By Paul Kurtz
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – City officials held a celebration this week to mark the fifth anniversary of a program that rescues homeowners on the brink of foreclosure.
Born in the early days of the mortgage crisis created by the too big to fails, Philadelphia’s Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Program has staved off disaster for more than 5,700 homeowners; people like 58-year-old Fred Brinkley, who got jammed up after suffering disabling injuries in a car wreck.
“While waiting for veterans benefits, social security, workman’s comp to kick in, it took about three years. And that’s what put me in foreclosure,” says Brinkley.
The foreclosure prevention program allowed Brinkley to meet with the lender and work out a deal under the supervision of Common Pleas Judge Anette Rizzo.
“All of this effort is really to produce sustainable results and keep neighborhoods stabilized and people in their homes,” says Rizzo.
She says the fight’s not over; in fact, she’s expecting a fresh wave of foreclosures that could take many more years to work out.