Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

1410 Posts and Counting


No. 900 In June, Act 70 of 2012 funded the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s (PHFA) Homeowner’s Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP), which had been shut down for a year.  The mailing of Act 91 Notices by lenders to delinquent borrowers had been discontinued, since PHFA was not financially able to accept any new HEMAP applications. This […]

Fifth Third Bank and RESPA

The Post Gazette ran a story today (Saturday, April 7) on a new suit in the U. S. District Court that alleges violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). In essence, the plaintiffs allege that a subsidiary Fifth Third had a reinsurance contract with the company that provided mortgage insurance in two residential loans. The plaintiffs allege that, without disclosure, Fifth Third gave something of value (the reinsurance contract) to the mortgage insurer in exchange for the selection of the mortgage insurer in that transaction.

Forgiven Mortgage Debt is Excludable from Income, at least through 2012.

No. 826 If you or your client has received a 1099 from a former mortgage lender following a short sale or other form of mediation, be aware that Federal law enables qualified taxpayers to exclude the income imputed in the 1099. Under the Mortgage Foregiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, acquisition debt that is forgiven […]

Default Judgment — The Postman Cometh But Once.

No. 824 Many mortgage foreclosure defendants fall into this trap. The Complaint is filed and no response is filed.  After twenty days have elapsed, a ten-day notice is served, but the borrowers are seeking a modification, so nothing happens.  Time goes by, perhaps a year.  Then one day, without further notice, default judgment is taken, […]

PHFA May Be Lending Again.

No. 817 Rumor has it that the PHFA, which went out of the lending business last August, may be back in.  The reason is reputed to be the settlement between the Attorneys General of almost all states, including Pennsylvania, and the largest lenders over abusive practices, such as robosigning. In 1983, Act 91 established the […]

MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE: Act 6 Notices are required after August 27, 2011.

However, the story of Act 91 does not end here. The primary mission of PHFA,was to administer the emergency loan program that was created through Act 91 in response to the widespread foreclosures during the recession of the early 1980’s. On July 21, 2011, after drastic state budget cuts put PHFA out of the lending business, the Agency and the Department of Banking announced in a bulletin that foreclosing lenders would no longer be required to send Act 91 notices after August 27, 2011. However, the bulletin noted, Notices under Act 6 of 1974 would be required.

MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE: Superior Court Holds that the Act 91 Notice Prescribed by Regulation is Defective; Residential Sheriff Sale is Set Aside for Lack of Jurisdiction.

On January 30, 2012, the Superior Court held that the Act 91 Notice promulgated by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency does not contain an important statutory provision and that, as a result, the courts lack jurisdiction over residential mortgage foreclosures filed by lenders giving the defective notice.

GMAC Pulls out of Massachusetts

In response to the suit by the Attorney General of Massachusetts, GMAC announced that it is terminating its home loan programs in that state. Attorney General Coakley says this constitutes an admission of non-compliance.

More on the Massachusetts AG’s Suit Against Lenders

As noted last week, the Attorney General of Massachusetts, Martha Coakley, file suit against the five largest home mortgage lenders in the United States and certain of their affiliate corporations, and Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc. and its parent, Merscorp, Inc. Massachusetts is the first to break ranks with the Attorney Generals of the 49 other states who were attempting to negotiate a joint settlement over mortgage foreclosure irregularities.

Massachusetts Sues Lenders Over Foreclosure Procedures.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley filed suit against five large residential mortgage lenders for abusive mortgage foreclosure practices, ending lengthy negotiations on the subject. The lenders are Bank of America, J P Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and GMAC, together with MERS. MERS is a “nominee” of lenders who becomes the record mortgagee in order to enable the mortgage to be assigned multiple times on the MERS records without the need of recording assignments.

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CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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