Congressman helps foreclosed families

April 16, 2009 8:47:44 PM PDT
Foreclosure problems hit home in Delaware County. On Friday at 11:00 a.m. at the Media Courthouse, 130 homes across Delaware County are scheduled to be put up for auction at a sheriff's sale.

Each month, the problem grows worse and there is at least one congressman that is trying to do something about it.

On Thursday night, Congressman Joe Sestak's office was filled with people who were on the verge of or actually slated to lose their homes.

Many were in the predicament through no fault of their own.

"I was laid off from my job and have had a difficult time finding another job," David Scott of Secane, Pa. said.

Anne Tremonte and her husband John, both 79-year-olds, lost their construction business.

They say the bank refused to work with them and their house is listed to go up for the sheriff's sale.

"We're going into 80th year. We've been our home for 43 years," Anne said as she held back tears.

83-year-old Sam Fucile and his 81-year-old wife Clara were in a similar boat with their mortgage company, according to their niece.

"He found that his mortgage payment went up $500. They're on fixed income," niece Maria Woodruff said.

Mortgage foreclosures in Delaware County have been going through the roof, for the period from April 2008 to March 2009; they have gone up 150-percent and the problem is largely what is known in the mortgage industry as being 'underwater', which means that the homeowner owes more on the mortgage than the home is worth.

Presently, 14 million Americans nationwide are underwater.

Sestak is proposing legislation to try and change the tide of what he sees as an imminent and dangerous threat to many more homeowners before it's all said and done.

"Housing has always led the United States out of a recession, until we get this going again, both individuals and America will suffer," Sestak said.

For the last few months, the congressman's staff has helped over 400 people stave off foreclosures.

"It's tough to listen to these situations because people are in such dire straits," Sestak staff member Jonathan Payne said.

David Scott's 18-year-old daughter Jennifer, who graduated with honors from Cardinal O'Hara High School, gave up a full scholarship and, instead, got a job to support her family.

"It hurts that she had to do that because she worked and she got that scholarship," Scott said.

So far, Sestak has managed to save all of their homes, except for the Termonte's.

"We hope that with this lawyer that Jonathan got for us, we're going to try and go to the sheriff's sales office and get a postponement, an emergency stay, if not, our house is gone," Anne Termonte said.

If you live in Congressman Joe Sestak's district, you are asked to call his office if you need help.


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