Update: MA Senators Postpone Vote on S.1981

On Thursday, July 30th, a scheduled vote on Senate Bill 1981 was postponed to give Senators more time to consider the impact and consequences of the bill. An earlier version of this bill, S.1987, was defeated last summer thanks to the work of the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL) and its supporters, as well as action taken by Gov. Deval Patrick to reinstate an amendment to preserve homeowners’ right to sue. S.1981 was filed by the Title Insurance industry to lower their risk insuring foreclosed properties by very significantly narrowing the ability of illegally foreclosed homeowners to sue to regain their homes.  MAAPL, together with the thousands of homeowners who stand to lose their property rights, applaud Senator Jamie Eldridge for his thoughtful tabling of the bill.

On Monday, July 27th, S.1981 was suddenly put on the schedule for a vote Thursday, July 30th by the Massachusetts Senate. In response to this action, several of those directly affected took to the halls of the State House to speak to Senators, and hundreds of calls came from around the state urging the Senators to oppose the bill, which would have stripped homeowners of their constitutional property rights.

MAAPL and its dozens of partners thank the numerous Senators who committed to explore in-depth this incredibly complicated and far-reaching legislation.  MAAPL agrees with them that the three days from when it was reported out of the Senate Ways & Means committee—a period that also included numerous override votes—was inadequate for properly understanding the bill’s language and implications.

Both MAAPL representatives and illegally foreclosed homeowners promise to speak with and provide real life examples and legal information to all interested legislators. “We already have been reached out to by over half a dozen Senate offices,” said a very thankful Grace Ross, Coordinator of the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending.

Please check the MAAPL web site for updates and additional information regarding this bill, as well as any related Action Alerts and other news. More information on S.1981, including MAAPL’s Fact Sheets on the Bill and amendments, is available at http://maapl.info/block-s-1981/

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URGENT: Call Your Senator NOW to Block S.1981!

Update: Now you can download MAAPL’s Fact Sheet on S.1981! ( DOC | PDF )

New: Fact Sheet on MAAPL’s Amendments to S.1981 ( DOC | PDF )

MAAPL has learned that last summer’s bill to strip foreclosed homeowners of their constitutional right to sue to regain their home is back. The Massachusetts Senate will vote on S.1981, An Act Clearing Title to Foreclosed Propertiesthis Thursday, July 30th. This bad bill must be stopped. We did that last summer, and we can do it again!

Please spread the word and participate in our Senate Call-In Days Against S.1981 on July 29th and 30th!

Please Call Your State Senator NOW:

Ask them to…

  • Oppose S#1981: An Act Clearing Title to Foreclosed Properties as written:
    • It slams the window shut on right to sue and
    • Strips foreclosed homeowners of constitutional right to regain their property
  • Accept any MAAPL-sponsored amendments proposed

We can beat this bad bill, but we must act fast! Please do your part and call your Senator today!

If you don’t know who your state Senator is, go to WhereDoIVoteMA.com, and enter your address. When the screen displays your voting information, scroll down to “Your elected officials are” and find your state Senator’s name there.

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

Thank you for taking action–Your call matters!

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MAAPL Hosts Hackathon to Build Online Tools to Fight Foreclosure

The Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending is hosting its first Hackathon to develop a new and improved web site and create web forms and other database tools to enable the organization to better respond to the needs and support requests of homeowners facing foreclosure. The David and Goliath Hackathon: Fight Against Predatory Lending will bring together skilled programmers and computer pros with interested volunteers to move these projects forward. Anyone with basic computer skills, word processing experience or programming skills is encouraged to attend.

Date/Time:  Saturday, July 18th from 11-2 pm

Location: Stone Soup Artist Activist Collective and Community Resource Center, 4 King St., Worcester, 01610

Maps:

Open Street Map

Google Map

Participants will help MAAPL build a new web site that will be used to defend Massachusetts families against illegal foreclosure. Participants with word processing skills will help build content for the site by uploading documents or transferring content from the old MAAPL web site. Participants with programming skills will help in the design and creation of  web forms and SQL procedures.

Please email info@masspirates.org or maaplinfo@yahoo.com or call 508-630-1686 to join us!

Your three hours of participation may literally save a family from losing their home.

Sponsored by: The Mass. Alliance Against Predatory LendingWorcester Unemployment Action Group, and the Massachusetts Pirate Party.

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MAAPL Bill Hearings a Success!

