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 )

1/16/24 – HOMEOWNERS SPEAK OUT: DEMAND MA SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT BREAK ITS 47 YEAR SILENCE AS TO DISCRIMINATORY AND CONSTITUTIONALLY PROHIBITED TAKING OF THEIR HOMES AND LAND

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.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 16, 2024 –
Pittsfield/Springfield/Worcester/Boston/Brockton/Hyannis

Pittsfield
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
YWCA
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
Grace@graceross.net (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.


MASS HOMEOWNERS STILL FIGHT LARGEST FORECLOSURE CRISIS IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, SPEAK OUT FOR PRE-FORECLOSURE MEDIATION.

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.

(END)

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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
www.maapl.info
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.”

BACKGROUND

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?

(END)

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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

www.maapl.info                      maaplinfo@gmail.com

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

HOMEOWNERS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS REVEAL 150 YEARS OF PREDATORY DISCRIMINATORY LENDING AND DEMAND JUSTICE NOW! 

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.”

(END)

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Action Alert: Press Conference and Juneteenth Rally on Tuesday, June 20th!

Please join the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL) for a Press Conference and Juneteenth Rally on Beacon Hill!Flyer for MAAPL's Juneteenth Press Conference and Rally, June 20, 2023 at noon, 3 Pemberton Square on Beacon Hill in Boston, MA.

Click the image above to enlarge it. Click here to download.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 20th, 12:00-1:00 PM

WHERE: 3 Pemberton Square, Beacon Hill, Boston, in front of the Massachusetts Higher Courts

WHY: The history of the predatory lending practices used by banks today began as a tool to prevent black men from owning land after emancipation. Later, these practices also targeted immigrants and women as they sought to build wealth and economic security by owning property. They’ve been used to steal the wealth of BIPOC and female-headed households ever since.

It’s Time to End these Discriminatory Practices and Bring Our Wealth Home!

Join Us to Demand that the Massachusetts Courts Enforce our Rights!

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Action Alert: Join MAAPL on 5/9/23 for a Press Conference and Hearings on Bills to Protect Massachusetts Homeowners

Please join MAAPL on Tuesday, May 9, 2023 for a press conference and Judiciary Committee hearing on four important bills protecting Massachusetts homeowners.

Download the Press Advisory here ( PDF )

PRESS CONFERENCE: Twenty years into the harm from the historic, greed-driven housing bubble, Massachusetts residents return to the Legislature to call for justice

Date:  Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Press conference:  11:00 AM

Location:  Church on the Hill, 140 Bowdoin Street, Boston MA 02108

Or join us via Zoom:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85023564644?pwd=bWdqQWdkQzZKQTZGbTgxMWpnL0Y5Zz09

Testimony: 1-5pm at Judiciary Committee Hearing, Room A-2, Massachusetts State House.

Bills being heard:

  • H1689, S1043 An Act Protecting Titles to Real Estate in Massachusetts
    Sponsors: Rep. Frank A. Moran, Sen. Paul W. Mark
  • S1017 An Act Establishing a Foreclosure Review Division
    Sponsor: Sen. Edward J. Kennedy
  • H1410, S994 An Act Preventing unnecessary vacancies in foreclosed homes
    Sponsors: Rep. Peter Capano, Sen. Adam Gomez
  • S912 An Act to amend the foreclosure statute to require judicial foreclosure
    Sponsor: Sen. Michael D. Brady

Testimony: By homeowners across the state by Zoom and in person; possibly researchers as well.

For more information about these events, please contact Grace Ross – MAAPL Coordinator, (617) 291-5591

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South Essex Register O’Brien: “I refuse to enforce discriminatory mortgages”

Register John L. O'Brien speaks at a press conference over Zoom on December 7, 2022.On Wednesday, December 7, 2022 in Salem, Massachusetts, the South Essex County Register of Deeds, the Honorable John L. O’Brien, Jr., announced at a press conference at the Salem Registry of Deeds that he has filed to intervene in the so-called securitized trust’s court case against Dr. Esther Ngotho. The press conference was also streamed on Zoom, and the recording of the Zoom conference is available for viewing below.

Grace Ross, Coordinator of the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL) joined Register O’Brien for the press conference via Zoom. Ross presented information regarding the long history of discriminatory and predatory mortgages in Massachusetts and how they have been targeted at communities of color in order to strip them of their wealth. Dr. Ngotho was also present to answer questions at the press conference.

