MAAPL Appearances on Thinking Out Loud TV

Recently, MAAPL Coordinator Grace Ross appeared with guests on the Thinking Out Loud show on the Lowell Telecommunications Corporation station, Lowell’s community media center. Two of these shows focus on the foreclosure crisis in Massachusetts.

In the first show, Grace Ross speaks with community activist and Bring Our Wealth Home organizer Zakiya Alake about the foreclosure crisis and its disproportionate impact on communities of color. The second show on the topic features a conversation between Grace, homeowner Kate Palmaceio, who has been fighting foreclosure with the support of MAAPL, and Sarah McKee, a former federal prosecutor, on the topic of predatory mortgage lending and its impact on Worcester, MA.

Watch the shows online via the links below:

Grace Ross and Zakiya Alake on the foreclosure crisis

Grace Ross, Kate Palmaceio and Sarah McKee on predatory mortgage lending

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Action Alert: Call-In Days for MAAPL Bills on May 11 and 12

We have some bills to get passed this Spring! MAAPL needs your help to get these important anti-foreclosure bills out of committee and onto the floor for a vote.

CALL your state Senator & Representative this Wednesday or Thursday, May 11 and 12:

Please make 2 calls!

First call your State Senator (see below how to look them up & direct link to their phone#)

“My name is _______ and I am calling from (your city or town)

More MA homeowners are finding themselves behind on predatory loans every day. Foreclosures are up 200% in Massachusetts. As my elected official, I need you to get these bills passed into law.

  1. Please ask the Senate Rules Committee to report these two bill out favorably to the floor for a vote.S41: Several municipalities passed laws proven to protect their residents against foreclosure harms: Senate 41 permits those municipal efforts to start up again;

    S1090: This bill defines additional, sanitary code & foreclosure cash bond options for municipalities.

  1. Ask the House Ways & Means Committee to report out favorably to the floor for a vote:H3770: Tax Relief of Mortgage Debt. Congress changed tax law so foreclosed homeowners are not taxed on their mortgage debt “forgiveness”. This bill creates the same exemption at the state level.
  1. Ask the Financial Services Committee to bring this bill out of study and report it out favorably:S482/H888: The massive rise in foreclosures could be averted if people received a viable loan modification before they hit foreclosure. The City of Lynn’s pre-foreclosure mediation program had a 97% success rate of affordable loan modifications! Please report out the “Pre-Foreclosure Mediation” bill, Senate 482/House 888.

Please let me know what actions you will be taking to support the favorable reporting out of these bills. Thank you.”

Then call your State Representative (see below how to look them up & direct link to their phone#)

“My name is _______ and I am calling from (your city or town)

More MA homeowners are finding themselves behind on predatory loans every day. Foreclosures are up 200% in Massachusetts. As my elected official, I need you to get these bills passed into law.

  1. Ask the House Ways & Means Committee to report out favorably to the floor for a vote:H3770: Tax Relief of Mortgage Debt. Congress changed tax law so foreclosed homeowners are not taxed on their mortgage debt “forgiveness”. This bill creates the same exemption at the state level;
  1. Ask the Financial Services Committee to bring this bill out of study and report it out favorably:S482/H888: The massive rise in foreclosures could be averted if people received a viable loan modification before they hit foreclosure. The City of Lynn’s pre-foreclosure mediation program had a 97% success rate of affordable loan modifications! Please report out the “Pre-Foreclosure Mediation” bill, Senate 482/House 888;
  1. Please take up and support these two bills as soon as the Senate passes them:S41: Several municipalities passed laws proven to protect their residents against foreclosure harms: Senate 41 permits those municipal efforts to start up again;

    S1090: This bill defines additional, sanitary code & foreclosure cash bond options for municipalities.

Please let me know what actions you will be taking to support the favorable reporting out of these bills. Thank you.”

Don’t know your Senator or Rep’s phone # or e-mail?
Go to www.WhereDoIVoteMA.com
Type in your address. It will tell you who your elected officials are. Click on the name and you will see their phone # and email address.

For more information on the bills and their factsheets, visit www.MAAPL.info and click Legislation in the navigation bar.

