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ROBERT A. FELEGIE AND LYNN D. FELEGIE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/30/87)

decided: March 30, 1987.

ROBERT A. FELEGIE AND LYNN D. FELEGIE, PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency in the case of Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Felegie, dated December 30, 1985.

COUNSEL

Amy Ershler, for petitioners.

Jolynn M. Stoy, with her, Trent Hargrove, for respondent.

Judges MacPhail and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 104 Pa. Commw. Page 129]

Robert A. Felegie and Lynn D. Felegie (Petitioners) petition for review of an order of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (Agency) rescinding emergency mortgage assistance benefits.

In May, 1984, Petitioners received a Notice of Intention to Foreclose from United Penn Bank for failure to make mortgage payments in January, February, March and April, 1984. Petitioners' default resulted because Mrs. Felegie could not continue to provide a steady source of income. In November, 1983, Mrs. Felegie required surgery and she was unable to return to work until March, 1984. During that interval, she did receive health benefits, but upon their termination in January, 1984, she did not provide any income to support her family. The default resulted despite Mr. Felegie's employment as a truck driver. Upon Mrs. Felegie's return to work in March, 1984, she suffered a back injury and was again unable to continue her job and provide a source of income.

[ 104 Pa. Commw. Page 130]

In June, 1984, Petitioners applied to the Agency for emergency mortgage assistance pursuant to the Homeowner's Emergency Mortgage Assistance Act (Act 91)*fn1 listing three mortgages. Petitioners gave a statement, detailing the circumstances mentioned above, to the Agency and after an interview with Petitioners, a credit counseling agency concluded that Petitioners met all of the property and homeowner requirements set forth in Act 91. After Agency review, Petitioners were informed by letter dated September 27, 1984, that they were eligible for a Homeowner's Emergency Assistance Loan and that payments would be made on their behalf directly to Petitioner's three mortgagees. The payments were to include all arrearages and monthly payment assistance for one year subject to renewal.

Robert A. Felegie quit his job in March, 1985. In September, 1985, the Agency rescinded the 1984 approval of an emergency mortgage assistance loan because the Agency concluded that Petitioners were not suffering financial hardship due to circumstances beyond their control.

Petitioners appealed this determination and a telephone hearing was held by an Agency Hearing Examiner on December 11, 1985. The Hearing Examiner concluded that it was "imprudent for Mr. Felegie to have quit his job," and therefore the total mortgage delinquency was not beyond Petitioner's control. The Hearing Examiner affirmed the Agency's recision of emergency mortgage assistance benefits.

On appeal to this Court, Petitioners assert that the Agency's recision of assistance is not supported by substantial evidence and is contrary to the law. In the alternative, ...


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