Press Conference, 5/6/24: Study Reveals Illegal Home Mortgage Scam Pattern

Judge's gavel and two books on a wood surfaceOn May 6, 2024, the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL) convened a press conference and release of a study that reveals a scam affecting homeowners across Massachusetts who are facing foreclosure or have been foreclosed on. The event took place in Brockton, MA at the Main Street entrance to the Courthouse and was also streamed live on Zoom.

The press release announcing the press conference and study is below.

Download a copy of the Press Release ( PDF )


Homeowners: “We know how mortgage lenders scammed us, regulators and our courts!”

Today, Brockton, MA, 11 AM, Main Street entrance to the Courthouse

“When I won in front of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, I told them I had been
tricked into too much debt and not enough house. Today, to share a report that shows, not only how I have been scammed, but how the Housing Court judges I have been in front of have been scammed, and the entire state has been scammed. Tens of thousands of us went to get one mortgage loan, but the underwriting was illegally split into two or more loans to avoid the government regulators that would have found that underwriting prohibited, illegal, and could have shut the banks down for those illegal patterns and practices,” said Mr. Tommy Morris, Brockton resident known for his win in HSBC Bank as Trustee v. Morris, 490 Mass. 322 (July 22, 2022).

“Today, we release proof of one of the key scams that led to the historic foreclosures of homes, still ongoing to date: the 1990 Massachusetts Attorney General, the Division of Banks and the Massachusetts Legislature were right about the onslaught of system-wide predatory lending practices and our courts have gotten it wrong for 20 years. The Commonwealth’s courts, thereby, have been allowing what the other branches of our government recognized needed aggressive review and enforcement: a deluge of illegal foreclosures on tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents by the predatory home mortgage industry,” explained Grace Ross, Coordinator, Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending, “We are in Brockton because this City was targeted and this entire historic rate of foreclosures and personal and financial damage was not only predictable, but actually predicted and outlawed and the Industry got around it.”

Press Conference Wednesday, May 6, at 11:00 am, Brockton Courthouse AND Zoom.

The Brockton Foreclosure Fighter’s homeowners (damaged by prohibited predatory lending), Grace Ross(1) and Dr. Gbetonmasse Somasse(2) publicly presented the results of a pilot study that has been presented for peer review, but not yet published in a peer reviewed journal. They told stories of personal damage and called on the MetroSouth Housing Court judge, scheduled for noon hearing in the Courthouse in the Morris case to wake up and smell the fraud on him as well as the Morrises, tens of thousands of Massachusetts homeowners and whole communities like Brockton.

The Brockton-specific initial study provides evidence that the lenders have engaged in practices that had been identified to be effective in avoiding regulatory oversight in what has traditionally been one of the most regulated areas of U.S. society, that is, the banking industry; the study demonstrates conclusively that these practices were used to avoid that very extensive regulatory oversight. A historic level of damage has been done, by predatory mortgaging first targeting communities of color, borrowers of color, female heads of household and Brockton, which, as the first community in Massachusetts to go majority-minority, may have been and is still being its greatest victim.

1 Coordinator, Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending
2 Associate Professor, Worcester Polytechnical Institute

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Press Release: A Win! MA Homeowners Continue to Push for Equal Access to Our Courts

Judge's gavel and two books on a wood surfaceOn Friday, April 26, 2024, the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL) released a statement to the media announcing the winning of an appeal by Karen Merritt, a pro se litigant seeking equal access to the court system in her fight to challenge the illegal foreclosure of her home.

The text of the press release is below.

Download a copy of the press release ( PDF )

A Win! And Massachusetts Homeowners Continue To Push For Equal Rights To Our Courts For Every Indigent Party.

Friday, April 26, 2024 – “This pro se litigant, Karen Merritt, as well as her beloved son, pro se litigant, Charles Cronan just won their appeal in the Massachusetts Appeals Court that the Southeastern Housing Court, Massachusetts, by order of Judge Michaud, erred! The heart of the case was about equal access: our court system extends to everyone whether you’re rich or poor or somewhere in between, that each one of us has a right to justice and to be heard and to live our life under the starry nights of our constitution.

