MAAPL Victory Rally at State House, Weds. August 13th

MAAPL invites you to  join us for our victory rally, speakout and press conference at the State House on Beacon Hill in Boston to celebrate the defeat of S1987!

Date/Time: 12:30 pm on Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Location: State House steps if weather is dry–Rm. 437 if rain as predicted.

View and print our flyer for this event (Word file).

Come out to celebrate with us, and hear stories of homeowners whose efforts to regain their homes after illegal foreclosure would have been in vain if S1987 had passed–it takes longer than one year to win these cases!

Want to know more about why we’re celebrating? The State House News has published a great article on the fight to defeat S1987–you can read it here.

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VICTORY! S1987 Returned to Legislators with 10 Year Rule!

PLEASE SHARE AND RE-POST WIDELY

Friends,

On the afternoon of Monday, August 11th, Governor Patrick sent the Legislature an “amended” version of S1987 that he knows they won’t accept. In order for them to make S1987 a law, the legislature would have to go through multiple, close to impossible steps that one legislator’s opposition can scuttle. WE WON the equivalent of a veto!

Your herculean efforts have led to an UNPRECEDENTED victory. No matter the industry, the rich lobbyists of powerful industries are used to filing to strip our rights and then passing them quickly, essentially behind closed doors, at the last minute – too fast for people power to mobilize.

We caught them! The years of talking to legislators, keeping the foreclosure crisis visibly in their faces, with our huge forces working together and then this huge final push with the governor means we basically STOPPED Senate bill 1987.

Together, we are powerful – and if we keep building this momentum, the best is yet to come!

MAAPL will announce the time of our Wednesday Victory Rally on the State House Steps soon.

What happened procedurally? The Governor can outright veto – for a bill that top legislators want that is politically costly. He clearly was convinced this was NOT a bill he wanted to sign. He had a third option which was to amend. And the safest amendment was the one we had written and the House leadership had accepted at one point even though they stripped it later.

So he sent back a 10 year amendment. The Senate and House could accept that – not our favorite option, but the Industry would HATE that. The Senate and House could try getting through very complicated procedures to strip the 10 year amendment out again. HOWEVER, that is MUCH harder to do now that they have ended all formal sessions for the year. We will make sure we are watching (like we did before) AND make sure our friends in the legislature don’t let the 1-year version pass! And the Governor will be watching right along with us!

In short, WE DID IT.

Thanks to everyone who called, faxed, wrote in, signed on to the Open Letter, and supported our efforts to stop this bill! Together, we all won! Please share this news widely–we want to inform and thank the many hundreds of people who made calls! this is a victory for ALL of us!

Please also thank the Governor for his action on behalf of Massachusetts homeowners: call him at 617-725-4005! He needs to hear we noticed and are still watching!

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Leaders from Communities of Color Speak Out Against S1987

Leaders from Communities of Color Speak Out as Governor Deliberates: “Don’t Curtail Historic Right to Sue; Leave a Legacy of Opportunity to Recoup Homes Taken by Illegal Foreclosures

As the deadline for the Governor to decide what of dozens of bills to veto or sign approaches, Leaders of Color from across the state, including Worcester, Brockton and Boston, publicly ask that  the Governor refuse to sign a little-known piece of legislation, Senate Bill #1987.

“We are watching with grave concern. The Governor has a chance here to leave a legacy of access to justice for 65,000+ foreclosed households in Massachusetts – disproportionately homeowners of color – or deny that access,” explains Juan M. Cofield, President, NAACP, New England Area Conference, “This bill, Senate 1987, will codify the last decade of illegal behavior by lending institutions – which they have often admitted – and specifically racially discriminatory practices by slashing the window for illegally foreclosed homeowners to sue to regain their homes from 20 years down to 1 year.”

Click this link to read the open letter (Word file) from a list of thirteen signatories – all leaders in communities of color across Massachusetts. The longer the Governor deliberates on signing the bill, the larger hopes have grown that he will preserve access to justice. The eloquent letter speaks for itself. It began circulating for signatures late Thursday, and its list of names continues to grow.

Signatories include: Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Executive Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, Harvard University; Robert Terrell, Executive Director, The Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston; Juan M. Cofield, President, NAACP, New England Area Conference; Horace Small, Executive Director, Union of Minority Neighborhoods; Pat Yancey, President, Worcester NAACP Branch; Marvin Martin, Executive Director, Greater Four Corners Action Coalition; Honorable Tito Jackson, City Councilor, District 7, Boston, Massachusetts; Magalis Troncoso, Executive Director, Dominican Development Center; Stephanie Williams, Housing Chair, Boston NAACP Branch; Honorable Jass Stewart, City Councilor at Large, Brockton, Massachusetts; Honorable Sarai Rivera, City Councilor, District 4, Worcester, Massachusetts; Heloisa Maria Galvão, Executive Director, Brazilian Women’s Group; Rahsaan D. Hall, Esq., Deputy Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice.

“Senate Bill 1987, darling of the Title Insurance Lobby – 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,” Heloisa Maria Galvão, Executive Director, Brazilian Women’s Group, “Even though the SJC has agreed that thousands of Massachusetts homeowners’ foreclosures contain violations, S1987 seeks to stop wronged homeowners from coming into court with viable legal challenges and getting their homes back.”

“During this present foreclosure crisis, 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.

Click this link to download the full text of this press release (Word file).

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Update on S1987: Gov. Patrick Needs to Hear From You Now!

We are asking for a full court press to defeat S1987 now!  We have heard directly from the team responsible for review that it is still in the active process category! Governor Patrick could sign or veto the bill any time through Monday, August 11, or he could wait and let it die.  He has indicated he is sympathetic to the homeowners on this issue, but he is also hearing from the real estate lawyers and title insurers.  We need to flood his office with calls (considering faxing something if you haven’t).

