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Residential mortgage foreclosure protections

A man’s (or woman’s) home is his (or her) castle. In recognition of this adage, Pennsylvania state law provides various protections to homeowners when marauders (including mortgage companies) attack. While most of the rights and obligations of the parties are contained in the Mortgage Note and Mortgage, residents have protections beyond the four-corners of that exceedingly long document.

What is Pennsylvania’s Act 6?

Under Act 6, which has been in effect since 1974, before a lender can even begin to foreclose on a residential mortgage, it must give proper notice of its intent to the homeowner. At least 30 days before any action takes place, the lender must notify the homeowner by certified mail of the following:

  • Identify the obligation or security interest under which the claim is made;
  • The nature of the default claimed
  • The right of the borrower to cure the default, including the amount of money, if any, necessary to cure
  • The time within which the borrower must cure the default before further proceedings will commence
  • The method or methods by which the borrower’s ownership will be terminated and
  • The right of the borrower to sell the property or refinance the obligation to cure the default

The law further provides that the homeowner, or someone on his or her behalf, may cure the default, not more than three times each year, any time up to one-hour before the Sheriff Sale commences. To cure the default, the borrower must:

  • Pay all sums due up to that point under the terms of the Mortgage Note
  • Perform any other obligations which would have been required absent the default
  • Pay the reasonable costs of the foreclosure action that were actually incurred by the lender and
  • Pay any late fees required by the Mortgage Note

Depending upon how far behind on your mortgage you are, curing the entire default may be nearly impossible. In our next blog, we will explore safeguards outside the mortgage documents that are available to you to save your home. If you are currently in a foreclosure action or fear you may soon be, contact us. We give second chances on Second Street.

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