S1987 Coming Up for Vote–Call Your State Legislators Today!

Thanks to dogged efforts The House amendment to the damaging S1987 is still in play. A ten year window to sue and get your home back protects homeowners all the way back to the early foreclosures in communities of color in 2004 and 2005. AND part of this amendment also gives everyone a 3 year grandfathering to sue from whenever it is signed.

Please make your two calls AND distribute this widely! Remind folks – these calls REALLY matter.

Call your State Representative and the Speaker of the House Today! Tell them, “Thanks for change to 10 year Right to Sue or please no bill at all! Support the House version of S1987.”

For 10 days, our combined efforts made a possibly devastating foreclosure bill better. S1987 curtails the longstanding right of foreclosed homeowners to sue to regain title to their home. The Senate voted to cut the 20 year window to sue down to 1 year for those already foreclosed on and 3 for anyone in the future. Because we spoke up, House leadership adopted MAAPL’s amendment as their own: A ten year window to sue for all. We will accept nothing less.

See this Fact Sheet on S1987 (Word file) for more details.

A vote is expected TODAY, TUESDAY, July 29th in the House. The Governor is with us in this so we MUST stay active to beat this.

Please call your State Representative. Say:

“Hi, my name is ______________. I live in _________________.

Please tell House leadership to stand firm. S1987, An Act to Clear Title to Foreclosed Properties, does NOT clear titles. Only if the House amendment is accepted in conference will homeowners not be harmed. The House “Ten year window to sue” must remain in the bill.

If the bill comes to the House floor for a vote again, only support it if it has the ten year window.

Please call the Speaker of the House 617-722-2500. Say:

“Hi, my name is ______________. I live in _________________.

THANK YOU for protecting homeowners with a 10 year window to sue and get our illegally foreclosed homes back! I and people I know need this window – please keep it! S1987, An Act to Clear Title to Foreclosed Properties does NOT clear titles. Only the House amendment insures will homeowners not be harmed. The House “Ten year window to sue” must remain in the bill.

Feel free to tell them maps of the massive ramp up in foreclosure activity in the last 2 months can be seen at www.maapl.info.

SERIOUSLY, if you missed getting your members and friends to call in yesterday – do it today.

THANKS! We are having an amazing impact – keep it up – we need to show the financial industry they don’t tell our legislature what to do!
*P.S. If you don’t know who your State Representative is, go to WhereDoIVoteMA.com, enter your address, when the screen displays your voting information, scroll down to “Your elected officials are” and find your state Representative’s and Senator’s name there.

Then you can call the switchboard at 617-722-2000, press 2, then 0 and ask to be transferred to your Representative’s office.

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Press Advisory on S1987, in Support of House Version of Bill

Download a version of this Press Advisory in Word format

Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending

maaplinfo@yahoo.com        www.MAAPL.info

For Immediate Release

Contact: Grace C Ross, 617-291-5591

 

Foreclosures Return to Torrential Levels; Activists Commend and Speak Out for House LeadersStand Against Slashing to 1 Year HomeownersRight to Regain Homes

At 1:00 pm Monday, July 28th, 2014, leaders in the Massachusetts anti-foreclosure movement will hold a press conference at the State House steps (rain location to be announced).

“Foreclosures are returning to the previous torrential levels. We are here to say: now is NOT the time to vastly curtail homeowners’ rights to sue and get their homes back. We thank the House Leadership for agreeing with us and reaching a compromise that will not exclude any of the over 65,000 households already foreclosed from having their shot at justice!” the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending will proclaim.

On top of recent increases in petitions – the first step in the foreclosure process – June saw scheduled foreclosure auctions spike into the 850s statewide. The figure is comparable to numbers during the worst years of the foreclosure crisis. Maps of recent and more dispersed significant foreclosure activity in all Massachusetts counties will be presented.

“In the last week, Senate Bill 1987, darling of the Title Insurance Lobby, emerged from its slumber in the House Ways and Means Committee. This bill – though named an Act to Clear Title to Foreclosed Properties– does nothing to correct title for either the 65,000+ foreclosed homes or the literally hundreds of thousands of damaged titles to homeowners’ properties across the state,” Grace Ross from the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending explains. “Even though the SJC has agreed that foreclosures of thousands of homeowners contain violations, S1987 seeks to stop wronged homeowners from coming into court with viable legal challenges and getting their homes back.”

