Foreclosure firewalls

John Robb says local communities need to act now to delay or eliminate foreclosures, else the coming tsunami of foreclosures triggered by the financial crisis will create crime-ridden ghost towns and the collapse of local governments.

He cites a Philadelphia program that could be a model here. They require get borrowers and lenders to enter a conciliation process. Surprisingly, banks  like the idea, because renegotiating terms is cheaper than foreclosure.

Robb’s main thesis now is that we need to build “resilient communities.” Now. As the federal government hollows out, they will be less able to provide assistance. Thus, much more can and should be done at the local level.