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MAAPL Announces Attorneys’ Conference on Saturday, February 27

At the request of Massachusetts practitioners, MAAPL is organizing a foreclosure defense lawyers’ conference on Saturday, February 27th from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm. Law students are welcome to attend.

The conference will be held at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School, 1557 Massachusetts Ave., Lewis Hall, Cambridge, MA 02138. Registration costs $100, student discount available.

The conference begins with registration and continental breakfast from 8:30 to 10:00 am, followed by a program of five presentations and discussions on various aspects of Massachusetts foreclosure law.

10:00 am – Anglo-American Land Law: Using it to Simplify Massachusetts Foreclosure Cases

11:00 am – S2015/Chapter 141 of the Laws of 2015: “An Act (not) clearing title to foreclosed properties”

Noon – 1:00 pm Lunch

1:00-1:30 pm – How to Streamline Case Intake–at No Cost to You

1:30 – 3:00 pm – Group discussions on various topics determined by the attendees.

3:00 pm – Conference ends

Following the conference, you  are invited to adjourn to John Harvard’s Brew House in Harvard Square for a Happy Hour at 3:00 pm. All are welcome, whether you attend the conference or not. The Happy Hour is hosted by Adam Sherwin, Esq. and Brian Wasser, Esq.

Please contact Sarah McKee at smckee@post.harvard.edu as soon as possible if you plan to attend the conference.

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Tonight! “Black Brown Wealth Matters” at West Medford Community Center

On Monday, February 22, 2016, MAAPL Coordinator Grace Ross and Bring Our Wealth Home Co-Organizer Zakiya Alake are presenting a program on Black Brown Wealth Matters: The Impact of the Foreclosure Crisis on Communities of Color. This program is presented by the Mystic Valley Branch of the NAACP and is free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome!

Time: Monday, 2/22/2016 at 6:00 pm

Location: West Medford Community Center, 111 Arlington Street, Medford, MA

Communities of color have been targeted by banks using predatory lending. Come and learn more about the foreclosure crisis, its disparate impact on communities of color, and what we can do about it.

Download the flyer for this event ( PDF )

We hope to see you there!

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MAAPL Holds Volunteer Day This Sunday, 2/7/16

MAAPL is organizing an administrative work afternoon/evening on Sunday, February 7, 2016 in Worcester, MA. We need help with a variety of tasks related to reaching out to the 70,000 homeowners across Massachusetts who have been foreclosed and those currently facing foreclosure. Everyone is welcome, regardless of your skill set.

Time: 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Place: Pleasant Street Neighborhood Network Center, 301 Pleasant St., Worcester, MA

Please email us at maaplinfo@yahoo.com or leave a message at 508-630-1686 with your availability during those hours. We primarily need people who can come and work at the Center, but there may be some tasks that can be done off-site if you cannot make it to our location but would still like to help.

Imagine what will happen when thousands of people are working together, reversing the legal outcome of their foreclosure cases, building massive actions on the ground, making sure that almost no one facing foreclosure has to deal with it alone no matter where they’re located in the state. All of this is in within reach with your help.

Please feel free to share this information with your friends and networks. Thank you for your support!

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Action Alert! Call the AG’s Office on 1/26-27

MAAPL Members, Friends, and all who care about righting the wrongs of Foreclosure and saving our Constitution…

Please call the Massachusetts Attorney General today: Tuesday, January 26th and Wednesday, January 27th! Your constitutional rights as a voter and a homeowner are on the line.

Remind her that she is the protector of our Constitutional Rights. Maura Healey has ruled against a Voter Referendum to repeal the new state law that curtails our right to sue to regain our illegally foreclosed property. But there are many other constitutional and consumer protection steps she can take.

Ask Maura Healey to fulfill her Constitutional office
and protect our rights now!

  • If you are a voter, your right to revoke this law (we believe) is a constitutional right that she should help us enforce.
  • If you’ve been foreclosed, it was no doubt illegal. Attorney General Healey is the constitutional officer in this state who should be ensuring your constitutional protections to your constitutional right to property. You have a right demand of her to play that role.
  • If you’re a homeowner not in foreclosure, this bill takes away nearly all your protections if anybody tries to take your property illegally through a purported foreclosure (as we know, most of the foreclosures are not even done by the actual bank with the mortgage of the homeowner who they are claiming to foreclose) – so your property rights are also eviscerated by this law. You have a right to call and ask for her protection.

