Foreclosure prevention saves Philly homes

    About 1400 homeowners in Philadelphia have escaped foreclosure through a program that has become a national model.

    About 1400 homeowners in Philadelphia have escaped foreclosure through a program that has become a national model. One year ago, the city’s court system ordered mandatory reconciliation meetings between lenders and troubled homeowners.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090630sphouses.mp3]

    Last fall, Deserie Jones-Wright was about to lose her home in Mount Airy. Jones-Wright is a retired Philadelphia police officer who was injured on the job. A divorce made it more difficult for her to make payments on a rapidly rising mortgage bill with an adjustable rate.

    Jones-Wright: When you worked hard all your life and did all the right things, you just don’t think things like this could happen to you but they can. Just one little instance could turn your whole life around.

    At $975 dollars, Jones-Wright’s mortgage was eating up about half of her monthly income.

    But a knock on the door by an outreach worker connected her to the city’s Foreclosure Diversion Pilot program and today, she’s still in her home, paying just $552 dollars a month.

    Now cities across the country are seeking to copy Philadelphia’s model.

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