Update: Some Banks/Landlords Try to Push Evictions Through District Court

A Bank or Landlord seeking to avoid delay by using District Court instead of Housing Court will not avoid the required delay for prosecuting an eviction case.

It has been brought to our attention that entities seeking to evict people may be trying to circumvent the Housing Court being closed by going to District Court.

First, everyone is reminded that if an eviction/summary process is filed in District Court, you have a right to file for it to removed back to Housing Court, and if you so file, it has to be transferred over to the Housing Court. However, at this point an evicting entity attempting to get around the Housing Courts being closed and therefore filing in a District Court will still be postponed.

It appears from the District Court standing order of 2-20 under III paragraph D, that if someone attempts to file an eviction case and follows the rules (uniform summary process rules) for filling out the summons & complaint and scheduling a hearing, the hearing’s normally scheduled, say, 10 days after the date on which the court case has to be entered (‘entry date”).

The standing order will then require that they wait at least 60 days from that date before they will get a scheduled date for the hearing that they listed on the summons and complaint. Therefore, the date required for answer and discovery should likewise be postponed even though that’s not explicit in the order.

You will not get penalized by not e-filing your answer and discovery forms by the answer date listed on the court summons and complaint. Please pass that information along as well.

Thanks for people continuing to ask me (Grace Ross, MAAPL Coordinator) questions. I will continue to research and provide answers to our broad community here on the MAAPL website.

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Clarifying Governor Baker’s remarks of 3/25/2020

Auctions and evictions are still not stopped. Photo of MA State House

On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, Governor Baker announced that the Massachusetts Division of Banks is telling Massachusetts banks and credit unions to stop all foreclosure auctions for 60 days. Of course, the vast majority of foreclosures are not done by in-state Massachusetts banks.

For people who have mortgages with Massachusetts lenders, they’re told to be providing a forbearance of mortgage payments for 60 days. That means that for 60 days you can ask for and get a break from making payments. There won’t be any late fees or costs for an online payment. During the 60 days, they will not report any late payments to any credit rating agencies; that borrowers are given another additional 60 days to complete any trial loan modification you’re in the middle of paying on, and that if a servicer for a mortgagee closes their doors or cuts down their hours, they have to provide other avenues for borrowers to be able to manage their accounts and be in touch with them.

They’re requiring Massachusetts banks to reach out to borrowers and give them this information.

The Governor also announced that there will be new help eligible under the RAFT program for tenants and homeowners who are having problems making rent or mortgage payments.

We’re not sure how that interacts with foreclosure and post-foreclosure payment requirements, but are in the midst of researching it. We will post more information as soon as this has been clarified.

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Action Alert: Evictions in MA Are Still Happening, But You Can Help Stop Them!

PLEASE RE-POST WIDELY

Friends,

Until there is an actual, specific announcement for the state of MA that foreclosures and evictions have been halted, please share the following information as broadly as possible:

Forcible eviction in MA can only occur based on a court order, and the housing courts of MA are not processing eviction (“Summary Process”) cases until at least April 21, 2020. BUT in any case where a judgment has been entered and an execution issued, evictions have not been legally stopped.

Executions to evict are carried out with a 48-hour notice (although it may give more than 48 hours). Courts are not aware of, nor involved in, the scheduling of such evictions. The MA Housing Court Division has presently ordered that if you file a motion to request a stay of eviction (except in specific circumstances), those stays are to be granted.

However (you must get this word to everyone), because the doors to the courts are locked, the only way to file for a stay of eviction is electronically.

Please download and follow these instructions for how to submit such a filing. (DOC and PDF)

We will also keep this website updated with any changes in state or federal policy related to stopping evictions and foreclosures.

Please post this everywhere you can!

Because of shame, people will not tell you that they are potentially going to be evicted, so you do not necessarily know who may need this information. With so many foreclosures and post-foreclosure evictions and evictions of tenants still happening, anybody you know could potentially be facing eviction.

Many thanks,

Grace C Ross

P.S. Once you re-post everywhere, you can also call your MA state Rep and Senator and the Governor and ask for an immediate moratorium on foreclosures and evictions…

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National Foreclosure and Eviction News: Updates from MAAPL

Known as of March 17, 2020:

Foreclosures and Evictions have NOT stopped nationally… but there’s good news for those with FHA mortgages! (and maybe Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac… )

While Trump did not stop all foreclosures and evictions across the country—the President did order HUD (Housing and Urban Development; an agency of the United States government) to stop the foreclosure of FHA underwritten mortgages and evictions with FHA underwritten mortgages during the formal, COVID-19 federal state of emergency until the end of April…

This is a huge step by the federal government acknowledging that foreclosures and evictions should be stopped because homes are essential to peoples health. However, it does not effect the vast majority of people with mortgages who might be in the foreclosure process or—like in Massachusetts—are fighting an eviction case after a purported foreclosure.

