Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania
County of Allegheny
Civil | Mortgage Foreclosure Program

The Allegheny County Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Program is a collaborative effort between both public and private sector entities to address the increasing number of property foreclosures in Allegheny County.

Initiated on January 12, 2009, by then President Judge Joseph James’ Administrative Order, the primary objective of the Mortgage Foreclosure Program is to provide a single unified process for the amicable resolution of mortgage foreclosure proceedings through court intervention, counseling, and conciliation. In addition to Judge Michael E. McCarthy of the Fifth Judicial District of the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, the Allegheny County Executive Office’s Department of Economic Development, the Allegheny County Sheriff, the Allegheny County Bar Association, and several private credit counseling agencies play substantive roles in this effort.

Eligibility for the Program
In order to be eligible for entry into the program, the borrower in question must meet the following criteria:

  • A Complaint for Mortgage Foreclosure has been filed with the Allegheny County Department of Court Records, Civil Division with and MG Docket number
  • The property must be owner-occupied
  • The property must be of four (4) or fewer units

Commercial properties are not eligible for the program. Currently, over 1,400 properties are eligible in Allegheny County of which 20% are availing themselves of the program.

Participation in the Program
Participation in the program cannot start until the lender files a Mortgage Foreclosure Complaint action against the borrower in Civil Court. At this time, the Sheriff’s Department will serve the borrower with the appropriate foreclosure paperwork. Included in this paperwork is an “Urgent Notice” advising the borrower of the Mortgage Foreclosure Program and provides a phone number to contact. Participation into the program is initiated by this phone call to the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development’s “Save Your Home Hotline” at 1.866.298.8020.

How the Program Works
The borrower calls the “Save Your Home Hotline” at 1.866.298.8020.
The hotline staff briefly explains the program, and schedules an appointment between the borrower and one of the 8 participating nonprofit HUD/PHFA certified housing counseling agencies. These agencies are:

  • Action Housing, Inc (Downtown)
    425 6th Avenue, Suite 950
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219
    412-281-2102
    800-792-2801
  • Action Housing, Inc. (East Pittsburgh Office)
    803 East Pittsburgh Plaza
    East Pittsburgh, PA 15112
    412-281-2102
    800-792-2801
  • CCCS of Western PA (South Side)
    River Park Commons
    2403 Sidney Street, Suite 400
    Pittsburgh, PA 15203
    888-511-2227
  • Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh, Inc. (Strip District)
    2840 Liberty Avenue, Suite 205
    Pittsburgh, PA 15222
    412-391-2535
  • Garfield Jubilee Associates (Garfield/Friendship/Bloomfield)
    5138 Penn Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15224
    412-665-5200
  • Nazareth Housing Services (North Hills, Ross Twp.)
    301 Bellevue Road
    Pittsburgh, PA 15229
    412-931-6996
  • NeighborWorks of Western PA (Downtown)
    710 5th Avenue, Suite 1000
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219
    412-281-9773
  • Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (Centre Avenue)
    1901 Centre Avenue, Suite 200
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219
    412-391-6732
  • Urban League- (Downtown)
    610 Wood Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15222
    412-227-4802

Counseling Agencies will contact the borrowers within twenty-four hours to accept them into the program. Appointments are set-up with these agencies, generally within a week of the borrower’s initial call to the hotline. This allows time for the counseling agency to send the borrower information outlining the documentation that will be needed at the counseling appointment. The Allegheny County Department of Economic Development will then request that a Conciliation Conference be scheduled before the Honorable Michael E. McCarthy. The request for conciliation conference is posted on the Civil Division Court Records website. The County Manager’s office then prepares an order of court that will schedule a Conciliation Hearing, which also places a hold on the foreclosure proceedings. These orders are then presented to Judge McCarthy for signature. The signed orders are delivered to the Civil Division Court Records, and the orders are posted on the website. The order temporarily prevents the lenders from being able to continue the foreclosure process. Copies of this order are mailed to all parties involved by the Department of Court Records. Until the scheduled hearing occurs, the Housing Counselors continue to work with the borrowers in an attempt to reach an agreement between the borrower and lender. The Housing Counselors send the Department of Economic Development a follow-up form concerning the progress of the loan modification. Economic Development reviews the information and provides Judge McCarthy with a summary of the scheduled conciliations so that he may determine which cases need to be:

  • Removed from the program
  • Continued for another Conciliation Hearing allowing enough time to reach an agreement between parties
  • Settled and Discontinued

Failing to Participate in the Program
Eligible borrowers who choose not to participate in this program or fail to follow through with appointments with the counseling agencies will be subject to the rules of the mortgage foreclosure process.