“My family and I had been left for homelessness by our Housing Court, even though my unlawful creditors committed a felony violation of our usury laws trying to collect on a
purported 55% interest rate.

“We had became victims of an illegal indigent hearing. Our rights to confidentiality were
violated. Exposed like some witch hunt in Salem back in 1692, we had been possessed by the devil himself of this evil thing called being poor. At least that’s what it felt like to me.”
– Karen Merritt of Rehoboth (L&S Realty v. Merritt, Massachusetts Appeals Court (2024))

Since the beginning of the historic foreclosure crisis roughly 20 years ago, some 125,000
Massachusetts households have been illegally allegedly foreclosed. The vast majority were
stripped of their lifetimes’ worth of wealth, on top of numerous other damages.

This has made self-represented (“pro se”) homeowners fighting foreclosures and evictions a veritable force for equal access to the courts for everyone in Massachusetts. This includes for everyone who might not be able to afford a necessary cost to continue equally prosecuting their rights to the protections of our courts. For homeowners, court protection is needed for fundamental constitutional rights, like the equal right to own or occupy your home.
The Massachusetts top court took the Frechette v. Brown case off of the Massachusetts
Appeals Court’s docket on its own initiative with Elizabeth d’Andrea as the designated

“What a wonderful honor that my case was chosen by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial
Court. To stand back while others shared in the oral argument while I listened was difficult since my argument, the Indigent Court Cost Law wasn’t clearly interpreted. People like me are not financially able to have the same ability to cover the many expenses in a court case to have a fair chance, the Indigent Court Cost Law is my guarantee for an equal chance to defend myself.

“I am grateful for the briefs of friends of the court who supported this case to level the ground for justice for the indigent litigants. The Massachusetts lower courts have misinterpreted this Indigent Court Cost Law in the last two decades and it is so important to be heard.

“However, your indigency protection is a confidential matter between the indigent litigant and the judge, not the party who you are up against since the financial information can be used against you by the opposing party.

“The argument in my SJC case did not honor that confidentiality commitment, so I have re-filed to get the SJC to follow its own case law and rules published in its legal forms since March 2003.”
– Elizabeth D’Andrea of Webster.

Given that oral argument was scheduled with the Housing Court Plaintiff as the opposing
side, d’Andrea has asked for a new argument since they are not supposed to be part of the
confidential Indigent Court Costs Laws procedure.

“Like Ms. D’Andrea, I have been fighting to be allowed to equally continue the case to fight for my home in the courts ever since my wife and I lost our jobs because of Covid and went
from high paying jobs to no job for quite a while. I am amazed that it was my working with my supporters that we found all of the most critical rules were already firmly in stone, so to speak, because they are in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s promulgated legal forms that all of the courts have seen thousands of times.

“So, I was one of the folks who put in a friend of the court brief on behalf of Ms. D’Andrea
and of all of us who know that our Constitution has guaranteed us an equal right to access and participate in the Massachusetts court system.”
– Emmanuel Asia of Worcester

The Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending is a combined 70 member organization
coalition and hundreds of individual families fighting violation of their rights to their home a key component of its effort is educating Massachusetts residents as to their rights, the procedures and forms to fight in our courts and increasingly win.

“So, I thank God and Grace Ross, Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending,
(MAAPL) for the decision at Massachusetts Appeals Court. And, perhaps, let us be reminded that whether you’re pro se or not, when you have truth and honesty and integrity beside you, doors will open. Come join MAAPL to make a change.”

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Press Release: Homeowners Excited to Show SJC Irrefutable Evidence of their Rights to Access our Courts

Judge's gavel and two books on a wood surfaceOn Tuesday, February 27, 2024, homeowners Karen Merritt of Rehoboth and Jay Lively of Falmouth issued a press release, stating, “We are very excited to provide to our top court in Massachusetts the legal history irrefutably showing the Court that homeowners fighting a foreclosure are guaranteed their constitutional right to equal access to our courts, that they cannot be categorized for more limited rights of traditional tenants in an eviction case, and that the SJC’s own repeated history that your financial information and your due process rights, when you are indigent, are just between you and the Court.”

