PHILADELPHIA - Because a record number of homeowners cannot pay their mortgages, City Council, the sheriff and several advocacy groups are trying to convince a judge to suspend the city's foreclosure auctions, which this week saw a record 1,120 homes up for bid.
"This is the worst time for foreclosures basically since the Great Depression," said John Dodds, director of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, the group leading the moratorium drive. "Something has to be done. You can't keep letting hundreds and hundreds of people lose their home every week."
The national rate of homes in foreclosure peaked at a record high of 1.2 percent of all mortgages in the first quarter of 2003. Experts say it takes between six months and a year for foreclosed homes to make it to auction, meaning a record number may now be on the block, though no one tracks that number.