“I was foreclosed in 2009 at the height of the crisis, I have been fighting in the courts ever since. But if this bill passes with only one year to sue, the only reason I would be able to keep fighting for my home is because I am a member of the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team and THEY will keep me informed. This bill includes no notification to homeowners. And I am a living example that those who sued early in the foreclosure crisis lost. Each step of the way, I have to keep reversing losses because each issue I raise (and lose), about three months later, a ruling comes down saying that argument was legitimate. Whether the right to sue is curtailed to one year or three years, this bill will unfairly shut down legitimate legal claims,”explains John Schumacher, a purportedly foreclosed homeowner from Clinton & Lancaster.

Additional homeowners will tell stories from personal experience of the damage foreclosure has done, especially to those illegally targeted for subprime mortgages – people of color and women. Legislative leaders and advocates will also speak.

“Our communities of color lost about $8 to $12 billion in household wealth; the whole state economy lost conservatively $20 to $40 billion. Only homeowners who were wronged can bring that wealth back to Massachusetts – why would we shut the door on that important chance at justice for our whole state?”explains Zakiya Alake, from Union of Minority Neighborhoods, a homeowner herself foreclosed early in the 2000’s.

For information on additional testimony or background, please contact Grace Ross, 617-291-5591

# # #

MAAPL Members/Supporting Organizations: Action for Boston Community Development, Inc., Action for Regional Equity, Alliance of Providers of Legal Services to Individuals Facing Foreclosure, ARISE for Social Justice, Arlington Community Trabajando, Boston Tenants Coalition, Brazilian Women’s Group, Brockton Interfaith Community, Carpenters Local 40, Carpenters Local 107, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute For Race & Justice, Chelsea Collaborative, Chinese Progressive Association, City Life/Vida Urbana, Coalition for Social Justice, Community Economic Development Ctr of S.E. MA, Community Labor United, Democratic Socialists of America, Dorchester People for Peace, Era Key Realty Services, ESAC, Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston, Greater Boston Legal Services, Greater Four Corners Action Coalition, Green-Rainbow Party of MA, Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, Homeowner Options for MA Elders, Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, Lawrence Community Works, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Lynn United for Change, Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Mass, Mass Advocates for Children, Mass AFL-CIO, Mass Coalition for the Homeless, Mass Community Action Network, Massachusetts Fair Housing Center, Mass Jobs With Justice, Mass Law Reform Institute, Mass Welfare Rights Union, Merrimack Valley Labor Council, NAACP N.E. Area Council, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, National Consumer Law Center, National Lawyers Guild, Neighbor-to-Neighbor, Neighborhood Legal Services, New England United for Justice, North Shore Labor Council,¿Oiste?, Organization for a New Equality, Painters District Council 35, Pleasant St. Neighborhood Network Center, Southbridge Community Connections, Springfield No One Leaves Coalition, Survivors Inc., Tri-City Community Action Program, UE Northeast Region, Union of Minority Neighborhoods, United Auto Workers Mass CAP, United Food & Commercial Workers 1445, United For a Fair Economy, United Steel Workers Local 5696, Volunteer Lawyers Project, Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team.

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Mass. Foreclosure Maps by County Show Spike in Petitions, Auctions

The maps linked below show the rise in both petitions (the first step in the foreclosure process) and auctions of foreclosed homes in counties throughout Massachusetts in May and June of 2014.

Barnstable, Nantucket, and Dukes Counties Auctions and Petitions

Berkshire County Auctions and Petitions

Bristol County Auctions and Petitions

Essex County Auctions and Petitions

Franklin County Auctions and Petitions

Hampden County Auctions and Petitions

Hampshire County Auctions and Petitions

Middlesex County Auctions – Map 1, Map 2

Middlesex County Petitions

Norfolk County Auctions and Petitions

Plymouth County Auctions and Petitions

Suffolk County Auctions and Petitions – Map 1, Map 2

Worcester County Auctions

Worcester County Petitions

Posted in Current News, For Your Information | 1 Comment

Action Alert! MAAPL Flash Mob Press Conference Monday, July 28th!

Please join MAAPL at the State House on Monday, July 28th!

All Out for a MAAPL Flash Mob Press Conference!

Maps show Foreclosures on Dramatic Rise across the State–Slamming the Window Shut on the Right to Sue will Hurt Thousands!

Date/Time: Monday, July 28th, 2014 at 1:00 pm
Location: State House Steps
Beacon Hill, Boston

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Call Your Legislators! Support the House Version of S1987 Now!

Your voice matters: call your State Representative and Senator Monday! Tell them, “10 year Right to Sue or no bill at all! Support the House version of S1987.”

Last week, your efforts as part of MAAPL made some bad foreclosure legislation better. S1987 curtails the longstanding right of foreclosed homeowners to sue to regain title to their home. The Senate voted to cut the 20 year window to sue down to 1 year for those already foreclosed on and 3 for anyone in the future. Because we spoke up, House leadership adopted MAAPL’s amendment as their own: A ten year window to sue for all. We will accept nothing less.

