URGENT: Sign MAAPL’s Petition to Reverse the Alton King Decision!

Over 1,600 people have signed MAAPL’s petition to  reverse the SJC’s Bank of NY Mellon, as Trustee vs. Alton King decision—we need thousands to stand up against this injustice! Please share this widely and sign today!

A truly reprehensible decision and travesty has been delivered by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC); since this predatory lending surfaced in 2008, the SJC has focused its job as simply upholding our laws; with decisions, of course, that have overwhelmingly meant protecting homeowners.

However, its June 17, 2020 decision against Alton King, reversed (we hope temporarily) that role. We must reverse this historic first: stripping constitutional rights of a portion of Massachusetts residents!

“Demand the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Take Its Knee Off Our Necks! Rescind its decision denying court access to Alton King and all homeowners who were illegally foreclosed and made indigent.”

We urgently need your signature on this petition right here and for you to spread it as widely and broadly as possible. We literally need thousands of signatures to truly expose to the SJC that it must, Must, MUST change this decision.

Now is our time!

  • We must act to use this moratorium and the current level of legislative awareness to shift the battlefield on which the banks have been acting.
  • Systemically, we can also take this bad decision from the SJC and make it the Industry’s last hurrah for using those in our government as its patsies — in this onslaught against people of color, women heads of household and of course, the collateral inclusion of working class white folks in this criminal ravaging of our society.  Together we can turn the tide on all of this.

P.S.  MAAPL is still seeking people with administrative and/or computer processing, word processing, online researching skills to compile the tens of thousands of pieces of evidence, especially for the criminal violations the industry has engaged in. Please contact us if you can do this. Almost all of this can be done remotely.

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Take Action! Nov. 17th MAAPL Call-In Day to the MA Senate

Photo of MA State HouseGet Anti-Foreclosure Language in the State Budget!
Now is the time to push for Justice!

Your voice gets results! Call your state Senator TODAY!

 
Also call Senate President Karen Spilka (617-722-1500); Senate Ways & Means Chairman Rodrigues (617-722-1114) and Vice-Chair Friedman (617-722-1432).
 
Ask them to put the Foreclosure & Eviction Moratorium language in the State Budget and support critical anti-foreclosure amendments.
Unlike the House budget, there is no one amendment to get a moratorium reinstated! So, ask for it in general and let your state Senator know why it is life-threatening not to have a moratorium and mention the two amendments that provide pieces of a moratorium!
 
Then, email your friends and family, post to Facebook, Twitter and other networks and connections you have. Ask them to call their legislators too. Let’s Create a Tidal Surge of Voices Against Foreclosure!
Here’s what to do:
If you don’t know who your senator is, go to WhereDoIVotema.com. Type in your address. It will tell you whom your elected officials are and their phone numbers.
 
What do I say? Leave the message below (Legislator’s offices are empty but staff  check phones regularly]:
 
“Hello, my name is                    . I live in [name of your town].
 
Please vote for the following anti-foreclosure budget amendments. Tell President Spilka, Ways & Means Chair Rodrigues and Vice-Chair Friedman you support them:
•     Amendment #410: Stop taxing mortgage debt reduction in Massachusetts when you receive a mortgage modification or lose your home to foreclosure.
•     Amendment #58: Create the Resolution Trust Fund so illegally-held, overpriced mortgages can be rewritten for homeowners to afford and paid into a state fund which help rebuild our economy and the communities hardest hit by foreclosures.
•     Re-instate the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions – we need this entire life-saving law! Especially given a curfew from 10pm to 5am and that children have to learn remotely. Please support amendments #362 and #388 and add a complete moratorium.
 
Please, as my Senator, will you fight to protect our homes during this COVID-19 emergency?
 
Thank you.”
 
When you have finished the call, e-mail Grace Ross, MAAPL Coordinator. Tell her who your Legislators are and that you asked them to get crucial anti-foreclosure language into the State Budget: maaplinfo@yahoo.com

Thank you for taking action! Please share this widely!

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MAAPL is Hiring an Organizer, Could It Be You?

