On Thursday, September 17th, the MA Senate voted on S1981, a bill that would restrict homeowners to 1 year (down from 20 years) to sue in order to regain their home after illegal foreclosure. The final Senate vote was 7 against the bill, 31 in favor. However, the bill that was passed included several amendments that were supported by MAAPL, including a provision for punitive damages for illegally foreclosed homeowners and notification to all foreclosed homeowners of the timeframe to bring a lawsuit. For an account of the Senate vote and deliberations on the bill, see this State House News article.
MAAPL will continue to fight S1981 as it moves to the House of Representatives.
A year and a half ago, the Senate passed the original bill, with no amendments, in twenty minutes without discussion. This year, they discussed it extensively, and were very concerned and better educated about the impact of the bill. MAAPL members and supporters flooded the Senate with calls urging their Senators to oppose S1981, leaders of communities of color sent a letter to the Senate ( PDF ), and a renowned Constitutional expert also wrote a letter regarding the constitutionality of S1981 ( PDF ). MAAPL members also met with 30 Senate offices in the weeks preceding the vote to provide in-depth information about the bill.
Stay tuned for more information and upcoming actions in advance of the S1981 vote in the House of Representatives. Thanks to everyone who participated in MAAPL’s Senate Call-In Days, who wrote letters and signed on to the leaders of color letter, and worked to help us stop S1981 on the Senate floor.