In a bid to slow the foreclosure epidemic in the city of brotherly love, Mayor Michael A. Nutter launched the Philadelphia Mortgage Foreclosure Protection Plan.
The plan includes a number of initiatives to combat foreclosures in the city, including a toll free hotline and free housing counseling services.
More significant however, is a program that will require all owner occupied properties scheduled for a sheriff’s sale to be considered for a loan modification or similar action before they can be sold.
This follows related action taken by the city in March, when Sheriff John Green delayed foreclosure sales scheduled for April and May until next month.
The city of Philadelphia has also allocated another $2 million in its fiscal year 2009 budget for housing counseling services, legal services, and a service that helps borrowers with poor credit refinance.
The program will include a public service announcement recorded by Mayor Nutter that will run on both TV and radio, as well as in newspapers, on buses, and other various mediums.
Letters will also be sent to residents affected by sheriff sales, and outreach teams will go door-to-door to the homes of those at-risk to provide assistance.
According to the release, there were 6,200 foreclosure filings reported in the city last year, nearly 20 percent more than in 2006, and roughly 8,500 are expected this year.
If you’re a Philadelphia resident, you can reach the free service at 215-334-HOME.