Download the Full Press Release ( PDF )

Download Merrit’s ( PDF ) and Lively’s ( PDF ) Amicus briefs in the D’Andrea case

The text of the press release is below.

Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending
February 27, 2024
Contact: Grace C Ross, 617-291-5591

Homeowners very excited to provide Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court with irrefutable evidence of their equal and due process rights to access our courts, even if indigent.

Boston, MA February 27, 2024 – “We are very excited to provide to our top court in Massachusetts the legal history irrefutably showing the Court that homeowners fighting a foreclosure are guaranteed their constitutional right to equal access to our courts, that they cannot be categorized for more limited rights of traditional tenants in an eviction case, and that the SJC’s own repeated history that your financial information and your due process rights, when you are indigent, are just between you and the Court,” stated Karen Merritt of Rehoboth and Jay Lively of Falmouth in their release this day.

“This is critically important: the very mortgage holders who refuse you loan modifications and refuse partial payments thereby put you in a position so they can bar you from ever being able to pay; then in court use their own barrier to blame you as “wanting a free house,” Liz Bewsee, Co-chair of the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending and staff at Arise for Social Justice Springfield, explained.

“And then a Court giving them, on top of that, your financial information, when you have a right to a confidential conversation with the courts about indigency compounds the travesty of the blaming the victim in these situations. On this day in 2024, I as an Affiant Sworn-Indigent, K. Merritt am a canary in a coal mine used to detect pain and suffering and other toxic constitutional rights violations in the Southeast Housing Court. Consider me as returned gasping for air at the door of the Supreme Judicial Court serving as an indication that it’s unfit for humans.” Karen Merritt, Amicus and miner for justice.

In 1974, as part of the promulgation of Mass Rules of Civil Procedure, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a comprehensive and mandatory law that everyone has to have equal access to our courts, regardless of the ability to pay a purely court-imposed cost. In 2019, in the very comprehensive decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court known as Adjartey v. Central Housing Court, 481 Mass. 830 (2019), the SJC affirmed that equal access constitutional commitment for all litigants in all types of court cases in the Massachusetts court system.

However, since that time, homeowners fighting for their homes after a nonjudicial foreclosure auction in eviction cases have been uniquely singled out to not get that law’s protection for access to the courts, especially for appeals.

Finally, last May 18th of 2023, a homeowner, Elizabeth D’Andrea, got a single justice from the expedited side of our state Appeals Court to recognize that she was being denied that equal access protection. Thankfully, the Honorable Judge Rubin reported her denial of equal access to our courts for review by a Full Appeal Panel. It was then grabbed, on its own initiative, by our top court, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

What has not yet been reviewed by the SJC is that homeowners cannot be singled out to be denied access to our higher courts. The SJC has not reviewed, nor agreed to enforce the confidential nature of a decision as to a party’s indigency, financial information, and the procedures to guarantee access to the courts.

Instead, thus far, the SJC has not reviewed the D’Andrea case as the constitutional equal protection suit, nor required the only two interested parties to the question of ensuring affordable access to the courts are heard by the SJC. (Frechette v. D’Andrea, SJC-13497)

Instead, so far, the SJC has appeared to be unaware that nowhere in Massachusetts case law, for almost 200 years, has someone without a lease or rental agreement been treated as a tenant or a “holdover tenant”. Therefore, a homeowner fighting over the title for their home, who clearly does not have a rental agreement with anyone, cannot be treated as a tenant. That has been affirmed by, arguably, the most revered legal research outfit in the United States, Lexis Nexis, thanks to Lively’s efforts and he has reported those details in his Friend of the Court Brief to the SJC in the D’Andrea case just today. “I have spent 4 years with my Lexis Tutor researching real property law and am grateful for the opportunity to help clarify a misinterpretation, and excited that many other homeowners, marginalized for more than a decade, may finally share justice.”

