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KEITH A. SHEPHERD v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (08/15/86)

decided: August 15, 1986.

KEITH A. SHEPHERD, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency in the case of Keith A. Shepherd, dated May 9, 1986.

COUNSEL

Edward L. Berger, Gordin & Berger, P.C., for petitioner.

Trent Hargrove, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Senior Judges Rogers and Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 100 Pa. Commw. Page 18]

The petitioner in this case, Keith A. Shepherd, seeks review of a final order of a hearing examiner upholding a decision of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (Agency) refusing the petitioner's application for the homeowner's emergency assistance provided by Article IV-C of the Housing Agency Law, Act of December 3, 1959, P.L. 1688, as amended, 35 P.S. § 1680.101-1680.508 (the Act). Article IV-C was added to the Housing Agency Law by the Act of December 23, 1983, P.L. 383, as amended, 35 P.S. §§ 1680.401c-1680.410c.

Section 405c of the Act provides that if the Agency finds that an applicant mortgagor is eligible for homeowner's

[ 100 Pa. Commw. Page 19]

    assistance, the Agency shall "pay directly to each mortgagee secured by the mortgagor's real estate payments on behalf of the mortgagor." The amount to be paid is that which makes the mortgage current. The Agency will also pay the reasonable costs and attorneys fees already incurred. The same section provides that the Agency shall obtain a mortgage or other lien on the real property securing its payments on behalf of the mortgagor and that if the mortgagor shall default in his obligations to the Agency, the original mortgagee shall have leave to enforce its mortgage.

Section 404c of The Act is entitled Eligibility for Assistance and provides that no assistance may be made to a mortgagor unless, inter alia,

[a](5) The agency has determined that there is a reasonable prospect that the mortgagor will be able to resume full mortgage payments within thirty-six (36) months after the beginning of the period for which assistance payments are provided under this article and pay the mortgage or mortgages in full by its maturity date or by a later date agreed to by the mortgagee or mortgagees for completing mortgage payments.

The Agency decided there was not a reasonable prospect that the petitioner would be able to pay his mortgage as Section 404c(a)(5) requires; that the petitioner's financial condition was an "on-going situation which severely limits the probability of resumption of payments and payment of the mortgage by maturity." The hearing examiner, after hearing, agreed with the Agency's assessment.

The petitioner owns and resides in a dwelling at 1611 Ringgold Street, Philadelphia. The dwelling is encumbered by a mortgage which requires monthly payments of $169.00. On July 8, 1982, the petitioner ...


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