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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 25, 2019 08:47 AM
From: Representative John T. Galloway
To: All House members
Subject: Pre-foreclosure notice clarification
For many people, buying a home may be the single largest investment of their lives. A home represents security and family. It represents permanence and stability.

The home also is a significant financial responsibility. But what if the unthinkable happens, such as an illness that limits someone’s ability to work, or the loss of a job?

Thankfully, Pennsylvania law provides protection to homeowners by requiring 30-day advance notice before any residential mortgage lender may attempt to collect on a past-due mortgage or before a foreclosure proceeding can begin.

However, the law is unclear whether a notice issued once in connection with a prior complaint is sufficient for a second or subsequent complaint.

This was the issue in the case of JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A. v. Taggart. A first notice of foreclosure was sent to the homeowner in 2010. The case was closed by the courts due to inactivity in May 2013. In July 2013, a second foreclosure complaint was filed, but a new notice of intent to foreclose was not sent. Without a new notice, the homeowner had no idea what was owed, nor the exact amount they would need to pay (and by when), to avoid foreclosure.

My proposal will clear up this ambiguity by requiring pre-foreclosure notices in each and every instance before a lender may attempt to accelerate or pursue any legal action against the homeowner.

These notices are vital to ensuring that homeowners understand the exact amount they need to pay to save their home and to make a good financial decision on their investment.

I hope that you will join with me by co-sponsoring this important consumer protection measure, which aims to safeguard the security, family, and permanence that homes represent to Pennsylvanians.

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Introduced as HB1429