Idea Center

Diverting Foreclosures

With Philadelphia expecting home-foreclosure filings this year to be around 8,500--up from 6,200 last year--the city is attempting to tackle the crisis with a $2 million public...
by | June 11, 2008

With Philadelphia expecting home-foreclosure filings this year to be around 8,500--up from 6,200 last year--the city is attempting to tackle the crisis with a $2 million public education initiative that includes a public service announcement, door-to-door outreach, free counseling services and a hotline homeowners can call to help solve payment problems before they reach foreclosure. But in what may be a first in the nation, Philadelphia is also suspending sales of owner-occupied foreclosed properties, and instead requiring that lenders meet with an official and homeowner in an effort to restructure a loan so the borrower can keep the property. The Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Pilot Program, established by the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, first evaluates a case to determine if the homeowner is eligible for any established federal, state or local housing-assistance programs. If not, the case simply moves forward and an attempt to strike a deal with the lender is made. The Philadelphia Mortgage Foreclosure Protection Plan is similar to other state and local government foreclosure assistance efforts, including one in Ohio featured here last spring. Also of interest, Idea Center detailed a successful Pennsylvania program last June called the Homeowner's Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program. To learn more about Philadelphia's foreclosure plan, call the mayor's office at 215-686-2181.

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