Friend of the court brief filer, homeowner Karen Merritt, has just mirrored back in her brief to the SJC its own 50 year history of guaranteeing a remedy for unaffordable court-ordered costs to ensure court access, even for indigent parties; and its repeated the guarantee that those communications will be confidential between the party and the court and the repeated necessity that the SJC enforce that confidentiality and mandator remedies, because lower court judges have periodically created patterns of violating that constitutional guarantee.

“No, with foreclosures increasing exponentially again is no time for the SJC to fail to continue its and our Constitution’s guarantee of equal access to our courts. With a 90% increase in foreclosures in 2023 over 2022 in Massachusetts and our increased research and thus evidence of systematic illegalities by the wealthy mortgage industry is no time for our equal rights to be curtailed, or as the SJC itself has said it is ‘critical’ that courts act ‘consistently’ ‘to ensure the doors to our courts are not closed to the indigent.’ ” as Liz Bewsee provided for context.

“If SJC agrees with our findings, it appears that a Court must vacate the Frechette judgment on this basis of long settled law it established 170 years ago. Our cases deal with fundamental rights of life, liberty and property. The decisions of our highest courts either preserve or curtail those rights,” said Lively.


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Press Advisory: 1/16/24 – Homeowners Speak Out: Demand MA SJC Break its 47 Year Silence

Photo of the Old Suffolk County Courthouse in Boston, MA

Join MAAPL homeowner foreclosure-fighters across Massachusetts on Tuesday, January 16, 2024 as they hold a series of press conferences across the Commonwealth to demand that the MA Supreme Judicial Court break its silence on the constitutional provisions and laws that outlaw discriminatory predatory lending practices.

Download the Press Advisory ( PDF )


The Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending homeowner foreclosure-fighters
are holding press conferences across Massachusetts on Tuesday, January 26, 2024 – to demand that the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court ends its 50-year silence on constitutional provisions and laws which outlaw discriminatory predatory lending.

The lack of the “Aggressive enforcement” state government leaders called for in the 1990s has allowed historic rates of predatory loans to be targeted at individuals and communities; this has led to a historic rate of foreclosures, economic, personal, familial and neighborhood damages which the Supreme Judicial Court’s Action now could still repair.

In just 4 years, 2006-2010; US median Black wealth lost 54%; Latino wealth 66%; and Asian wealth 34% (for the loss ascribable to foreclosures.)

Homeowners will tell individual stories, show how they demonstrate extensive illegal patterns and call for justice now.


7:30 AM
Location TBA

Springfield – (Local press contact/coordinator: Gary Yard, 413-557-8881
9:45 AM Gather for press conference
Arise for Social Justice
38 School St.
Springfield, MA 01105

Worcester – (Local press contact/coordinator: Sam Bishop, 413-992-8546
Noon – 1pm
1 Salem Street
Worcester, MA 01608

Boston – (Local press contact/coordinator: Laurie Endsley, 978-514-4790)
2:30 PM -3:30
In front of the Supreme Judicial Court
John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square
Boston, MA 02108

Brockton – (Local press contact/coordinator: Maggie Philippe, 508-345-9186)
5:00 PM
Joe Angelo’s Café
11 Crescent St.
Brockton, MA

Hyannis – (Local press contact/coordinator: Lynne A. Rhodes, 617-962-2268)
8:00 PM
NAACP Museum
276 North Street
Hyannis, MA 02601

Statewide Contact:
Grace C Ross, Coordinator, Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending (if you receive a bounce message, you can assume that I received
the email anyway, unless I don’t respond)
Cell phone: 617-291-5591

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Support MAAPL This Holiday Season!

As the giving season approaches, please remember the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL): we are situated to reverse not only the largest foreclosure crisis in U.S. history (with a massive land and wealth transfer to the uber-wealthiest) but also stop practices that were first instigated to keep Black men from ever owning property post-emancipation. Lenders have just perfected and expanded predatory wealth-stripping from there.

We are still trying to match $4,400 challenge donation. Please, please, please give. Anything you donate will make a difference!
There are two ways to give to MAAPL:

Thank you for your generous support of our work!

