examiner, who determined that Appellant is ineligible for residential mortgage assistance because her delinquent mortgage is secured in part by a non-residential property.

On appeal to this court, Appellant contends that the Agency has misconstrued the eligibility criteria of Act 91, because Act 91 does not specifically bar mortgages covering more than one property, provided that one of the properties is the home-owner's personal residence.

Our scope of review is limited to a determination of whether constitutional rights were violated, an error of law was committed, or the findings of fact are not supported by substantial evidence. Section 704 of the Administrative Agency Law, 2 Pa. C.S. ยง 704; see also Hessler v. ...


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