Thursday, April 19, 2012

Award-Winning Philadelphia Mortgage Relief Program Kept Intact

Taking Back Our Courts

April 19, 2012

Consumers Support Decision by the Courts To Keep Mortgage Relief Program As Is

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Philadelphia home-owners and consumers are taking a big sigh of relief today after the First Judicial District decided not to make changes to its award-winning mortgage relief program.

"The home-owners of Philadelphia won today" said Michael Morrill, Executive Director of Keystone Progress. "Given the successes this program has had over the past 4 years it isn't surprising that the First Judicial District decided to keep the program intact."

Mayor Nutter even wrote a letter to the court asking for the court to not make changes to the program. Mayor Nutter said the courts needed to recognize the program is still heavily utilized and much needed for Philadelphia citizens.

According to the Philadelphia VIP, in 2010 the Philadelphia mortgage relief program prevented 40% of foreclosures in Philadelphia.

The mortgage relief program has been praised as a model for similar programs nationwide. What makes the mortgage relief program special is it's mandate stating that lenders must meet with residential homeowners face-to-face before foreclosures can proceed. The program affords some power to consumers who are faced with tough decisions regarding the home mortgages in midst of the economic downturn.

In a report that Taking Back Our Courts released earlier this month, Justice for Philadelphia Courts, the First Judicial District of Philadelphia was recognized for winning multiple awards for its Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion program: 1) In 2008, the First Judicial District was awarded the Mid-Atlantic Association for Court Management's John Neufield Court Achievement Award, and 2) in 2009 the First Judicial District was awarded the National Association of Court Management's Justice Achievement Award.

Overall, the report finds that Philadelphia’s civil courts are among the best in the country and the mortgage relief project started in 2008 is just one of the many examples Philadelphia's civil courts are praised every year for the work it does.

Taking Back Our Courts is a civil justice project of Keystone Progress, designed to protect Philadelphia courts and promote fair access to justice for consumers. Keystone Progress is Pennsylvania’s largest online progressive organization, with over 270,000 subscribers. KP uses the Internet and new media to organize online at the state and local level; and utilizes cutting-edge earned media strategies to promote a progressive agenda and counter right-wing misinformation.


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