Call Massachusetts Attorney General –
Main Boston Office: (617) 727-2200

If that number is busy, call:

  • New Bedford: (617) 727-2200
  • Springfield: (413) 784-1240
  • Worcester: (508) 792-7600

Use the Phone Script below that best represents you (Voter, Homeowner, Wronged Homeowner):

  • If you have been Foreclosed:
    “Hello, Attorney General Healey,

    “I am an illegally foreclosed homeowner. Please fulfill your constitutional role under Article 10 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights. Protect my constitutional right to my property. It has been illegally taken away through the new law, Chapter 141. We elected you because you promised to be the state’s chief Consumer Protection Officer.

    “Your office is responsible for the constitutional protection of my vested rights to my own property. Chapter 141 looks to transfer them to the world’s wealthiest industries. Don’t let your office protect their illegal taking of property. Protect the people of Massachusetts instead. Our Constitution trumps any law passed.

    “I ask you to do everything in your power to protect my violated rights. Uphold our constitution. Reverse Chapter 141.

    “Please email me updates on each step you take, here is my email address [your email address]. Thank you.”

  • If you are a current Homeowner:
    “Hello, Attorney General Healey,

    “I am a Massachusetts homeowner and am current on my mortgage. Why have you let my constitutional rights to property be taken away? I call upon you to do everything in your power to remove the new Chapter 141 Massachusetts law.

    “It wipes out my mortgage protections so anyone can take my home. They can claim a right to the mortgage debt on my home without proof. They can foreclose without proof that I was delinquent or in default. They can violate all foreclosure by sale laws. Until Chapter 141, my protection was access to the courts. Now, the banks can violate all these laws and Chapter 141 protects them, not me. If homeowners don’t know about this new law or can’t get into court, we can lose everything.

    “You are the state’s chief Consumer Protection Officer. Please fulfill the Oath of Office you made to me and the people of Massachusetts. Do everything to return us our Constitutional Property Rights.

    “Please email me updates on each step you take, here is my email address [your email address]. Thank you.”

  • If you are a Voter:
    “Hello, Attorney General Healey,

    “I am a Massachusetts voter. I am deeply worried about the constitutionality of the new Chapter 141 law. It strips access to the impartial interpretation of our rights in the courts. It strips away constitutional property rights. It ratifies the illegal taking of property from the people of Massachusetts – to benefit the world’s wealthiest corporations. It strips more than half the wealth from communities of color and women heads of household. This wealth loss will take generations to repair unless we reverse it.

    “Actively represent me as a Voter. This law guts our Constitution. Make certain it is stopped.

    “Please email me updates on each step you take, here is my email address [your email address]. Thank you.”

Separately, you can also file a Consumer Complaint with the Attorney General:
http://www.mass.gov/ago/consumer-resources/consumer-assistance/consumer-complaint.html
The link to the actual form is half-way down the page, in purple.

Thank you for speaking out on behalf of Massachusetts homeowners and against Chapter 141!
When We Fight, We Win!

Other ways you can help…

MAAPL is also looking for volunteers for the following important tasks:

  • Phone-bankers to reach the 70K Mass homeowners who have been “foreclosed”
  • Advocates to learn the legal intake process.
  • Activists statewide to protest and stop illegal foreclosures and evictions and interrupt trespass and illegal break-ins by “post-foreclosure buyers” (be on-call for your area of the state).
  • Cash and in-kind donations to support our efforts to reach the thousands of homeowners impacted by this law. Our Donation button is near the top of this web page, in the sidebar.
  • Help us spread the word about Chapter 141 of the Laws of 2015. Share the link for this Action Alert with your friends, family, contacts and networks!

Please use our Volunteer Form to provide us with your contact information and let us know how you’d like to help, and we will get in touch with you soon.

We’re grateful for your help, in whatever way you can contribute. Thank you for taking action, and for your support…

Together we can overturn this bad law and
Bring Our Wealth Home!

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Join the MAAPL Info Call to Learn How to Fight Your Foreclosure!