Register O’Brien, in collaboration with MAAPL, also released a statement to the media regarding his Motion and the history of predatory lending and illegal practices by the banking industry in Massachusetts intended to strip wealth away from homeowners of color, and more recently, from immigrants and women. The press release is reproduced below.

Download the press release ( PDF )
View the press conference ( MP4 )
Article in The Salem News

Supporting documents:
MA 2007 Foreclosure Map ( PDF )
Foreclosures: Denying Massachusetts an Economic Recovery ( PDF )
Map of Property Value Loss by Zip Code for Mortgages Originated in 5 Years Previous to 2009 ( PDF )


JOHN L. O’BRIEN, JR.
Register of Deeds
(978) 542-1722
Fax: (978) 542-1721
e-mail: jl.obrien@sec.state.ma.us

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds
Shetland Park
45 Congress Street
Suite 4100
Salem, Massachusetts 01970

A division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
WILLIAM FRANCIS GALVIN, SECRETARY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Salem, MA
Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Contacts: John O’Brien, (978) 542-1700; Grace Ross 617-291-5591

South Essex Register O’Brien declares that he and all elected officials in positions of responsibility should refuse enforcement of racist/sexist/anti-immigrant mortgages.

Today – Salem Massachusetts, 10 AM, the South Essex County Register of Deeds, the
Honorable John L. O’Brien, Jr., announced at the press conference at the Salem Registry of Deeds at 45 Congress St., Salem, MA 01970 that he has filed to intervene in the so-called securitized trust’s court case against Esther Ngotho. The conference was also zoomed (see below)

“As the Southern Essex County Register of Deeds, I have sworn to faithfully uphold my duties, (as to recording and not recording) of proper and legal documents. I have and will continue to protect my constituents against illegal and predatory lending practices by big banks. Today I have filed my second Motion to Intervene in this case. Ms. Ngotho is not only a constituent of mine, but a United States citizen and an African American immigrant who is the victim of predatory loan and unethical banking practices. In my opinion, this woman was set up by the lenders and others for failure from day one,” explained Register O’Brien.

He continued: “The fact that the Land Court has attempted in Ms. Ngotho’s case to order me to record documents that would continue the destruction of her equal rights to her home is very disappointing. The fact that I attempted to intervene earlier, a Motion which the Land Court denied, is basically ordering me to record documents that I believe would violate the law and in doing so, would also deprive Ms. Ngotho of her equal rights. Additionally, and most importantly, the foreclosure documents are technically and legally deficient and appear to have been fraudulently submitted. The Land Court’s action is basically asking me to turn a blind eye to fraud, which is something that I will not do. The mortgage deed that was submitted for recordation on May 25, 2004 to my Registry of Deeds is, like any other prohibited discriminatory deed, illegal and unenforceable.”

“We so welcome the Register’s visionary actions in compliance with federal Ku Klux Klan Act,” explained Grace C Ross, Coordinator of the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending
(MAAPL) “under federal law, 42 U.S. code sections 1981 & 1982, government actors are to
protect Ngotho’s equal rights to property and to contracting. Under section 1983, “Civil action for deprivation of rights”, a government official is to stand behind Ngotho in ensuring her rights are honored. Under section 1986, anyone is a position to prevent the violation of her rights by two or more persons, have an obligation to act.”

Grace C Ross also provided the background of the extensive evidence of the use of mortgage deeds back at least 100 years to unequally strip the wealth of people of color and their homes, and, more recently, that of immigrants and women. Further, she provided evidence of the wealth stripping and the destruction of economic stability of our communities, especially those with higher percentages of people of color which were also targeted discriminatorily for predatory loans.

Ross also provided a statistical background showing that some 120,000 foreclosures are claimed to have happened in Massachusetts. The vast majority of them represent discriminatory prohibited lending practices. She laid out the overpricing of Ngotho’s property and the extensive elements of the discriminatory predatory loan, all of which, the math shows allowed the enforcement of this illegal loan in the first three years to charge Ngotho $52,000 more than the real price of the property with a legitimate mortgage would have charged her.

Dr. Esther Ngotho, herself, was present to answer questions at the press conference, as well.

For those who cannot make it to the Registry in Salem in person, here is the zoom link. It will open at 9:50am so that we can get everyone on hopefully by 10am and not disrupt the in-person press conference.

PLEASE JOIN THE ZOOM BEFORE 10am so we can work out kinks before 10am.
[Zoom meeting details omitted, as the information is no longer timely.]

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