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Fast Cities

Fast Cities: Philadelphia

The Mortgage Foreclosure Protection Program

Fast Cities: Philadelphia

How do you save your home from foreclosure? Philadelphia's answer: communication. The city's Mortgage Foreclosure Protection Program relies on door-to-door outreach, free counseling, and meetings between those on the brink of losing their homes and their mortgage lenders. Judges serve as mediators. Since Mayor Michael Nutter's administration established the plan in June 2008, it has saved more than 900 home owners from foreclosure; 1,400 more are midrescue. More evidence of success: Philadelphia officials say the program inspired a provision in President Obama's $75 billion antiforeclosure plan that calls for judges to arbitrate negotiations between lenders and home owners.

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A version of this article appeared in the May 2009 issue of Fast Company magazine.