See this Fact Sheet on S1987 (Word file) for more details.

By this Thursday, House and Senate have to agree on one version. It must be the House version, which gives ten years for anyone foreclosed to sue. Please call both your Representative and Senator: NOTE different messages.

Please call your state Representative. Say:

“Hi, my name is ______________. I live in _________________.
Please tell House leadership to stand firm. S1987, An Act to Clear Title to Foreclosed Properties, does NOT clear titles. Only if the House amendment is accepted in conference will homeowners not be harmed. The House “Ten year window to sue” must remain in the bill.

If the bill comes to the House floor for a vote again, only support it if it has the ten year window.”

Please call your state Senator. Say:

“Hi, my name is ______________. I live in _________________.
Please tell Senate leadership to adopt the House amendments to S1987, An Act to Clear Title to Foreclosed Properties. The bill does NOT clear titles. Only if the House amendment is accepted in conference will homeowners not be harmed. The House “Ten year window to sue” must remain in the bill. The Senate version slams the window down to 1 year. Homeowners with valid legal challenges will get no notice and no chance to regain title to their homes.

If the bill comes to the Senate floor for a vote again, only support it if it has the ten year window.”

If you don’t know who your State Representative is, go to WhereDoIVoteMA.com, enter your address, when the screen comes down, scroll down to “general court” and find your state Representative’s and Senator’s name there.

Then you can call the switchboard at 617-722-2000, press 2, then 0 and ask to be transferred to your Representative’s office;

Then call the switchboard again at 617-722-2000, press 1, then 0 and ask to be transferred to your Senator’s office.

ALSO on MONDAY, July 28th:
MAAPL Flash Mob Press Conference:
Maps show Foreclosures on Dramatic Rise across the State:
Slamming Window Shut on Right to Sue will Hurt Thousands.
1:00pm
State House Steps
Beacon Hill, Boston

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Saturday, June 7th: Advancing the Anti-Foreclosure Movement

Dear Massachusetts Community Leaders, Organizers, Attorneys, Unionists, Advocates, Electeds, Neighbors, Friends, and Concerned Residents:

Are you opposed to big banks? Support the 99%?
It’s time to Advance the Anti-Foreclosure Movement!
Come strategize next steps on Saturday, June 7, 2014 from 9:00am – 5:00pm!

The Union Church
14 Collins Road
Waban, MA
(~1 1/2 miles off Mass Pike; “387 feet” from Waban stop, MBTA Green Line D:
To register, see below.)

Let’s come together, see how far we have come… and what we need to do that’s new and different to reach our goal: Economically stable communities with people in control of their own lives and housed in their own homes!

In 2007, the foreclosure crisis began by stealing the homes and hopes for a stable, prosperous future from thousands of Americans conned into predatory mortgages. The unprecedented housing bubble that those predatory lenders created went on to swamp millions of people’s lives and our state’s and nation’s economies.

Simultaneously, City Life/Vida Urbana, the Green-Rainbow Party, ACORN, and Housing Organizers founded a coalition to fight back. Joined by GBLS, Harvard Legal Aid, other organizations, and realtors, we came together as the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL) to warn about the looming foreclosure crisis.

We organized! Members of this new coalition organized Bank Tenant Associations, protested, passed legislation, fought in court, arranged buybacks and tripped up the banks’ rush to greed. We are still early in a massive movement that can bring the banks to justice, ensure affordable homes, and re-align our economy to serve us all.

Today, we are winning cases that, two years ago, we would have lost. Some of these wins establish the rights of those already foreclosed, even those years ago. We have hard evidence of bank wrong-doing. We have the data-mining capacity to identify particular wrongs; to reach affected individuals throughout the state; and to engage them in our movement for justice.

Now we have public opinion on our side; now we must activate it! We passed laws; now we must see them enforced! We showed the nation that small, organized groups could impact big banks; now we must expand! Today is the time to re-engage. Today is the time to involve new allies, bring new blood to this fight. Today is the time to brainstorm
new directions and to advance.

Please join us: bring your passion, bring your knowledge, bring your engagement. Together, we will bring about the future!

To attend, please register on our Eventbrite page.

This strategy event is free but donations are welcome and appreciated. Lunch will be provided. If you would like to cook or bring food to share with other attendees, contact Roxanne below.

If you have questions or for more information, contact Grace Ross: graccross@aol.com (617-291-5591) or Roxanne Reddington-Wilde roxanne.redwilde@bostonabcd.org (617-348-6464)

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Action Alert: Pre-foreclosure Mediation Bill Hearing at State House

Save the Date!