MAAPL, the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending, is seeking an energetic Statewide Organizer with a strong background in community organizing and legislative lobbying (organizing on anti-foreclosure or housing eviction issues a significant plus) for a temporary position averaging 3⁄4 time; there is the likelihood of a full-time, ongoing position (depending on funding.)

Read on for more information, or download our job posting ( PDF ). Please share this post and position information widely!

MAAPL is a coalition of more than 70 organizations, including community groups, state- wide advocacy, labor, communities of color organizations, legal services lawyers, private lawyers, and others who address the ongoing foreclosure crisis in Massachusetts. We also directly organize homeowners in areas of the state without a local group effort.

The successful candidate will work immediately on MAAPL’s:

  1. Statewide strategies to force a continuation of the foreclosure moratorium through grassroots action;
  2. Historic, pending anti-structural racism legislation, about which our base needs to be informed and activated to ensure the legislation is enacted; and
  3. Organizing for collective impact litigation to reverse the immediate and first ever (to our knowledge) rollback of Constitutional rights—especially for people of color—by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, our highest state court.

Job Description:

  • Work with MAAPL’s Coordinator on state legislative lobbying;
  • Work with the core MAAPL group leaders
  • Follow and implement the decisions of the Alliance.
  • Support MAAPL activities, help coordinate membership & sub-committee meetings and intra-coalition communications;
  • Ensure that administrative needs—such as keeping membership lists current, tracking legislative responses, etc,—are taken care of;
  • Expand the Alliance’s statewide network, including leading outreach to grassroots and other member groups across the state;
  • Help build the infrastructure, and inform and activate members and others so MAAPL’s anti-racist and anti-sexist statewide legislation succeeds;
  • Coordinate volunteers and establish direct outreach and door-knocking/porch drop efforts, primarily on weekends (so work will include some weekends);
  • Support volunteers’ efforts and leadership development of core participants;
  • Participate in meetings;
  • Ensure that meeting announcements and notes for new local efforts go out;
  • Assist in ensuring the upkeep of website and listserv;
  • Help to organize and support the leadership of others to organize educational events and protests as necessary;
  • Be willing to learn successful organizing, policy, and legal strategies;
  • Support the maintenance of relationships with MAAPL members, media, elected officials, other community efforts, nonprofits, and religious organizations;
  • Coordinate MAAPL efforts to extend our legal support (both court and administrative strategies) support for homeowners facing foreclosure;
  • Ensure implementation of key policy initiatives, garner assistance from our Congressional leaders, and other creative initiatives to broaden our effectiveness.

Job requirements:

  • Attendance at MAAPL meetings
  • Ability to travel statewide
  • Solid communication skills
  • Background in statewide networking
  • Understanding of the legislative process and community organizing
  • Access to a car
  • Cell phone
  • Computer skills

Hours flexible; will require some weekend and evening time. Absolutely critical is the willingness to engage in and enjoy direct outreach to strangers; be supportive of the leadership of others, and possess skills in cooperative work and facilitation.

Preferred but not required experience: 2 – 3 years of community organizing; 2 years coalition staffing; 3 years grassroots legislative advocacy; 2 years volunteer coordination. Demonstrated commitment to supporting and working with diverse leadership. Bilingual/Bicultural a plus.

Hours average 30 hours per week – fluctuating as work demands (could expand to full- time pending availability of funds).

People of color, women, those of other nationalities, gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans encouraged to apply.

To apply for the MAAPL Statewide Organizer position, please send a resume, cover letter, and list of references to maaplinfo@yahoo.com. If you have questions about this position, please contact MAAPL at 508-630-1686, and we will return the call.

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MA Moratorium Lifts: A Message from MAAPL

Friends,

We continue to fight for the Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures and you should, too. In the meantime, do not panic. Remember:

  1. You cannot be evicted without a decision against you from a judge and the court has to have issued an execution and you have to receive at least a 48 hour notice from a Constable.

• Nothing can happen to get you evicted without warning and without having time to act.

2. If you are pre-auction, remember that no auction can occur until there have been three weeks of advertising in a newspaper in circulation in your area. You are legally required to receive a written notice, yourself, of the auction date and time.

• AND you cannot be evicted, even if there is an auction, without #1 above.

3. You win by learning your rights and working with others.

If you have not been in touch with your local anti-foreclosure organization or the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending, get in touch now.There are many proactive steps that you can take.