On Tuesday, June 30th, homeowners from communities across Massachusetts descended upon the statehouse to testify in support of three key foreclosure-related bills. MAAPL member organizations, including Lynn United for Change, Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team, Springfield No One Leaves and City Life/Vida Urbana, as well as city officials from Worcester and Springfield, lawyers, mediators and many other advocates and supporters attended the hearings for the bills: An Act Relative to the Relief of Mortgage Debt (S1464/H2607), An Act to Facilitate Alternatives to Foreclosure (S482/H888) and An Act Clarifying Municipal Authority Regarding Cash Sureties (S41).

“These bills represent a new offensive in the fight to end foreclosures even as foreclosure
activity in Massachusetts surges again threatening to rival the worst years of this continuing crisis, 2010 and 2011,” explained Grace Ross of the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending, “1st quarter of this year foreclosure activity was up 77.3% over the 1st quarter a year ago, but now we know how to fix what is broken.”

Download MAAPL’s press release on the hearings ( PDF )

Following the hearings, the Boston Globe published an article on the increase in foreclosures in Massachusetts in recent months. The article, which appeared on the front page of the Globe’s Business section, ends with a quote from MAAPL coordinator Grace Ross.

Read the Boston Globe article here – Bump in Mass. foreclosures blamed on new rules

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Action Alert: MAAPL Bill Hearing on June 30, 2015

The State House is Listening:
Come and Tell Them Our Anti-Foreclosure Needs!

JUNE 30th – MA STATE HOUSE HEARINGS

The IRS stopped, but Mass Dept. of Revenue still taxes homeowners on the “savings” when your debt gets erased by foreclosure! Stop Homeowners Being Taxed for Foreclosure “Profits”!

Have a story? Help us end this additional injustice!

Download the flyer for these Hearings and help us spread the word!


Bill: Tax Relief of Mortgage Debt, S1464/H2607
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: Revenue Committee, Hearing Room B-1
MA Should Make the Bank Sit Down with You!

Pre-Foreclosure Mediation in CT means 91% of Participating Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure!

Our Pre-Foreclosure Mediation bill requires banks send an authorized representative to meet with you and a neutral facilitator face-to-face. The bank must give you an affordable loan modification if they show they lose more money foreclosing than modifying!


Bills: Facilitating Alternative to Foreclosure/Mediation, S482/H888
Act Clarifying Municipal Authority, S41
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Financial Services Committee, Hearing Room A-2
Cities/Towns Must Continue to Protect Us from Foreclosure Damage!

For more than 5 years, Worcester has made banks put $5,000 down for each home they start foreclosing. Lynn ran a very successful pre-foreclosure mediation program for months and made the banks rent to homeowners “post”-foreclosure. Springfield and Lawrence are ready. Other Cities/Towns want to pass protections for their residents too.

We need you on Tuesday, June 30th! We need lawyers to explain our bills, we need people with real stories, we need municipal officials to explain our municipal ordinances AND we need advocates to give the overview of what they have seen.

Please Join All of Us Fighting the Injustice of Predatory Lending and Foreclosure!

Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending 508-630-1686 or maaplinfo@yahoo.com

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MAAPL and NAACP Present Illegal Foreclosure Workshops

WAFTactionMay 2015 Illegal Foreclosure Workshops in New Bedford and Worcester, with MAAPL and NAACP

NEW: Brockton, MA workshop has been rescheduled for June 13th!

UPDATE: New workshops are being added to our schedule! See below for new locations and dates!

  • If you are in foreclosure, DON’T LEAVE!
  • If you are the homeowner, your legal right to stay does not end with foreclosure!
  • If you are a tenant in pre-foreclosure, you have the right to stay post-foreclosure for at least a few months, and maybe MUCH longer.

Subprime mortgages and wildly overpriced homes laid the groundwork for the largest wealth grab from people of color since slavery!  It is still going on today, with people who are diligently paying overpriced subprime mortgages to avoid foreclosure.

Want to understand how this happened?
Know anyone who was foreclosed?
Know anyone fighting to save their home from foreclosure?
Know anyone still paying on a greatly overpriced subprime mortgage?

If your answer to any of these questions is “Yes”, come to one of these informative workshops with the NAACP and the Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL)!

