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HARRY JOHNSON v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/21/86)

decided: July 21, 1986.

HARRY JOHNSON, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, in case of Harry Johnson, dated June 18, 1985.

COUNSEL

Eric L. Frank, 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

[ 99 Pa. Commw. Page 78]

Harry Johnson (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 home in Philadelphia which is encumbered by a mortgage. He made monthly mortgage payments to his mortgage company, Pennamco, until September of 1980, at which time he was informed that his mortgage had been assigned and that future payments should be sent to the new mortgagee, Manufacturers Hanover Mortgage Corporation (Manufacturers Hanover). In May of 1981, Manufacturers Hanover informed Appellant that it did not have a record of his September, 1980 mortgage payment and, therefore, his mortgage was in default. Thereafter, Manufacturers Hanover refused to accept further mortgage payments from Appellant until the arrearage was corrected, and foreclosure proceedings were instituted.

In 1982, Appellant filed for bankruptcy, under which an arrangement was proposed whereby Appellant would continue to make mortgage payments and payments on the arrearage. The arrangement failed, however, when Appellant lost his employment and was unable to make the required payments. Appellant was discharged from his position as an ambulance driver because of absences from work, which allegedly occurred

[ 99 Pa. Commw. Page 79]

    when Appellant sought to obtain legal assistance in dealing with his mortgage problems. Although Appellant had, at first, saved the amount of the mortgage payments which were refused by Manufacturers Hanover, he alleges that he spent the money he had saved on legal expenses incurred in the bankruptcy proceeding, and on various family expenses.

Appellant applied for emergency mortgage assistance, which was denied by the Agency on the grounds that there was no reasonable prospect of Appellant being able to resume mortgage payments within three years and pay the mortgage by maturity,*fn2 and that Appellant had an unfavorable mortgage credit history.*fn3

On appeal, the Agency's initial decision was affirmed by a hearing examiner, who determined that Appellant had an unfavorable ...


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