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Press Release: Homeowners Speak Out: Preforeclosure Mediation Needed to Stop Predatory Foreclosures

Photo of MA State HouseDownload Press Release ( PDF )

On Tuesday, October 17, 2023, members of the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL) gathered at the State House with supporters and homeowners from across the Commonwealth to give testimony before the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government during a hearing for House Bill #H.2036, An act enabling municipal pre-foreclosure mediation.

Following the hearing, MAAPL released the statement below to the media.


10/17/23, today, homeowners from across the state gave testimony at the Massachusetts Legislature’s Municipalities Committee hearing in support of pre-foreclosure mediation (House Bill #H.2036, “An act enabling municipal pre-foreclosure mediation.” Sponsored By Rep. Peter Capano.)

While most of those who spoke have now experienced an illegal foreclosure, their impassioned stories of endemic and illegal denials of loan modifications reveal part of the story of how the historic illegal land grab has been accomplished by the mortgaging industry and the need for informed neutral mediators to stop the returning deluge.

Homeowners from across the state – West Springfield and Amherst to the Cape and North shore told impassioned stories – hoping those coming behind them finally get real affordable loan modifications – remedying predatory origination practices more than one speaker identified as making their loans “doomed to foreclose” starting at origination.

More than one speaker identified the common practice of pricing the mortgage more than the real value of the house. This practice is illegal under the bank regulator, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency but was hidden by breaking a single underwriting approval into two loans to escape the regulating agency’s tracking systems.

As Gary Yard of West Spring field explained: “My mortgage was split in 2 and I quickly found it was more than I could afford, now I was trapped in an overpriced loan.” He could neither afford to pay nor sell a house worth less than the debt. No meaningful loan modification ever was offered.

Homeowners addressed the more well-known practices of servicers losing paperwork. They also provided testimony of modifications signed by entities who had no legal interest in the mortgage, who misrepresented the terms and even one which was signed but never honored.

“My trusted CPA gave me a mortgage that now led to a “foreclosuse’ on my home using a 54% interest rate. It’s a felony to intentionally try to collect on a loan over 20%. But it didn’t matter.

Regardless. Today, my CPA went to the bank with my hard-earned equity instead of going to jail. I got no notices. We must have light of day BEFORE an auction. Please pass the bill to support municipal preforeclosure mediation.” Karen Merritt of Rehoboth.


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Join MAAPL Today! Help Us Fight for Justice!

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EMERGENCY ACTION: Stop Unlicensed Warehouse/Mover from Selling Alton’s Stuff!

Calling All Foreclosure-Fighters!!!

They are trying to make an example of Alton King again. The statute requires that a warehouse cannot auction your possessions for at least 6 months after they take them at a supposed eviction. It has been only 2 & 1/2 months! 

Please come protest THIS Saturday, 7/1/23 at 8:30 am, 460 Race St., Holyoke, MA.

We have exposed to the Western Housing Court that the moving/warehouse company that claims to have Alton King’s possessions has never even applied for a license to be a moving company in Massachusetts. They have never sought a license and do not have insurance on the building that they have kept Alton King’s possessions in.

So, the Western Housing Court judge was told that this business, Race Street Properties, is illegal from one end to the other. Race St. Properties told Al that he should get his stuff out of there without a fee, and the Western Housing Court said he could get his stuff out of there immediately (thus, not having to pay for it) at 6/23/23 hearing Friday.

BUT Race St. Properties immediately advertised to auction his stuff and now have scheduled to auction hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of belongings this Saturday, July 1, 2023, at 9 AM (We need as many people as possible to be there at 8:30 AM at the latest) at 460 Race Street in Holyoke, MA.

We need a massive turnout. Obviously, they are making an example of Alton  King, but this criminal warehousing industry is minting money. No one is watching. While Race Street is the worst, in terms of licensing, they all engage in criminal theft, destruction of people’s property and their emotional and psychological lives, on top of their eviction.

Please stand with us!

We just found out about this, BUT it’s not too late to take action! JOIN US TOMORROW MORNING, JULY 1ST!

