UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

January 19, 2009

PHILADELPHIA EASES FORECLOSURE CRISIS WITH COURT PLAN

Sharon Johnson, Women's E News - In the face of a mounting mortgage foreclosure crisis, financial advocacy groups are helping homeowners avoid further predatory lending practices and foreclosure auctions.

One effort began in June in Philadelphia, where the Court of Common Pleas now requires that mortgages of all owner-occupied properties scheduled for sale by the sheriff's office be reviewed by borrowers, lenders and the courts before they can be sold.

"Many of these owners were women who never should have gotten subprime loans in the first place," said John Dodds, director of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, a nonprofit that helped establish the city's program to curb foreclosures. "Of the 552 homes referred to the program that had been scheduled for sheriff's sale from April to July, 230 were permanently removed from sale and 200 others had their sales postponed from one to five months for a 78 percent success rate."

A gender analysis of 10 million mortgages granted in 2007 conducted at the request of Women's E News by the Chicago Reporter, an investigative magazine that covers the Chicago area, suggests foreclosure-curbing programs could disproportionately benefit female homeowners across the country. . .

The Chicago Reporter analysis, released in October, found that while far more men than women signed mortgages, those women who did take out mortgages were almost twice as likely as men to receive subprime loans . .

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