Thursday, January 8, 2009
Ex-President Judge Joseph James gathered today with Allegheny County Sheriff William Mullen and County Executive Dan Onorato to announce a new plan aimed at helping prevent mortgage foreclosures. Starting Monday, January 12th, homeowners who receive a complaint of foreclosure will also receive a pink form along with it. On that form will be a number for a hotline which runs out of the Department of Community Development. The homeowner must call the hotline within 20 days to set up free mortgage counseling with pro bono counselors. The homeowner then has 90 days to complete the counseling. Meanwhile, the program also requires lenders to designate someone to re-negotiate the mortgage, hopefully conciliating it before the scheduled foreclosure hearing. Onorato says the plan will not only help people, but will save taxpayers millions of dollars and prevent the spread of neighborhood blight, as well.