Foreclosure Prevention, Take 2: Try Cash


Among the usual promises to streamline government services and help the unemployed get jobs, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's State of the City address earlier this week heralded something you don't usually hear in these kinds of speeches: in the mayor's words, "the most ambitious foreclosure prevention effort of any city in the nation."

A new mortgage assistance fund will help borrowers who are in trouble but whose limited financial resources disqualify them from the federal Home Affordable Modification Program. Cities from Boston to Jacksonville, Florida, provide financial assistance to help troubled homeowners patch holes in their finances and avoid foreclosure. But New York City is introducing something new: a grant that lasts for as long as a borrower continues to own the home, and must be repaid only when the property is sold.