The foreclosure bill adopted by the Massachusetts House as H4096, lacking Mandatory Mediation and Preventing Unnecessary Vacancies (allowing former homeowners to continue as rental tenants) was referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Senate version may be voted next week, so immediate calls to state senators are urgent.
The basic message is:
• We need Mandatory Mediation and Preventing Unnecessary Vacancies (allowing former homeowners to rent while the bank owns the property) as a bill or an amendment!
• We need the Attorney General's standard for all loans AND as part of Mandatory Mediation so that homeowners can start using it before foreclosure to help get a sustainable loan modification.
• We need some fixes to the version of the Attorney General's bill they have so it is not more burdensome for homeowners than the present laws!
If your Senator is on Ways & Means get to them now! If your Senator is not, ask them to speak immediately with who they know on Ways & Means. Senate Ways & Means Committee members are: Brewer (chair), Flanagan, (vice-chair), Candaras, Creem, Downing, Jehlen, Joyce, Kennedy, Knapik, McGee, M. Moore, R. Moore, Pacheco, Petrucelli, Ross, Timilty
Specifically, Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL) requests (1) Mandatory Mediation and Preventing Unnecessary Vacancies language to be added as complete additional sections of the bill so they apply to ALL mortgages; (2) Correction of the negative additions to the Attorney General’s bill, the complicated process for homeowners covered by the AG’s new standard AND expand that coverage.
Petitions to Foreclosure (first step in the formal foreclosure process) are up 47% over this time last year. Recent figures show property values dropping again, putting Massachusetts with the fourth highest percentage of homeowners underwater in the entire country. Massachusetts could face another 100,000 foreclosures before this crisis is over!
For clarification about MAAPL's requests, call Grace Ross at 617-291-5591