Here are the latest news items of interest to the legal aid community and it's clients. Click the article headline for the full story.

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Award Honors Efforts Providing Veterans with Permanent Supportive Housing

The Departments of Aging and Public Welfare, along with the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), have announced that individuals and organizations that are creating permanent supportive housing opportunities for veterans can be nominated for the state’s 2014 Supportive Housing Award.

This year, the award will recognize significant efforts to increase the availability of permanent supportive housing for veterans living in Pennsylvania.


Pennsylvania Health Law ProjectThe Pennsylvania Health Law Project released the following statement on August 28, 2014 regarding the Approval of the Healthy Pennsylvania Plan to expand Medicaid:

On behalf of our clients, the Pennsylvania Health Law Project (PHLP) welcomes today’s announcement that Pennsylvania will soon expand Medicaid to cover adults with incomes up to 138 percent of poverty. This is an important step towards all Pennsylvanians realizing the promise of the Affordable Care Act.

The agreement means nearly 600,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians will qualify for Medicaid coverage beginning in January 2015. It will offer tremendous relief to many of our uninsured clients, among them the low-wage workers -- our fast food cooks, cashiers, clerks, and bus drivers, for example – who are not offered or cannot afford work-based insurance. ...


Governor Tom Corbett has made an historic announcement that the state has secured agreement with the federal government to implement the portion of his Healthy Pennsylvania plan that will improve and bring financial stability to the state’s Medicaid program so that the state can increase access to quality, affordable health care through the private insurance market.

The Healthy Pennsylvania plan focuses on personal responsibility and healthy behaviors; aligning benefits to match health care needs; promoting financial independence through access to job training and employment resources; and increasing access to private, commercial coverage for eligible Pennsylvanians.


The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has announced that borrowers who prepay their FHA-insured mortgages will not have to make interest payments beyond the date their mortgage is paid in full.  FHA’s rule, Handling Prepayments: Eliminating Post-Payment Interest Charges, applies for FHA-insured mortgages closed on or after January 21, 2015.   

This rule  explicitly prohibits lenders from charging borrowers post settlement interest, which is broadly defined as a “prepayment penalty” by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), for all FHA Single Family mortgage products and programs. 


Attorney General Eric Holder and Associate Attorney General Tony West have announced that the Department of Justice has reached a $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America Corporation – the largest civil settlement with a single entity in American history ­— to resolve federal and state claims against Bank of America and its former and current subsidiaries, including Countrywide Financial Corporation and Merrill Lynch. 

As part of this global resolution, the bank has agreed to pay a $5 billion penalty under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) – the largest FIRREA penalty ever – and provide billions of dollars of relief to struggling homeowners, including funds that will help defray tax liability as a result of mortgage modification, forbearance or forgiveness.  The settlement does not release individuals from civil charges, nor does it absolve Bank of America, its current or former subsidiaries and affiliates or any individuals from potential criminal prosecution.