  • We continue to have more incremental wins. That means that we are winning step by step.
  • What we knew to do to defend your home 6 months ago, when the COVID crisis hit, is much less than we know now.

Do not isolate. Do not panic. Do not try to act alone. Be in touch.

Victory comes when we win together.

Love,

Grace

P.S. Continue to send those emails to legislators! We still must demand this Moratorium. Not only are COVID cases rising, with many areas of the state reentering the red zone, but also compared to last April, we now have lots of school children who are not allowed to go to school and must study from a home. So we have even more reason for the moratorium now. The flu season is also coming. Adding that to the continuing COVID pandemic means that flu season may have a much more destructive impact this year.

Remind your Legislators not only of your story, but also of the reality that we are all facing!

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Keep Up the Fight! Tell Your Legislators to Extend the Moratorium!

Share with everyone you know, re-post everywhere: Facebook, etc…

MAAPL friends & members—raise your voice! Demand that the Legislature extend the COVID Emergency Moratorium on foreclosures & evictions. Keep people healthy and safe in their homes, and keep the state’s economy moving.

Even if the Moratorium expires, we need to keep speaking up and demanding it be reinstated to protect our homes, families, neighbors and communities!

Sample email text is below. Add your own story if you can. It makes a difference. With the legislators NOT in their offices, email is the most direct communication method!

The House Ways & Means member email addresses are at the bottom of this post.

Please email House Ways & Means Committee members and your own state Representative:

SUBJECT LINE: “Continue Moratorium on Foreclosures & Evictions, save homes AND lives!”

Dear Representative,

I am asking you to continue the state’s Moratorium on Foreclosures and Evictions. Pass H.5018: An Act to Guarantee Housing Stability during the COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery. Keep all foreclosure and eviction protections in the bill. More than ever, we need to protect people’s ability to remain in their homes.

Especially during this COVID emergency, people must be able to remain safe and healthy in their homes. The Moratorium has been life-saving. COVID numbers are rising again. Those most likely to die are front-line workers, people of color and seniors. Those paying on over-priced, predatory mortgage loans are even less able to afford them now. COVID has placed all at high risk of foreclosure and eviction.

Even as we are slowly getting the courts to recognize the illegality of almost all foreclosures, asking judges to spend extra time on a deluge of reopened eviction cases is unrealistic. We must protect people’s ability to hold on to their homes and health.

This is my story: [insert your personal story here]

Thank you,

[Insert your Name, Address and Town here]

If you do not know your own state Representative’s name and email address,  you can find them at www.WhereDOIVoteMA.com.

Email Committee members individually or put this list in BCC and email all of them at once.

Email the members of the House Ways & Means Committee (www.malegislature.gov/Committees/Detail/H34 ) listed below and your own Representative:

•   Chairman Aaron Michlewitz (aaron.M.Michlewitz@mahouse.gov)
•   Vice-Chair Rep. Denise Garlick (denise.Garlick@mahouse.gov)
•   Liz Malia (liz.Malia@mahouse.gov)
•   Thomas Walsh (thomas.Walsh@mahouse.gov)
•   Thomas Stanley (thomas.Stanley@mahouse.gov)
•   James Arciero (James.Arciero@mahouse.gov)
•   Brian Ashe (brian.Ashe@mahouse.gov)
•   Sean Garballey (sean.Garballey@mahouse.gov)
•   Carolyn Dykema (carolyn.Dykema@mahouse.gov)
•   Russell Holmes (russell.Holmes@mahouse.gov)
•   Paul Schmid (paul.Schmid@mahouse.gov)
•   Josh Cutler (josh.Cutler@mahouse.gov)
•   Carole Fiola (carole.Fiola@mahouse.gov)
•   Mary Keefe (mary.Keefe@mahouse.gov)
•   Jay Livingstone (jay.Livingstone@mahouse.gov)
•   Alan Silvia (alan.Silvia@mahouse.gov
•   Daniel Hunt (daniel.Hunt@mahouse.gov)
•   Christine Barber (christine.Barber@mahouse.gov)
•   Carlos Gonzalez (carlos.Gonzalez@mahouse.gov)
•   Jose Tosado (jose.Tosado@mahouse.gov)
•   Gerald Cassidy (gerard.Cassidy@mahouse.gov)
•   John Barrett (john.barrett@mahouse.gov)
•   Natalie Higgins (natalie.Higgins@mahouse.gov)
•   Brian Murray (Brian.Murray@mahouse.gov)
•   Chynah Tyler (Chynah.Tyler@mahouse.gov)
•   Bud Williams (bud.Williams@mahouse.gov)
•   Andres Vargas (andy.vargas@mahouse.gov)
•   Todd Smola (Todd.Smola@mahouse.gov)
•   Angelo D’Emilia (Angelo.D’Emilia@mahouse.gov)
•   Donald Berthiaume (donald.Berthiaume@mahouse.gov)
•   Hannah Kane (hannah.Kane@mahouse.gov)
•   James Kelcourse (james.kelcourse@mahouse.gov)
•   David Muradian (david.Muradian@mahouse.gov)
•   Timothy Whalen (timothy.Whelan@mahouse.gov)