Stay tuned for more news and follow-up actions this coming week…

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Press Release: Will Judge Fields uphold the Constitution and his own orders for King and We the People?

Download this Press Release ( PDF )

Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending
Contact: Grace Ross, 617-291-5591

For immediate release, June 23, 2023

Will Judge Fields uphold the Constitution and his own orders for King and We the People?

Friday, June 23, 2023, 9:00 AM; in person at Western Housing Court (WHC) 37 Elm Street, Springfield, MA – OR via WCH ‘bridge line’ by calling (646) 828-7666. 

A press conference will be held immediately following the hearing on the steps of the WHC.

This morning Mr. Alton King and Interveners hope to be heard and have their extensive evidence examined by Judge Fields, WHC demonstrating that Fields’ order was completely disregarded by foreclosing “securitized trust”, Sheriff’s office, Moving and Warehouser Race Street Properties – that First Amendment rights were stripped and no legal eviction occurred.

Mr. King, an 80 y.o., disabled, black man, stated: “I call on the world, right now, to stand on the right side of justice and recognize that it is only a matter of time now, that the wealthiest institutions are going to have to face justice regarding decades of knowing discriminatory lending (race, age, disability, and gender) and equally illegal treatment of homeowners by the state and its agencies.”

On April 14, 2023, the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department used an order Judge Fields had recognized as unconstitutional to remove King’s belongings with no notice at all of removing his person. The Sheriff’s Department failed to follow the most recent order of court and hired Race Street Properties, an unlicensed mover and warehouser, to remove Mr. King’s personal property.

Now, for two over two months, Race Street Properties has had Mr. King’s property at an unlicensed and uninsurable location and has not allowed Mr. King to obtain his passport, birth certificate, and important documents from this location, OR verify the list of purportedly inventoried items.

Grace Ross, one of the six interveners in Mr. King’s case, stated: “The First Amendment of the United States Constitution promises the rights necessary for the people to work together, gather the evidence, and petition our government for redress.”

The Intervenors have a right to intervene as Judge Fields recognized their First Amendment rights were violated by his original order, but the Sheriff, as a representative of the executive branch of government, illegally carried out an “eviction” on Judge Fields’s rescinded order of 3/21/23, in defiance of the 4/13/23 statement by the Judge and Plaintiff’s lawyer that it would be carried out under the revised order preserving First Amendment rights.

Those present sought to address the ongoing rights violations of not only Longmeadow resident Alton King, but those who have a right to freedom of association to try to expose to the Western Housing Court repeated and systematic violations of Alton King’s right to own and to occupy his home (legally known as “possession”) and have those rights equally as guaranteed under Article I of the Massachusetts Constitution and also First Amendment Rights of the People in protesting the violations of those rights.

The nonexistent securitized trust and their agents, the Sheriff and Race Street Properties, went ahead with an attempted eviction on April 14th not using the amended Western Housing Court judge’s order. Instead, they rampantly violated the First Amendment rights that the Western Housing Court judge had tried to preserve. The Western Housing Court judge did not address the use, again, of a Race Street Properties warehouse location that is, under the law, clearly not legally licensed.

“We just want to know,“ explained Grace Ross, one of the persons seeking to intervene for the First Amendment Rights of ‘The People’, “if Judge Fields, having told the Plaintiff evictor that his first order was unconstitutional, if he will now insist that intentional violation of our rights and his order must be completely reversed or if he will let the world know that his orders, especially if against the rich mortgage industry, are meaningless and toothless.”


Thanks to research and reconnaissance by Alton King and some of his fellow concerned citizens, the location that Race Street Properties had said that they were going to move King’s belongings to in March 2022 was exposed, as not even pretending to have ever been legally licensed through the state of Massachusetts. The location was on Meadow Street in Chicopee. Further, King and his associates had evidence not only of that unlicensed site being attempted to be used in his case, but exposing that the location wasn’t even locked when King and a friend went to visit it. There were a number of other household’s belongings already in this unlicensed, illegal location.