While the Federal Housing and Finance Authority (FHFA: the agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) also has apparently told their two organizations to stop foreclosures and evictions, MAAPL knows that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have no personnel who directly track what mortgages they own. This means that the Fannie and Freddie can only give a general order to the mortgage servicers, not a specific one regarding named, individual mortgages.

Additionally, the servicers themselves do not always know if a specific mortgage was purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Therefore, this FHFA statement stopping these foreclosures and evictions may not carry the force it should in individual cases.

But you should know: the Massachusetts Housing Courts are not taking action on eviction (Summary Process) cases until April 21st—unless one of the parties claims it is an emergency.

Please correct everybody you know who may be misinformed about Massachusetts Foreclosures and Evictions during this COVID-19 emergency.

Please post this piece broadly across Facebook and the internet. Trump’s HUD action does not protect the vast majority of people facing foreclosure or an eviction. 

What the country needs is actual legislation at the state level—state by state. Those of you working on your legal foreclosure cases know that almost all the country’s foreclosure-related law is at the state level, not the federal level. No government body at the national level has the authority to stop all foreclosures or evictions across the country.

So, what can you do? 

  1. MAAPL asks you to: support legislation at the state level to stop all foreclosures and evictions. Massachusetts has the ability to do this for Massachusetts residents. Please post this information broadly.
  2. Call your MASSACHUSETTS legislators immediately to co-sponsor HD4935 to halt Massachusetts foreclosures and evictions during its COVID-19 emergency before noon on Friday, March 20th, 2020.

  3. Please share the good news with your friends with FHA mortgages. But don’t believe or spread false promises and misleading information at this very serious time.
  4. Tell everyone you know fighting a Massachusetts foreclosure!  MAAPL holds regular, 5pm Sunday night calls. Dial 515-606-5122, and use the code 794420 when prompted.

For more information on Massachusetts legislative and other anti-foreclosure action, keep checking this website!

Grace C Ross, Coordinator
Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending

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Urgent: Call Today to Halt Evictions in MA During Coronavirus Crisis!

MAAPL Call-In NOW!: March 16th (or as soon as you do it!)

Halt Foreclosures & Evictions during COVID-19 Emergency 

Your voice gets results! Call your state Representative & Senator.

Ask each to support HD.4935 &

Halt foreclosures & evictions during the COVID-19 Emergency!

Here’s what you do:

If you don’t know who your state representative and senator are, go to WhereDoIVotema.com. Type in your address. It will tell you whom your elected officials are and their phone numbers. Leave a message if no one answers the phone:

What do I say?

“Hello, my name is                    . I live in name of your town.

Please tell the Senate President & Speaker of the House to immediately pass Rep. Honan & Rep. Connolly’s Bill, HD4935, and halt foreclosures & evictions during this COVID-19 emergency.

In order to be safe and practice social distancing—people need a home!

The foreclosure crisis is still very much with us. Homeowners are fighting 100s of foreclosure auctions throughout the Commonwealth every month. Massachusetts needs this legal protection!

Please, as my Representative/Senator, will you ask the Senate President and Speaker of the House to pass HD4935 now?

Thank you.”

When you have finished the call, e-mail Grace Ross, MAAPL coordinator. Tell her who your Representative/Senator is: maaplinfo@yahoo.com

MAAPL has sent in an amendment to this legislation to add wording to ensure that homeowners get contacted. 

Call today! 

More information below…

Introducing legislation to halt evictions and foreclosures during COVID-19 emergency

State Representative Mike Connolly and Rep. Kevin Honan, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing, to file legislation to halt evictions and foreclosures in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.

The text of the bill, HD.4935, An Act Providing for a Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures During the COVID19 Emergency, is available here via .pdf file.

In this time of unprecedented concern over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Governor Baker has declared a State of Emergency and members of the public are being asked to practice social distancing and follow the advice of public health agencies to reduce the spread of the virus.

A moratorium on evictions and foreclosures and related legal proceedings will protect public health and safety by keeping vulnerable residents sheltered, by reducing crowding within the courts and in shelters, and by helping to limit further disruptions and additional strain on our already-fractured social safety net.

The legislation was filed at noontime on Friday, March 13. In addition, the sponsors of the bill are joining with others in calling on Governor Baker and the Courts to use their own authority to halt evictions and foreclosures for the duration of this emergency. To that end, Reps. Connolly and Honan also sent this letter to the Chief Justice of the Housing Court and this letter to the Chief Justice of the Trial Courts.

Your call TODAY can help halt evictions until this crisis has passed. Please call now! Your voice matters to hundreds of families across MA!

