Philadelphia Foreclosures

April 1, 2008 3:59:15 PM PDT
An estimated eight thousand homes fall into foreclosure everyday in the U-S. Democrats and Republicans today ended a standoff. They agreed to work on a foreclosure prevention bill together. Back home in Philadelphia, homes that were set to be auctioned off today were not. It's part of the city's foreclosure moratorium. But even with these measures in place, there are still calls for more to be done. "It's your security for your family so it's a scary feeling," said Debi Efre of Northeast Philadelphia.

Efre and many other consumers are turning to the HopeNow Alliance.

The group held a workshop today to bring at risk homeowners and lenders together.

"I feel better now, I feel like I have some hope," added Debi.

Debi's husband Alan told Action News he felt the same way.

"I feel a lot better now that I have response with someone from the company. It was a positive not negative just something has to be worked out," he said.

The HopeNow Alliance has been trumpeted by the Bush administration as an aggressive measure to alleviate the foreclosure crisis. But protesters outside the HopeNow event said the program offers a lot of false hope and indeed lenders that have agreed to help homeowners through the program do so only on a voluntary basis. Action News, could not find any consumers today who actually walked away with modified loans or concrete answers.

"I don't think its enough I was hoping to get m ore information," said Raymond Derenoncourt of Upper Darby.

Teri Perry of Northeast Philadelphia said her bank wasn't even represented.

"I think that's unfair because I'm no further along than before," said Perry.

Meantime Sheriff John Green canceled today's regularly scheduled foreclosure sale. The suspension is in response to a city council resolution asking for a lengthier moratorium.

"In terms of the time line whether he's looking at six months or more I can not say its going to be part of the negotiation," said Wanda Davis with the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office.

That negotiation is scheduled for tomorrow. Consumer advocates said time is of the essence. "We need across the board moratorium that is in effect until these mortgages are made affordable," said John Dodd with the Philadelphia Unemployment Project.