Counseling for Homeowners
Pennsylvania residents are eligible for FREE housing counseling to help you with your mortgage delinquency, preventing foreclosure, and managing your debt. Choose each topic below to get a brief description to help you determine which program best fits your needs.
Financial Education & Coaching
PHFA developed the Financial Education and Coaching Program to help renters, homebuyers, and homeowners understand and improve their personal finances. We offer these programs in workshop or face-to-face settings. Read below to determine which setting is most suitable for you.
Financial Education Webinars
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency believes that renters, homebuyers and homeowners can all benefit from skills that help them better manage their personal finances. Smarter money management can help alleviate stress related to monthly rent or mortgage payments. Plus, financial education can help people make better housing choices that fit their lifestyle and their pocketbook. When families have stable housing, they don’t move as much and communities thrive. With this in mind, PHFA will regularly provide online personal finance seminars available at no cost to the public. Check back often for new and updated classes. We welcome your feedback about topics of interest. Feel free to email us at AskPHFA@PHFA.org.
**This just added: Complete all eight Building Your Financial House topics and earn the chance to win one of four, $500 perfect attendance awards to get started building yours!** (Participants must attend a session for each topic in order to qualify for the drawing. No exceptions.)
Financial Education Workshop
Whether you are considering buying a home, currently in the market, a first-time or long-term homeowner, struggling to make your payments, or just want to improve your credit, this series of four workshops can help you learn to manage your money. The workshops are provided in a group setting and are available to you at no cost through one of our certified housing counselors.
After you've completed your Financial Education sessions, you're eligible to meet with a counselor one-on-one to get help with your personal finances. These private coaching sessions can be either face-to-face or on the phone, and are also free of charge.
Program topics include:
- Goals, Assets, and Earnings
- Will help you understand your personal assets and how to set financial goals.
- You will also learn about different sources of income, and how employer-provided benefits contribute to your overall financial health.
- Spend, Save, and Invest
- Teaches steps to making effective money decisions, choosing between needs and wants, and managing your cash flow.
- You will learn the differences between saving and investing, and how to diversify your savings and investments to maximize and protect your assets.
- Review Taxes, Manage Risk, and Protect Your Money
- Will teach you the basics of income taxes, and understanding your income tax return.
- You will also discuss tools to manage risk, including insurance, identity theft protection, and Consumer Protection Resources.
- How to Get, Use, and Manage Credit
- This final section will discuss the importance of maintaining good credit, and how to use it to build your assets.
To locate a counseling agency in your area, please choose a county from the menu list below; or, select "All Counties" for a statewide list.
Financial Capabilities Face-to-Face Session
We are excited to announce our Take Charge of Your Money, Financial Capabilities campaign. At PHFA, we believe that a true understanding of your finances is essential in order to make the best decisions that ultimately affect your future and the future of your loved ones. The goal of the campaign is to attract and serve more consumers interested in managing their personal finances regardless of where they are in the homeownership process. We have agencies all over PA providing financial education at no cost to you. If you are looking for a face-to-face session where you can discuss your current situation, do a deeper dive into your spending habits, and create manageable goals that will shape the quality of your life moving forward, then find a counseling agency near you and Take Charge of your Money!
Foreclosure Assistance / HEMAP / Act 91
If you have received an Act 91 Notice from your lender, you may be eligible for financial assistance to avoid foreclosure and help make your mortgage payments through Act 91 of 1983, the Homeowners' Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP Loan).
The Agency has a program to assist with delinquent mortgages, the Homeowners' Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, known as HEMAP. The process begins with your lender issuing an Act 91 Notice. This Notice advises you of your right to apply for a loan from this Program which could cover your delinquent payments as well as assist on a monthly basis if the household income is insufficient. The main areas of eligibility are that the property must be owner-occupied, you must be delinquent due to circumstances beyond your control and you must be able to show that you will be able to resume the full mortgage payments within a maximum of 24 months. Once you get an Act 91 Notice, you should contact a counseling agency as listed within the Notice. If you apply timely, within 33 days from the date of the Notice, no further action can be taken by your lender. Once you meet with a counselor, they have 30 days to submit your application to HEMAP and upon receipt, HEMAP has 60 days to make a decision. You will be notified by mail of the decision. As long as the process remains timely, your lender cannot take foreclosure action.
Foreclosure Mitigation & Act 6
PHFA has established a network of counseling agencies to provide foreclosure mitigation counseling to homeowners of owner-occupied homes whose mortgages are in default or in danger of default. These mortgages may be subject to a foreclosure action. Homeowners will be provided with such assistance that will consist of activities that are likely to prevent foreclosures and result in the "long-term affordability" of the mortgage or other positive outcomes for the homeowner.
The counseling sessions associated with this initiative are FREE services to the homeowner and will involve a reasonable analysis of the borrower's financial situation, an evaluation of the current value of the property that is subject to the mortgage, and/or counseling regarding the possible purchase of the mortgage in question. Counseling and advice of all likely restructuring and refinancing strategies or the approval of a workout strategy by all interested parties is required.
Residential Mortgage Mediation Program
The Residential Mortgage Mediation Program was created to provide a stay of foreclosure on owner-occupied homes, which provides an opportunity for the lender and borrower to reach an agreement to avoid foreclosure and reinstate the loan.
Housing Counseling Stability Program
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law and appropriated $100 million to NeighborWorks® America (NeighborWorks), to fund the Housing Stability Counseling Program (HSCP).
Households facing housing instability, such as eviction, default, foreclosure, loss of income, or homelessness can contact a housing counseling agency, free of charge. Housing counseling specialists are HUD certified and can offer options specific to the client’s need, create an action plan, assist with credit and budget and a plethora of other benefits.