The state legislature and senate have just passed a foreclosure bill that now awaits Governor Patrick’s signature. BUT a dangerous section has been inserted, and the bill has almost none of the protections that member organizations of MAAPL -- including the Green-Rainbow Party -- have been fighting for. (MAAPL is the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending.)
Even so, there are simple ways for the Governor to make this bad bill better. While some provisions may look promising on paper, the deadlines and timeframes attached would give banks and mortgage companies a way to easily slip out of compliance. These deadlines and timeframes must be changed.
Here are Governor Patrick’s phone numbers: 617-725-4005 or 888-870-7770 (in state). And if you have time, also ask your state senator and representative to urge the Governor to make these important changes*:
1) Remove the section that lets banks foreclose simply by stating (without proof) that they have the actual note and that harms the right of homeowners to sue even when they can prove the bank is wrong.
2) Change the deadline from the end of 2013 to the end of 2012 for a task-force report on the advisability of letting homeowners continue to stay and rent their homes after foreclosure, thereby contributing to community and economic stability.
3) Establish a realistic timeframe for the loans covered in the legislation by the “commercially reasonable” cost-of-foreclosure test which requires a loan modification process in certain cases. This process MUST NOT penalize the homeowner when the bank refuses to accept the application as complete within a mere 30 days and simply lets the clock run out.
Not only does this bill drop provisions that a majority of other states require to protect homeowners, it can do serious damage to the economic well-being of families, neighborhoods, and the Commonwealth if the above changes are not made. Call now! And encourage others to do the same.
*To find out who your Representative and Senator are and their phone numbers; go to <www.WhereDoIVoteMA.com>
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