If you can, please BCC maaplinfo@gmail.com so we know what you sent!

Thanks! This way lies Justice!

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Action Alert: Vote in Boston Globe Poll to Extend the Moratorium!

An article in today’s Boston Globe (September 12, 2020) asks readers an important question: Should Massachusetts extend its eviction moratorium for another year? The article features pro and con opinion pieces from Rep. Mike Connolly, co-lead sponsor of the bill to extend the moratorium, and Skip Schloming, the Director of the Small Property Owners Association, respectively.

A reader poll asking whether the moratorium should be extended can be found at the bottom of the article. The No votes are now ahead, so we need people to show their support for a moratorium!

Please vote in the poll and support extending the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures! Voting is still open on Sunday, September 13th.

Let’s make it clear—Massachusetts needs an extended moratorium!

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Breaking News: CDC Issues Federal Eviction Moratorium for Renters Through the End of 2020

On September 1, 2020, the CDC issued a federal eviction moratorium through Dec. 31, 2020.

There are two important caveats: this moratorium only protects against evictions for non-payment of rent and NOT where a state or local moratorium already exists. We’re not sure what this means for Massachusetts renters at this time.

For those covered under this new federal moratorium, here is a link to a form created by the Centers for Disease Control ( PDF ) to fill out and document income below a pretty high cap and income impacted by COVID-19. You also swear that you will pay whatever partial rent you can and a few other things.

What will this mean for Mass rent-payers given the existing state-wide moratorium through Oct. 17, 2020 (that will continue to be extended since our economy is not fully “open” yet)? We will post more information when we know.

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Fighting Massachusetts SJC Travesty-of-a-Decision Against Alton King Continues!

Please continue signing and sharing widely our petition to the SJC!

The SJC clerk gets an update every 24 hours of new signatures on the petition, so this is a very visible public display of pressure, and thousands of signatures may change the course of the history of this fight.


NEW: Reconsideration Motion Filed in Alton King Ruling by MA SJC

“Alton King asks for reconsideration as a Mass. resident, the Mass Supreme Judicial Court must recognize that he is covered by the Constitution (as is every other resident — whether similarly situated to him or not).”

  • Motion to Reconsider ( PDF )
  • Amici Brief in Support of Motion to Reconsider ( PDF )
  • Record Appendix I of II ( PDF ) and II of II ( PDF )

Also! Now Available: A “close read” of the Alton King decision as originally promulgated (the SJC has already changed things about it in response to our filings). A close read is not a full legal argument, but it’s great for those of you who have been dying to understand specifically what the SJC said and how, step-after-step, the SJC violated the explicit wording of statute, its own legal precedents and our state constitutional requirements and protections. If you can stand the legal-ese, this read is for you.

Also, additional amicus briefs have been filed. See the brief of James Jennings ( PDF ), long time renowned social science researcher and activist, and that of the honorable Representative Benjamin Swan (now retired) ( PDF ), 22 year veteran of the Massachusetts Legislature.

For more information about the SJC’s disastrous Alton King decision, please visit this page.

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Great News: Governor Baker Extends Foreclosure/Eviction Moratorium

Governor Baker has extended the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for another two months until October 17, 2020! The bill that MAAPL worked to pass at the end of April allowed the Governor to extend the moratorium by executive order.