May 18, 2015 at 7 p.m.
NAACP Building
95 Cedar Street, New Bedford, MA
Presented by NAACP of New Bedford and MAAPL
Download a flyer for this workshop (PDF)

May 28, 2015 at 7 p.m.
YWCA
1 Salem Square, Worcester, MA
Presented by Worcester NAACP and MAAPL
Download a flyer for this workshop (PDF)

June 13, 2015 at 10 a.m. (Rescheduled from May 30th)
Messiah Baptist Church
80 Legion Parkway, Brockton, MA
Presented by Brockton Chapter NAACP and MAAPL
Download a flyer for this workshop (PDF)

Bring your stories, your sense of justice, and if you are dealing with a subprime mortgage, or have been through an illegal foreclosure, bring all the legal paperwork you can put your hands on and plan to stay late.

Subprime mortgages (often referred to as “mud people” or “ghetto” loans) were targeted at communities of people of color and female heads of household.  Between 2005 and 2009, the vast majority of subprime foreclosures happened.  The median wealth lost in African American communities between 2005 and 2009 was 53%–more than half the wealth.  In Latino households, 66% of the wealth was taken.  In Asian households, 54%.

It’s time for us to come together, learn our rights and turn the tide on the injustice of foreclosures and predatory mortgages!

For more information about the New Bedford workshop, contact Bruce Rose (508) 728-8189, or Grace Ross at the Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending at 508-630-1686.

For more information about the Worcester workshop, contact the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team at 508-614-9238, or Grace Ross at the Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending at 508-630-1686.

For more information about the Brockton workshop, contact Sharon Little, Brockton Chapter NAACP, at 774-360-5536, or Grace Ross at the Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending, 508-630-1686.

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UPDATE: Press Conference Tomorrow, May 12th, at Noon at State House!

Friends! We need you at the State House a little before Noon tomorrowTuesday, May 12theven if you can only come during lunch for the Press Conference/Rally before the hearing on MAAPL’s bills!

  • Foreclosure activity is WAY up–we’re looking at 2012 levels–there has been a 77.3% increase in the 1st quarter of 2015 over the 1st quarter of 2014.
  • The big banks are continuing to violate the law and illegally foreclose on homeowners–we need to alert the world, the legislators, and especially the Judiciary Committee members!
  • We have legislative and organizing strategies going on the offensive at the very foundation of what the financial industry did/does, finally!
  • The banks are on a counter-offensive–they have re-filed Senate bill 1987, NOW Senate bill 882! They will no doubt try to stop us from protecting the municipal ordinances as well.

We made a major show of force last summer–let’s build on it! Meet us at the State House on May 12th at Noon for a Press Conference and rally in support of Massachusetts homeowners and against the big banks!

If you can’t make it Tuesday in person, PLEASE call your legislators on May 11th or 12th!

A simple call can make a real difference:

“Hi, my name is… from <your town>. Foreclosures are up 77% in the 1st quarter of 2015! Please support anti-foreclosure legislation such as MAAPL’s bills, and oppose S882, which would slash homeowners’ rights to reverse illegal foreclosures.

We need homeowners to be able to rent post-foreclosure; we need one Court to review all foreclosures and really clear titles for homeowners and purchasers, we need to enforce our rules for property ownership in the Registries of Deeds, we need cities and towns to be able to protect their residents from vacant and degrading properties and more….

Join us at Noon at the State House on May 12th! And please call your legislators today!

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Action Alert: Hearing for 5 MAAPL Bills on Tuesday, May 12th!

ForeclosureprotestCome One; Come All! Make your presence felt and get the Massachusetts foreclosure laws changed!

The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on five of MAAPL’s anti-foreclosure bills this Tuesday afternoon, as well as the NEW version of the BAD bill (was S1987, now S882). We need you and all your friends at the State House to show your support for Massachusetts homeowners!

Download and Share this flyer for the hearing–help us
spread the word
!

Date/Time: THIS TUESDAY, May 12th, at 1:00 pm
Location: State House, Room A-2

  • Want homeowners to be able to rent their house post-foreclosure?
  • Want one Court with judges who actually want to review foreclosures?
  • Want parties claiming to have your mortgage in the registry to really have it? To have to record assignments and foreclosures in a timely manner?
  • Want cities and towns to be able require certification and cash bonds from foreclosing entities?
  • Want judicial foreclosure?

Show your support for MAAPL’s Bills at this hearing!

