HARRISBURG, Pa. (7/19/11)--The closing of an emergency mortgage loan program in Pennsylvania may affect the foreclosure notice process for state and federal credit unions, according to the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) (Life is a Highway July 18). The state Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) has been shut down due to insufficient funding, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) announced. HEMAP allows homeowners to apply for emergency mortgage loans to avoid foreclosure. The PHFA believes that there will not be enough funds to pay out on new applications while continuing to make disbursements on prior approved applications. As a result of the HEMAP suspension, lenders can begin mortgage foreclosure actions without using the Act 91 notice, which provides homeowners with information about access to the program. Mortgage foreclosure in Pennsylvania is a civil legal action, advised Rich Wargo, PCUA executive vice president/general counsel. Notices and procedures apply to state and federally chartered credit unions. Credit unions considering foreclosure action should confer with counsel to ensure the correct steps are taken regarding notice and other aspects of the procedure, Wargo added. The PHFA said it expects funds to be available through the federal Emergency Homeowners Loan Program (EHLP). The agency advised lenders to counsel borrowers to apply for EHLP assistance.