|Anti-Predatory Lending Initiative
Predatory lending is the practice of charging excessive interest rates and up-front fees on loans secured by the borrower's home. Targeting vulnerable homeowners, predatory lenders drain equity from communities, forcing homeowners to foreclosure and increasing vacancy rates throughout the city. The City simultaneously employs tactics to combat predatory lending: Consumer Education and Outreach, Legal Assistance and Creation of Alternative Loan Products.
Provides free counseling assistance for homeowners behind on mortgage payments or facing foreclosure.
Philadelphia Legal Assistance, takes calls from homeowners who want more information about loans, home equity or mortgage loans or people who think they may be victims of predatory lending. The Hotline has been publicized in the local press, on TV, and in the City's water bills. Hotline operators refer callers in need to housing counseling agencies for further assistance. The Homeownership Counseling Association of Delaware Valley trains housing counselors to identify predatory practices as well as to seek relief for victims.
Attorneys at Community Legal Services provide advice to housing counselors on complex predatory lending cases and, where possible, litigate cases to seek relief for homeowners that have been victimized. Callers to the SaveYourHomePhilly Hotline are sometimes referred directly for legal assistance, housing counselors refers others.