PA Governor Unveils Two Homeowner Assistance Efforts

Gov. Edward G. Rendell, D-Pa., has introduced two new initiatives intended to help homeowners who are in danger of losing their homes because of either adjustable-rate mortgage troubles or encounters with loan fraud or predatory lending.

Accompanied by John F. Street, mayor of Philadelphia; J. William Mills III, regional president of PNC Bank; Steven Kaplan, Secretary of Banking; and Brian A. Hudson Sr., executive director of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), Rendell announced the Refinance to an Affordable Loan (REAL) program and the Homeowner Equity Recovery Opportunity (HERO) program at Philadelphia City Hall.

Applicants for REAL can be up to 59 days behind in their current payments and may include loan arrearages in their new mortgages. Borrowers will apply for REAL mortgage refinancing at one of 72 participating PHFA lenders offering the option, the governor's office says.

HERO loans are directly made by PHFA, which may negotiate with current mortgage holders to reduce the amount owed on applicants' properties. The governor's offices adds that loans will be available to borrowers with incomes up to $120,000 under both programs, and interest rates will be between 7.375% and 7.625%, depending on loan type.


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