Hearing for Five MAAPL Bills on Tuesday, September 26th

On Tuesday, September 26th, five of MAAPL’s bills will have a hearing before the Judiciary committee of the MA legislature. Please come to the State House and support these bills!

Date/Time: September 26th, 1:00 – 5:00 pm (may go later)
Location: MA State House, Room B2
24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA

We invite you to:

  • Attend the hearing
  • Present testimony in favor of one or more bills (please contact Grace Ross at maaplinfo@yahoo.com or call 508-630-1686 if you will be testifying or submitting written testimony)
  • Encourage your friends to attend the hearing as well
  • Call your state legislators to urge them to support these bills and to let members of the Judiciary committee know that they support these bills. Don’t know who your state senator and representative are? Visit www.wheredoivotema.com and enter your street address, then scroll down to find your state legislators’ names and phone numbers.

The following bills will be heard:

Foreclosure Review Division of Superior Court (S903/H3059)
Sponsors: Sen. McGee & Rep. Gonzalez
Fact Sheet on this Bill ( PDF )

This Bill establishes a statewide, specialized division of Superior Court to adjudicate all aspects of foreclosure-related cases, instead of the several courts that now have jurisdiction over one or another aspect of such cases. The Foreclosure Review Division will be empowered to clear title to foreclosed properties, both for those foreclosed and for third-party purchasers, and will provide online and other assistance to pro se litigants. It will free up regular court dockets and promote judicial economy.

Clarifying Municipal Authority (S884/H1115)
Sponsors: Sen. Lesser, Sen. Chandler, Sen. McGee and Rep. Tosado
Fact Sheet on this Bill ( PDF )
The bill clarifies that municipalities can continue to exercise their health and safety powers in service of their residents even in the context of this foreclosure crisis. Worcester successfully ran a groundbreaking cash bond program for over 5 years and Lynn showed that pre-foreclosure mediation can result in mutually agreed upon affordable loan modifications leading to avoidance of foreclosure in 97% of cases.

Preventing Unnecessary Vacancies (S841/H956)
Sponsors: Sen. Eldridge and Rep. Sanchez
Fact Sheet on this Bill ( PDF )
This Bill requires a commercial purchaser of a foreclosed home to rent it to the “foreclosed” homeowner until the property is sold to a new owner-occupant. The former owners become tenants paying the HUD fair market rent for their units. Post-foreclosure tenants can be evicted only for just cause.

Real Estate Title Protection Act (H3500)
Sponsors: Rep. Moran and Rep. Mark
Fact Sheet on this Bill ( PDF )
This Bill protects real estate titles; its provisions ensure, for instance, that the mortgagor (borrower) can always tell who owns the mortgage, and require the Mortgage Note to be returned to the mortgagor, marked “Paid in Full,” upon payoff. It requires Registries of Deeds to record each mortgage in the names of the real parties in interest, that is, the mortgagor and lender. It institutes deadlines for recording assignments of mortgage and foreclosure deeds. Protecting marketable title will bolster business creation by facilitating entrepreneurs’ mortgages on their own homes; these historically have provided up to 70% of the credit for new U.S. businesses.

Judicial Foreclosure (S763/H2349)
Sponsors: Sen. Brady and Rep. Smizik
Fact Sheet on this Bill ( PDF )
This Bill requires foreclosure of 1-4 family homes to be conducted through a court action. A party wishing to foreclose must provide the legal documentation to prove to a judge that it is the mortgage-holder before it forecloses. With our present non-judicial foreclosures, the burden is on a wronged homeowner to get a judge to order the foreclosing party to produce this evidence. Judicial Foreclosure will prevent foreclosures by those with no authority to foreclose, and prevent clouds on title presently created during non-judicial foreclosures.

About MAAPL

The Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL) is a coalition of over 60 housing counseling agencies, legal services groups, social service agencies, and community-based social action groups that have joined together to address the foreclosure crisis in Massachusetts. MAAPL collects and distributes timely information on the foreclosure crisis and its effects to the public and to its member groups, drafts and supports legislation that provides important protections to homeowners and tenants facing foreclosure and eviction, documents the impact of the foreclosure crisis on local communities, networks with related organizations throughout the Commonwealth, and provides tools and information to help people navigate the legal system and advocate on their own behalf more effectively when challenging a foreclosure or eviction in court
This entry was posted in For Your Information, Take Action! and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.