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Action Alert: MAAPL Legislative Call-In Day This Friday, 1/31/2020!

Photo of MA State House

UPDATE: Keep calling your State Legislators!

Monday, Feb. 3rd is Call-In Day #2. Make another call today—Your Voice Gets Results!

PLEASE RE-POST THIS MESSAGE BROADLY: EMAIL, FACEBOOK, TWITTER when we pour calls into the State House it has real impact! Amplify your support by sharing this with your friends and networks!

Call your State Representative and Senator and the Judiciary Committee Monday, Feb. 3rd, 2020!

Ask them to get MAAPL’s Bills moving. Call Today!

If these bills are not “reported out” of committee by February 5th, they will die. If that happens, MAAPL must start all over again next year, reintroducing these bills and working hard to gain support for them.

Foreclosures will devastate us for more years to come, but we have a chance to make a real difference and help MA homeowners and communities struggling against foreclosure!

Here’s what you do:

If you don’t know who your State Representative and Senator are, go to WhereDoIVotema.com. Type in your address. It will tell you who your elected officials are and their phone numbers. Write down the names and phone numbers of your State Representative and Senator, then call each one.

What do I say?

“Hello, my name is                     . I live in name of your town. I’m asking you to tell the Judiciary Committee to report out these anti-foreclosure bills favorably:

For more information about all of MAAPL’s 2020 bills, download our 8-in-1 Factsheet ( DOC )

The foreclosure crisis is still very much with us. Homeowners are fighting foreclosures throughout the Commonwealth daily! We need these legal protections.

We must stop the emptying of our neighborhoods and increasing homelessness.

Please, as my Representative/Senator, will you ask the Judiciary Committee to report out these bills?

Thank you.”

Then call the Judiciary Committee — 617-722-2396 — and ask them directly: “Please report these anti-foreclosure bills out favorably” [and read the list of bills above].

When you have finished making your calls, e-mail Grace Ross, MAAPL Coordinator, at maaplinfo@yahoo.com. Tell her who your Representative/Senator is and how they (or their legislative aide) answered your request.

Make Your Voice Heard on Beacon Hill—Call Today!

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Can you find the forgeries and other fraudulent documents banks are using to take Massachusetts homes?

Massachusetts home foreclosures — still at historic levels!

Want some fun? Can you spot the forged signatures on actual mortgage Notes and documents (PDF) that banks are using to foreclose on Massachusetts families?

  • If anyone you know faces foreclosure, it’s urgent: Get in touch with MAAPL ASAP! It’s free.
  • Most of the 96,000 Mass. foreclosures are illegal – many with multiple felony violations.
  • Largest driver of the U.S. wealth divide: Predatory mortgages and foreclosures. They hit people of color and women heads of households first and worst. Now they hit anyone: 1 in 13 MA households.
  • How to reverse the injustice, and return tens of billions of dollars of wealth, stability, and spending power stripped from our Massachusetts economy? Your awareness, engagement and help!
  • Support our Legislation: 10 powerful bills to halt and reverse the still-historic crisis!

For anyone who’s foreclosed, stay in your home after foreclosure! Only a judge’s order can evict a homeowner/tenant from a supposedly foreclosed home. And join us on any Sunday 5-7 pm info call.

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Action Alert: Another MAAPL Bill Gets a Hearing on 7/23/19

Join MAAPL supporters at the State House for a Hearing on An Act Relative to the Tax Relief of Mortgage Debt (H.2550/S.1719) this Tuesday, July 23rd!

Photo of MA State House

Pre-Hearing Lobby Session: 11:00 am

Meet Dana Rebeiro, MAAPL Legislation Organizer, between 10:00 and 10:30 am to lobby on the bill. Text Dana at 508-525-3386 if you’ll be joining us in the morning.

Hearing: 1:00 pm in Room B2, MA State House

Download a Fact Sheet on this bill ( PDF )

Let’s keep the momentum going—this Tuesday’s hearing follows a successful day of hearings last week for 5 of MAAPL’s bills and our Call-In Days in support of our legislation.

An Act Relative to the Tax Relief of Mortgage Debt is MAAPL’s very straightforward bill that has twice almost made it to a full vote. Should this bill pass, foreclosed homeowners would not be charged state taxes on the supposed profit that they made when the bank took their home and extinguished their mortgage.

Federal tax law recognizes that foreclosed homeowners have not actually realized a profit, so they don’t charge taxes on that amount. However, the MA Department of Revenue does not recognize the reality of the situation, so they expect homeowners to pay taxes on the supposed profit, adding insult (and expense!) to injury.