Here are the Fact Sheets for each of MAAPL’s bills that will be discussed at this hearing, as well as an overview of all of the bills MAAPL filed for this legislative session:

2015 MAAPL Legislation Fact Sheet (DOC | PDF)

Preventing Unnecessary Vacancies Fact Sheet (DOC | PDF)

Foreclosure Review Court Fact Sheet (DOC | PDF)

Judicial Foreclosure Fact Sheet (DOC | PDF)

Vacant, Foreclosing and Foreclosed Property Fact Sheet (DOC | PDF)

Reliable Land Title Fact Sheet (DOC | PDF)

IMPORTANT: We also need to say NO to stripping homeowners right to sue to regain their home post-foreclosure! Make it clear to your state legislators that bill S882–the new incarnation of bill S1987, which MAAPL and its supporters defeated in the last session–is bad for Massachusetts and unfair to homeowners!

If you’d like to testify in favor of MAAPL’s bills or against S882, please contact Grace C. Ross (617-291-5591) or e-mail maaplinfo@yahoo.com as soon as possible to let us know you’ll be attending and submitting your testimony. Your testimony can be written or oral. You’re also welcome to attend the hearing to support the bills without testifying.

Join Us At The State House!
Together We Can Make a Real Difference!

——

For more information, contact Grace C. Ross at 617-291-5591 or maaplinfo@yahoo.com

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What Does a 323% Increase in Foreclosures Look Like?

Massachusetts is experiencing a startling increase in foreclosures–a whopping 323% rise in the foreclosure rate in the past year! What does that look like in your county? Click on the links below to view maps showing the November and December 2014 auctions and petitions to foreclose (the first step in the MA foreclosure process) for each county:

Barnstable County

Berkshire County

Dukes County

Essex County

Franklin County

Hampden County

Hampshire County

Middlesex County

Norfolk County

Plymouth County

Suffolk County

Worcester County: Auctions | Petitions

Worcester County has been hit so hard that we needed two separate maps to show all the auctions and petitions clearly!

Concerned about this precipitous rise in foreclosure activity? You can help by urging your State Representative to sign on as a co-sponsor of MAAPL’s priority bills for this legislative session. Please call today, and help us protect Massachusetts homeowners from illegal and unnecessary foreclosures!

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Action Alert! MAAPL Bills Need Co-Sponsors–Contact Your Legislators Today!

5:00pm this Monday, February 2nd, is the NEW deadline for our State Representatives to sign on as co-sponsors of bills.

MAAPL has three Priority (and 9 total) pro-people, anti-foreclosure bills, and we need legislator co-sponsors for them all!

TODAY–Thursday, Jan. 29th–is our CALL-IN DAY! Please call your own state Representative (and any other ones you have clout with!), and ask them to co-sponsor our bills. Calling your Senator is also helpful although there is no deadline.

Last summer, our calls and advocacy stopped S1987 from curtailing our right to sue if illegally foreclosed on. This year, let’s put new rights and good programs in the place of bad foreclosure practices! To do that, we need as many legislative co-sponsors as possible.

Here is a Summary Fact Sheet ( PDF ) if you want more information about these bills.

It’s quick and easy: Just follow these steps…

1. Look up your State Representative’s phone number. If you don’t know who your Representative is, go to WhereDoIVoteMA.com, and enter your address. When the response screen displays, scroll down to the “District Representatives” box, and find your State Representative’s and Senator’s name there. Make a note of their names.

2. Call the State House switchboard at 617-722-2000, press 2, then 0, and ask to be transferred to your Representative’s office.

3. When your Representative’s aide answers the phone, use this sample script to request that your Representative co-sponsor our bills:
“Hi, may I speak to Rep. XXXX’s office?

My name is XXXX and I am from {xxxx city or town or xxxx organization}.

I have been dealing with foreclosure issues for XXX years and I am asking, please, that the Representative co-sponsor at least 3 critical bills now:

– Post-forelcosure rental for homeowners #HD3200. Since passed, post-foreclosure rental for tenants has been VERY successful, but much of the state needs homeowners to be covered too to benefit.

– Pre-foreclosure mediation #HD2615. CT’s program is providing 91% of participants an alternative to foreclosure.

– Foreclosure Review Court #HD3525. This bill provides a way to actually clear post-foreclosure titles to property for the both those previously foreclosed and for new buyers…

Foreclosure activity was up 323% Dec. 2014 over a year earlier. Please visit www.maapl.info for more information and thank you!”

If you want to see the MAAPL bills and accompanying fact sheets right now, go to the MAAPL web site.

After you call, please contact MAAPL at maaplinfo@yahoo.com and let us know who you called and what response you got to your request.

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