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Abramson on National Panel Discussing Foreclosures

Tuesday November 27, 2007

Discussions Organized by U.S. Conference of Mayors

Mayor Jerry Abramson is in Detroit today participating in a national panel discussing the rise in foreclosures across the country. Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and the U.S. Conference of Mayors convened the group to discuss best practices and possibilities for federal legislation that would assist home buyers.

“The rise in foreclosures takes a toll on communities – whether you’re talking about families who lose their homes or cities which are left maintaining vacant lots,” Abramson said.

Louisville will experience a record year in foreclosures. In 2002, there were 1,262 foreclosures. So far this year, there have been 3,300 foreclosures.

“We must come together to find a solution to this potential crisis that’s affecting families in every corner of this community,” Abramson said.

In spring 2007, the Louisville Metro Department of Public Works and Services was responsible for maintaining 800 vacant lots. In the months of May, June and July, an additional 1,200 lots were added to the maintenance list because of citations from the Department of Inspections Permits and Licenses. Department directors believe a rise in foreclosures directly resulted in the increase in vacant lots.

Abramson convened a meeting last week with local lenders and consumer counseling groups to discuss foreclosures and vacant properties. Local mortgage lenders agreed to work with residents regarding deferrals of principal payments, forbearance and notification of Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) increases.

“We appreciate our local banks working with us to find solutions that help our families and our community,” Abramson said.

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and U.S. Rep. Carolyn C. Kirkpatrick (D-Mich.) will attend the meeting in Detroit, as will mayors or designated representatives from Trenton, N.J.; Columbus, Ohio; Chicago; Boston; Bowling Green, Ky.; Southfield, Mich.; and Lauderhill, Fla. Representatives from Wells Fargo, Countrywide, the Mortgage Banker’s Association and leading economists will also work with the elected leaders to discuss solutions to the problem.

Abramson will appear live on CNBC to discuss the foreclosure issue at 4:30 p.m. EDT today with the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Mayor Douglas Palmer from Trenton, N.J. Abramson will return to return to Louisville tonight.