This is a double victory!

1. We have another 60 days! This means that all of the work that MAAPL members and supporters have been doing to emphasize how devastating it would be on August 19th to suddenly have the floodgates open for all foreclosure auctions to go forward AND also the work that everyone has been doing to extend the eviction moratorium. That was all heard and got some traction.

2. Because the moratorium extension was done based on the language passed on April 20th, that law was the strongest legislation possible to extend the moratorium on foreclosures. The new bill, HD 5166, does not have a phase-in with protections for people on the foreclosure side. (We are working with the new Homes for All Coalition to include a partial lift that would still halt all BUT judicial foreclosure.)  For now, the fact that the extension is based on the existing language is really important.

The extension gives MAAPL time to strengthen understanding across our efforts so that any extension language for a moratorium includes the foreclosure options that best serve all of us.

Thanks to these great efforts by all, we have a real win that can fuel our work over the next few months and lead to better, more lasting changes for MA homeowners, especially for homeowners and communities of color!

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URGENT: Call Your State Legislators TODAY to Pass the Housing Stability Act!

Photo of MA State HouseMAAPL Call-In NOW to State Legislators Monday, July 27th, 2020

Add Crucial Language and Pass the Legislature’s Emergency Housing Stability Act!

Your voice gets results! Call your state Representative and Senator, and ask them to get critical changes into the Housing Stability Act!

Good news because of bad! Given the continuing COVID-19 crisis, Governor Baker
has extended the existing moratorium on foreclosures and eviction until October 17th! AND we have a huge opportunity to extend the moratorium longer! But we need your help to make that happen… Call Your State Legislators TODAY!

Here’s what you do:
If you don’t know who your state legislators are, go to WhereDoIVotema.com. Type in your
address and click the Show my results button. It will tell you who your elected officials are.

Look for your State Representative and Senator (they’re listed under District Representatives), and click their names to view their contact information. Write down your state Representative’s and Senator’s names and phone numbers, then make your calls.

What do I say? Leave the message below (Legislators’ offices are empty, but staff
check phones regularly):

“Hello, my name is ________. I live in ________ (name of your town).
Please make critical changes to the Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium legislation and then pass it as soon as possible!

S2831/H4878, The Housing Stability Act must:

  1. Revise and pass the 12-month eviction and foreclosure moratorium;
  2. Put enforcement in this legislation to address the numerous moratorium violations
    going on. This means:

    • Meaningful fines;
    • Notification provisions sent to the Tenant, Landlord and other associations or groups likely to be affected by or responsible for enforcement of the Act;
  3. Finally, please support the upcoming Anti-Structural Racism and Land Title
    Restoration Act.

Please, as my Legislator, will you fight to protect our homes during this COVID-19 emergency? Thank you.”

When you have finished the call, e-mail Grace Ross, MAAPL Coordinator, at maaplinfo@yahoo.com. Tell her who your Legislators are and that you asked them to get crucial foreclosure language in the Housing Stability Act.

Want to also send the Legislature your “written testimony” on S2831/H4878,
The Housing Stability Act? The Joint Committee on Housing is collecting
people and groups’ opinions and ideas on the Act. They must receive the written
testimony by Noon this Tuesday, July 28th. Type up your story; tell them why
homeowners dealing with foreclosure need the protections above. MAAPL can help you with your testimony. Once you’re ready, send your testimony to: https://forms.gle/z7uEKUeQKWi2ocyD7

Please also let MAAPL know of any moratorium violations you have heard about over the last few months! We have heard some truly horrifying stories, and we know there are more and worse violations being committed and attempted.

Background Information: Anti-Structural Racism and Land Title Restoration Act
MAAPL’s omnibus anti-foreclosure legislation calls out the fact that the banks’
entire predatory mortgage scheme first launched against people of color—as has
been this industry‘s history for many decades. The omnibus legislation combines
all of the most important structural changes and enforcement needed to bar the
industry’s foreclosure and other violations, repair title and reverse the harm of
what has been done to hundreds of homeowners.

To learn more about this bill, download MAAPL’s Fact Sheet ( PDF )

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