Congressman Chaka Fattah (D- PA), said late Tuesday that he will reintroduce the Homeowners’ Emergency Mortgage Assistance Act (HEMA) this month which would establish a program to assist homeowners experiencing unavoidable, temporary difficulty making payments on mortgages insured under the National Housing Act. The bill was orginally introduced to the House of Representatives during March 2003 as H.R. 1347, where it failed to garner sufficient support.
Under HEMA, homeowners who are at least two months delinquent in their mortgage payments and have been notified by their lender of intent to foreclose would be eligible to receive assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Repayment of any assistance with interest would be required after the homeowner regains his financial stability, a period not to exceed three years. Homeowners must meet basic eligibility requirements, and may apply to an approved non-profit housing agency for official determination of financial emergency assistance eligibility. While receiving mortgage assistance, under the Act, participants must make payments to HUD not exceeding 35 percent of their net income.