As you no doubt know, MAAPL and our allies and member groups have been working for over three years to stop a bill from coming out of the Legislature that would cut the time a homeowner has post-foreclosure to file a lawsuit against the banks from 20 years to 1 year for those already foreclosed on, including 65,000 former homeowners in Massachusetts. The new law would shorten the time for foreclosed homeowners going forward, to 3 years.

Please make a call now to Governor Patrick, or send a fax, calling on him to veto S1987.  (See suggested text below.)

Next, consider doing any or all of these:
• Call other people you know who feel strongly about homeowners’ rights, the foreclosure issue and saving our neighborhoods and ask them to make the call.
• Request that the leadership of your organizations  endorse this call and participate in mobilizing members to make the call.
• Alert your members and colleagues by putting out this request on your Facebook page, Twitter, email list and blog.

617-725-4005: Call the Governor and tell him – “Veto S1987! This outrageous bill slashes homeowners’ right to sue to regain their illegally foreclosed home to 1 year and it doesn’t do anything to actually clear the titles to foreclosed homes. There are currently 65,000 MA homeowners in foreclosure who deserve this 300 – year old historic right to maintain their home from the illegal actions of banks during the foreclosure crisis.”

OR

617-727-9725: Fax the Governor – with your name, your town (and fax# or address, asking for a response). Tell him: “Veto S1987! This outrageous bill slashes homeowners’ right to sue to regain their illegally foreclosed home to 1 year and it doesn’t do anything to actually clear the titles to foreclosed homes. There are currently 65,000 MA homeowners in foreclosure who deserve this 300 – year old historic right to maintain their home from the illegal actions of banks during the foreclosure crisis.”

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Urgent! Call Governor Patrick Now–Tell Him to Veto S1987!

Take Action Now!

UPDATE: We are asking for a full court press to defeat S1987 now!  We have heard directly from the team responsible for review that it is still in the active process category! Governor Patrick could sign or veto the bill any time through Monday, August 11, or he could wait and let it die.  He has indicated he is sympathetic to the homeowners on this issue, but he is also hearing from the real estate lawyers and title insurers.  We need to flood his office with calls (considering faxing something if you haven’t).

As you no doubt know, MAAPL and our allies and member groups have been working for over three years to stop a bill from coming out of the Legislature that would cut the time a homeowner has post-foreclosure to file a lawsuit against the banks from 20 years to 1 year for those already foreclosed on, including 65,000 former homeowners in Massachusetts. The new law would shorten the time for foreclosed homeowners going forward, to 3 years.

Please make a call now to Governor Patrick, or send a fax, calling on him to veto S1987.  (See suggested text below.)

Next, consider doing any or all of these:
• Call other people you know who feel strongly about homeowners’ rights, the foreclosure issue and saving our neighborhoods and ask them to make the call.
• Request that the leadership of your organizations  endorse this call and participate in mobilizing members to make the call.
• Alert your members and colleagues by putting out this request on your Facebook page, Twitter, email list and blog.

617-725-4005: Call the Governor and tell him – “Veto S1987! This outrageous bill slashes homeowners’ right to sue to regain their illegally foreclosed home to 1 year and it doesn’t do anything to actually clear the titles to foreclosed homes. There are currently 65,000 MA homeowners in foreclosure who deserve this 300 – year old historic right to maintain their home from the illegal actions of banks during the foreclosure crisis.”

OR

617-727-9725: Fax the Governor – with your name, your town (and fax# or address, asking for a response). Tell him: “Veto S1987! This outrageous bill slashes homeowners’ right to sue to regain their illegally foreclosed home to 1 year and it doesn’t do anything to actually clear the titles to foreclosed homes. There are currently 65,000 MA homeowners in foreclosure who deserve this 300 – year old historic right to maintain their home from the illegal actions of banks during the foreclosure crisis.”


This past Thursday at the State House, MAAPL fought the title insurers’ anti-homeowner bill that would restrict our right to sue and regain our illegally foreclosed homes in the Legislature. This bill, S1987, strips foreclosed homeowners of their long-standing property right to sue and regain title to their home if it was illegally foreclosed on. That’s 65,000 homes and families affected–and that number is growing–across the state. Read this Fact Sheet (Word file) on the bill.

Thanks to strong action from MAAPL members and supporters, last Thursday night House leadership had to resort to undemocratic tactics after midnight, turn their backs on their very own 10-year window compromise amendment, and ignore a very loud voice vote of “No!” from Representatives in order to pander to the title insurers’ desires.

With the passage of S1987, the 20 year window to sue is primed to slam down to only one year. But it still is open; we’re poised to stop this bill, and we are organized! The governor has been watching the anti-foreclosed homeowner rights bill, and he is sympathetic to us. Bring him firmly onto our side. Urge him to veto the bill. If you have a story about your own, or a family member’s or friend’s foreclosure, tell that story too–and ask them to call the governor as well.

The fight is not over! We took a bad bill that legislative leadership meant to pass silently and quickly, made the entire House of Representatives aware of why it was bad, and forced leadership to bully the bill through.

We are powerful! Let the governor hear our voices–call today and ask him to veto S1987! Tell him we have the votes to sustain that veto. Last week we exercised our muscle – let’s show them some more! Call now! Tell your friends, family and co-workers! Governor Patrick has until August 11th to act, BUT he could act any day!

Call Governor Patrick now–617-725-4005–and urge him to stand with us to protect Massachusetts homeowners’ right to sue to regain their home!

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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 | 2 Comments

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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