MAAPL has been fighting to get the state to line up with the Feds on this matter. Even if the Feds don’t continue the exemption, we want to make sure we have it in the Massachusetts state laws. It’s a matter of kicking folks when they’re down, and MAAPL believes such an action is never morally acceptable. If you agree, please join us in support of H.2550/S.1719!

Please email Grace Ross at maaplinfo@yahoo.com to RSVP for this Day of Action. We’re also looking for people to testify in support of this bill, so if you’ve been impacted by this inhumane MA law, please let Grace know you’re also interested in testifying.

Tell Your Legislators: Don’t Let Our Commonwealth Kick Foreclosed Homeowners When They’re Down—Support An Act Relative to the Tax Relief of Mortgage Debt (H.2550/S.1719)!

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MAAPL Call-In Days on July 15-17

Photo of MA State HouseYour voice gets results! Call both your State Representative and Senator TODAY, and ask them to tell the Judiciary Committee that they support MAAPL’s Bills. Call Monday-Wednesday, July 15-17

Support these Bills:

  • S964/H3300:  An Act to Establish Foreclosure Review Division of the Superior Court
  • S868/H1482:  An Act to Require Pre-Foreclosure Mediation and Judicial Oversight
  • S931/ H1373: An Act To Prevent Unnecessary Vacancies in Foreclosed Homes
  • S836/H3384:  An Act To Require Judicial Foreclosure In Some Owner-Occupied Residences
  • H1524:An Act to Protect Titles to Real Estate in Massachusetts

Step 1:
If you don’t know who your state Representative and Senator are, go to WhereDoIVotema.com. Type in your street/postal address. It will tell you who your elected officials are and their phone numbers.

Step 2: Call your state Representative and Senator.

What do I say?
“Hello, my name is                     . I live in [name of your town]. As my Legislator, please tell your Judiciary Committee Chairperson that you support these five specific anti-foreclosure bills:

  • S964/H3300:  An Act to Establish Foreclosure Review Division of the Superior Court
  • S868/H1482:  An Act to Require Pre-Foreclosure Mediation and Judicial Oversight
  • S931/ H1373: An Act To Prevent Unnecessary Vacancies in Foreclosed Homes
  • S836/H3384:  An Act To Require Judicial Foreclosure In Some Owner-Occupied Residences
  • H1524:An Act to Protect Titles to Real Estate in Massachusetts

The foreclosure crisis is STILL at historic levels. Homeowners are fighting foreclosures throughout the Commonwealth daily! A moratorium and passing all these bills in Judiciary will make a real difference in our lives.

We must stop the civil and criminal taking of homes and the destruction of our neighborhoods and the economy of our state.

Please, as my [Representative/Senator], will you tell Judiciary you support these bills?

Thank you.”

Step 3 (Don’t forget this part!):
When you have finished the call, please e-mail Grace Ross, MAAPL Coordinator, at maaplinfo@yahoo.com. Tell her who your Representative/Senator is and what they said in response to your call.


Call Monday-Wednesday (July 15-17). The Judiciary Hearing on MAAPL’s bills is on Tuesday, July 16. The Committee needs to connect strong legislative support for these bills with its Hearing! (Download our flyer with Tuesday Lobbying/Press Conference/Hearing details)

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Action Alert – Day of Hearings for MAAPL’s Bills on 7/16/19

It’s Time to Make Your Voice Heard!!!
Testify in Support of MAAPL’s Anti-Foreclosure Bills

Photo of MA State House

Tuesday, July 16​th
Massachusetts State House, Room A1
Beacon Hill, Boston

Agenda:
Arrive at 10:30am, ​t​hen
T​ell your Story to Legislators
Press Conference!
Hearing: 1:00pm


After 12 years of fighting together, our voices are being heard: Come and speak for yourself, for your neighbors… and for your community!

Support These Bills:

  • S964/H3300: A​n Act to Establish Foreclosure Review Division of the Superior Court
  • S868/​H1482:​ A​n Act to Require Pre-Foreclosure Mediation and Judicial Oversight
  • S931/H1373: A​ n Act To Prevent Unnecessary Vacancies in Foreclosed Homes
  • S836​/H​ 3384:​ An Act To Require Judicial Foreclosure In Some Owner-Occupied Residences
  • H1524:​ An Act to Protect Titles to Real Estate in Massachusetts

Come! Forward this Invitation to Your Friends and Family!
Download a flyer for this event to share with your networks ( PDF )

Can’t attend? C​all your State Rep and Senator​ to support Anti-Foreclosure bills
State House Switchboard: 617-722-2000 – ask for your legislators.
Don’t know your legislators’ names? Find out at www.WhereDoIVoteMA.com

For additional information please contact: maapl.info@yahoo.com www.MAAPL.info Coordinator: Grace Ross, 617-291-5591 Legislation Organizer: Dana Rebeiro, 508-525-3386

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