Fighting foreclosure (past or present)? Don’t know what to do to keep or regain your home? Join our next Info Call to learn how to fight your foreclosure and understand how recent laws and court decisions impact your legal rights!

Our next Info Call is on Sunday, January 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm. Email maaplinfo@yahoo for call instructions.

You can fight back against illegal foreclosure, and MAAPL is here to help!

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AG’s Office Rejects Voter Referendum to Overturn Foreclosure Law

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has turned down a “Ten Voter” petition to put the legislature’s hurriedly passed Chapter 141 of the acts of 2015, “An Act Clearing Titles to Foreclosed Properties,” on the ballot as a voter referendum. Healey will not permit voters to revoke the legislature’s passage of the Financial Industry’s recent law. Practically, this law will deny the majority of state residents’ right to sue to regain their illegally foreclosed homes by sharply reducing the time period during which homeowners can take their case to court.

Download MAAPL’s press release on the Attorney General’s decision ( PDF )

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We Need YOU to Flyer an MLK Event Near You!

MAAPL is reaching out to communities of color to let them know about the Bring Our Wealth Home! campaign. You can help us spread the word by handing out the BOWH! brochure at Martin Luther King Day events throughout the weekend and on Monday.

PLEASE help out–we need people to flyer at events in Lynn, Quincy, Cambridge, Greenfield, Fitchburg, Fall River, Boston, Duxbury, Holyoke, and dozens of other communities that need to be covered!

For more information and to sign up to flyer at an event near you, contact us at maaplinfo@yahoo.com

Download the double-sided brochure ( PDF ) and print it out at home or a local copy shop. Let us know if you can’t print the brochure, and we’ll arrange to get you printed copies to hand out.

Thanks For Your Help! When We Fight, We Win!

 

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Action Alert: MAAPL Press Conference Weds, Dec. 30th at 11 am

The Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL) and Community Partners Announce the Next Phase of State-Wide Campaign to “BRING OUR WEALTH HOME!”

Press Conference Features Homeowners and Community Leaders Speaking Out on Illegal Foreclosures, Targeted Predatory Loans, and the Fight for Justice and the Return of Wealth Illegally Taken from Our Communities.

Location:
Tent City, 130 Dartmouth St., Boston, MA

Date/Time:
Wednesday, December 30th, 2015
Gather at 10:30am – Press Conference at 11am!


Calling for a coming together, the African American community and other allies of color must lead efforts to reverse a massive attack on our community. This attack has been mistakenly identified as harm to individuals who were scammed into signing on to vastly overpriced predatory loans. We now know that black people and other communities of color (and then, women heads of household) were, in fact, targeted knowingly for these predatory loans by financial players across the world.

We believe, trust and know the time is “ripe for us to do right” as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said. We must come together and recognize this is no matter of some few individuals that bought “too much house”, but rather an intentional industry-wide creation of mortgages “that were doomed to fail,” as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has named them. Moreover, we know that these toxic mortgages were purposefully directed to our communities – with the purpose to strip them of equity, create instability and hasten the turnover of property from the long-term black residents to the investors who stood in the wings chortling in anticipation of what was to happen.

A Katrina without water is what happened. We have lost at minimum $12 billion in wealth and an untold disruption to family and community networks. We have been swindled. This is a Land Grab designed to rob us of our wealth, which we built from our labor. This is the newest version of an attack that has been waged against us in one iteration or another for more than four hundred years.

We expect our press conference to be during Kwanzaa – standing in the tradition of the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa, particularly Kujichagilia, Self-Determination, we call you to join us and fight back. At our press conference, we expect to have some homeowners who were directly targeted and illegally had their homes taken away due to foreclosures, and also have key community leaders to speak to this injustice and our organizing campaign to Bring Our Wealth Home. This is the beginning of what will be a much larger, coordinated community effort to launch and maintain our campaign to call it what it is – an illegal Land Grab – and address the injustice. When we have created the community-wide understanding necessary to support the people who must individually fight back, we will Bring Our Wealth Home that was illegally taken!

– Zakiya Alake, Union of Minority Neighborhoods, Inc. (UMN), liaison to Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending

857-251-0680 zakiyarox@gmail.com

WHEN WE FIGHT, WE WIN!

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