In October 2022, this same nonexistent securitized trust then tried to use an eviction execution against Alton King. Again, the Hampden County Sheriff was hired. He was given a letter asking him not to be party to the foreclosure industry’s predatory and transparently illegal racist mortgage; the ensuing alleged foreclosure (which was predictable, since the mortgage was written as “doomed to foreclose”); and the illegal court cases that have ensued. The Sheriff never even responded about his public elected official obligation to enforce constitutional equal protection.

Instead, the Sheriff again hired Race Street Properties, knowing that they had tried to use an illegal, unlicensed location before. The Sheriff’s Office attempted an eviction that, given the size of King’s house, was guaranteed to take more than one day; however, the Sheriff scheduled the move-out on the very last day when their eviction execution order sunsetted. They were guaranteed to be trying to physically remove his belongings on the next day, when they no longer had a court order. Therefore, they no longer had the Housing Court’s authority to remove anything.

The Housing Court eventually ruled on December 6, 2022 that, indeed, no eviction had been completed and that the securitized trust was going to have to start over again. But, even when told by the Housing Court that they had no right to have done what they did, they never returned the half of Alton King’s belongings that they had already taken.

They had illegally and criminally (see federal law) taken Alton King’s passport. To this day, they have never returned it, even though it is a crime not to, along with the rest of his belongings.

The October “warehouse” location, 460 Race Street, is also not legally licensed; although Race Street Properties have a paper claiming that it is a legally licensed warehouse, they had to advertise to the public but they did not. The warehouse licensing law states that they don’t have a license, “unless and until” they have done such advertising. So even if they have a piece of paper, it is no good because Alton King, again, with his concerned citizen associates, spoke to the local papers and looked at the online public legal notices website. There are no such advertisements. Now we know that they never even applied for a moving license from the state, so all of the moving has been completely illegal. Again, the lawyer of the non-existent securitized trust and Court were warned. Again, the Sheriff used this 460 Race St., Race Street Properties’ location.

Most recently, given all of these violations of the law, the Western Housing Court gave out a new execution to evict with an even more draconian order. It was challenged by First Amendment rights activists in court that the order denied them the right to the fundamental rights promised, again, to allow them to work together, collect the evidence, and petition the government—in this case, the Western Housing Court.

First Amendment activists had warned the Court, not only that their rights would be violated, but that part of the reason that their rights were going to be violated was so the Sheriff and warehouse company could try to hide that it was (1) not going to provide on site, as required, to the occupant, Alton King, a list of his belongings, and (2) was not even going to take his belongings to the 460 Race Street warehouse location (the one not legally licensed) at all. They needed the ability to follow the trucks with their cars to find out where King’s belongings were going to actually get taken.

Having been told by the supposed securitized trust’s lawyer at hearing on 4/13/23 that the securitized trust and their agents would carry out the amended order of the judge, The Western Housing Court judge, apparently, relied on that and did not stop them, even with the clear evidence of failings in the eviction notice and that Race Street Properties had a track record of illegalities and could not be trusted.

Unfortunately, not only for Alton King and those who stand up for our First Amendment rights, but for the validity of our entire judicial system, the amended order of the Western Housing Court was disregarded; the agents of the supposed securitized trust violated in all aspects that the judge had tried to preserve First Amendment rights. All of the predicted ways in which the Sheriff and the Race Street Properties would violate the law came to pass on 4/14/23.

Will the Western Housing Court judge finally insist that its orders, the Constitution, and the rights of the people matter most?


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Press Release: Homeowners and Their Supporters Reveal 150 Years of Predatory Lending

Download the full Press Release here ( PDF )

Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending            

For Immediate Release: 6/20/2023
Contact: Grace Ross – MAAPL coordinator, (617) 291-5591 


Today, Boston, in Pemberton Square, in front of the Massachusetts higher courts’ building (Massachusetts Supreme Judicial and Appeals Courts), a dozen homeowner-activists from across the state and their supporters came together in a press conference “tying together that the present ‘doomed to foreclose’ mortgage packages are just the most recent expression of 160 years of predatory lending to African Americans”.