Next Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 both the Senate (#425) and House (#947) bills for pre-foreclosure mediation, An Act to Facilitate Alternatives to Foreclosure, have a hearing! We need you to show up in support of these important bills!

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 26th
Time: 1:00 pm EST
Location: State House, Room B-1

Please plan to be there!

Please testify and bring others to testify!

Please plan to call your State Representative and Senator that day!

Please plan to have others phone bank in support of these bills!

It’s been a long time since we have been up to the State House in force; they need to know we are still fighting!

In order for these bills to pass this session, we need to get this Financial Services Committee to release them by March 19th – the time is now!

For more information on these bills, including talking points to use when contacting your elected State officials, download our Fact Sheet on these bills ( PDF ).

Please join us for this important hearing!
We need your presence and your voice
in support of these bills!

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MAAPL Releases Fact Sheet on Senate Bill S1987

The Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending has released a 2-page Fact Sheet on Senate Bill S1987, “An Act clearing titles to foreclosed properties”. The Fact Sheet summarizes the effects of the bill, and provides answers to questions about those effects for concerned Massachusetts residents.

You can download a copy of the Fact Sheet (PDF) and refer to it when speaking to your MA Representative and when discussing the bill with your friends and networks.

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. If your Representative sits on this Committee, please contact them and ask that they oppose this bill.

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Grace Ross Interviewed on WZBC on the Danger of S1987

On Saturday, January 25th, John Grebe of WZBC radio interviewed MAAPL Coordinator Grace Ross about the threat to Massachusetts homeowners posed by Senate Bill 1987.

S1987 passed the Mass. Senate unanimously on Thursday, and has been submitted to the House of Representatives for a vote. This astonishing vote took place despite the fact that thousands of house foreclosures have been determined void by the Supreme Judicial Court, a ruling that affects homeowners throughout the Commonwealth. If this bill passes the House, homeowners who have been illegally foreclosed upon will only have one year to challenge the foreclosure in court, whereas they previously had 20 years to do so. And homeowners affected by future foreclosures will have only three years to challenge their foreclosure.

Grace Ross appeared on John Grebe’s radio show, Sounds of Dissent on WZBC, to provide an articulate and urgent explanation of the danger of this bill to Massachusetts homeowners and neighborhoods.

http://zbconline.com/wzbc-2014-01-25-12-00.m3u (download link for iTunes audio file)

The story on the Senate bill begins at 37:27, approximately 60% of the way through the recording. Please listen, and then call your Mass. Representative to urge them to oppose this bill.

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Action Alert: Oppose Senate Bill 1987!

Please take action today to protect the rights of homeowners to fight illegal foreclosures! This bill has already passed in the Senate by a unanimous vote. If it is passed in the House and signed by Governor Patrick, Senate Bill 1987 will make it easier for investors to buy up large numbers of foreclosed homes in our state, regardless of whether those foreclosures were illegal! This bill threatens the ability of homeowners to get their houses back if they were foreclosed upon illegally by reducing the amount of time they have to take legal action. Please call your MA Representative today, and ask them to oppose Senate 1987!

Why Should You Oppose this Bill?
Instead of giving homeowners a full twenty years to reverse the wrongs of the banks’ illegal foreclosures, this bill limits Massachusetts residents to only three years. In addition, it limits to one year the rights of those who already were foreclosed on to sue to regain their home. Considering the fact that the Supreme Judicial Court has declared thousands of Mass. foreclosures to be illegal and void, this bill has the potential to deny these homeowners their legal rights by sharply limiting their ability to sue lenders in court.

If this bill passes the House and is signed into law, a new purchaser of a foreclosed home would claim clear title to that property three years after the original foreclosure. It would allow that purchaser to sell the property out from under the original homeowner even if that person has proved in court that their foreclosure was illegal.

Supporters of this Bill argue that it clears the way for new homeowners to purchase and occupy these foreclosed properties. However, studies show that the majority of purchasers of foreclosed homes are not homeowners who will occupy the property but large investors who are overwhelmingly buying up our neighborhoods, taking advantage of foreclosure-discounted prices while many average Massachusetts residents cannot access a mortgage in this lending market.

For more information about this bill, read MAAPL’s press release (PDF)

Please join us today in speaking out against Senate Bill 1987, and urge your MA Representative to oppose it when it comes up for a vote!

Not sure who to call? Call the State House switchboard and ask for your Senator’s or Representative’s office: 617-722-2350, or look their name up at www.malegislature.gov to find their office phone number.

If you don’t know who your state Senator or Representative is, go to www.WhereDoIVoteMA.com and type in your address to find out their name.

You can read the full text of Senate Bill 1987 on the MA Legislature Web site.

Thank you for taking action! Together we can fight this bill and win!

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