“They are serving their traditional wealth stripping function”, Alton King of Longmeadow, MA, who opened the press conference explained. “This has left me and those similarly situated in the expected position of having had our wealth stripped, a denial of the protection of the courts, which has destined me and those similarly situated to another generation of failure to enforce against violations of equal protection in house.”

King had explained about the predatory nature of the origination of his own mortgage package, overpriced beyond the actual value of his home, split into two mortgages that he had started out paying $3,216 per month and ended up with a $13,400/month bill.

Elenice Umana of Brockton, MA spoke, following on the heels of King’s explanation. She spoke of the urgency for the courts to treat equally those who are black and those who are immigrants or speak differently, that everyone has an equal right to their home.

Grace Ross, the coordinator of the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending, who emceed the event, then pointed out that King and Umana are two of three present homeowner foreclosure fighters who were given an uniquely and clearly illegal loan, where they were billed one interest rate and then an even higher interest rate was actually being charged by the mortgagee every month. So, as they paid, they owed more money over time. What they were being billed was not the full extent of what they were being charged.

Jeb Mays of Cambridge, MA quoted from the powerful researcher’s work all of the way back to emancipation on predatory lending, Charles Nier, III, that merchants who were “the most important economic power in the Southern Countryside had maintained a two tier pricing system with a differential of a median of 33.6% to a maximum of 89.6% interest.” And, “White subjective determinations of credit-worthiness were undoubtedly tainted with racism.”

As still apparent, the most famous of the large settlements as to racist predatory lending with a bank, the Countrywide settlement, found that it was the brokers being allowed to make a subjective determination of the credit-worthiness of borrowers to this day that have led to the differentially overpriced mortgages to people of color, as opposed to white borrowers.

Gary Yard of West Springfield, MA talked about the overpriced loan beyond the value of the property that had been split into two loans, even though they were underwritten together. That the originator had lied to the underwriter inflating his income. Then, it became unaffordable, and this could happen to anybody. He pointed out that the splitting of the underwriting of one loan into two offered to the homeowners was a standard practice to avoid the regulatory oversight based on the major federal laws that have been passed to protect homeowners.

Both Umana and Yard, as immigrant borrowers, fit the pattern that came in in the 1930s with the New Deal of “rating neighborhoods”, and that “none of the socioeconomic criteria were more important than race,” and that “when the Homeowners’ Loan Corporation obtained a property through foreclosure, its sales policy was to ‘respect segregation and encourage it’.” Thereby, the predatory lending was expanded from black borrowers to include immigrant borrowers.

Jeb Mays, a supporter of the homeowners, explained that there was a decision from 1974, the Clark v. Universal Builders, Inc. from Chicago that explained that the predatory practices “forced African Americans to devote more of their incomes to housing to the detriment of other basic necessities, including education, medical care, food, clothing, home improvements, and recreation.”

As Grace Ross then explained, giving up the necessities of life is to this day the choice that homeowners who fight for their homes in our courts are being forced to make. As the group insisted, these practices must be changed. The Massachusetts courts have the power and the responsibility to enforce our equal protection rights to property for all Massachusetts residents.

Chris Hrycenko of Brockton and Laurie Endsley of Clinton then both told stories as white women of the expansion of predatory lending to women heads of household borrowers, when women could finally get credit, thanks to the Women’s Movement, in their own name. Both of them had paid for years and still found that at that point they owed more than when they had originally gotten their mortgage. As Hrycenko quoted, “Although redlining communities of color was not illegal, discrimination based on gender or marital status was not only legal, but considered sound business practice.” For example, 1973 Congressional hearings document one VA official stating that, “It is unamerican to count a woman’s income”, and that the would only support counting a woman’s income “if she were to have a hysterectomy.” U.S. 93rd Congress, 1973.

In short, the homeowners stated with their supporters that now is the time and that it is critical that the courts, our government, and, in fact, people in general stand up and demand equal property rights for all. “It is when everyone has justice and thrives that we all benefit,” closed Grace Ross.

Participants then joined in the Anti-Foreclosure Movement’s mantra, “When we fight, we win. When we fight, we win. When we fight, we win.”


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