Mass. Senate Passes Foreclosure Bill

THE STATE HOUSE — A foreclosure prevention bill is headed to the governor’s desk after getting unanimous approval Thursday in the state Senate.

As WBUR’s Bianca Vazquez Toness reports for our Newscast unit:

The bill would require banks to evaluate a homeowner’s ability to pay their mortgage, then modify the loan if it’s cheaper than foreclosing.

“There’s responsibility that goes all around,” said Westfield Sen. Michael Knapik, who was on the committee that negotiated the bill’s final version. “And the sooner we can get to modifications, the sooner we can get all parties to agree, that all works out well.”

“We’re creating that discussion between the borrower and the bankers that we think was lacking in the existing law,” added East Boston Sen. Anthony Petrocelli.

But homeowner advocates say a provision added to the bill without debate would make it difficult for people to sue lenders to get their homes back after illegal foreclosures.

“If their home was taken from them wrongfully, they will not have recourse if the bank is able to sell it quickly enough to an investor, which is the ultimate insult after a long string of insults,” said Eloise Lawrence, an attorney with the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau.

The bill now awaits Gov. Deval Patrick’s signature.

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  • Mcder781

    This BILL that is pending before Gov Patricks if signed into law is ANOTHER BAIL OUT FOR the BANKS!PLAN and SIMPLE!

  • Matt

    * The bill does not include mandatory mediation, or protection for homeowners after foreclosure.
    * The bill includes a requirement for banks to negotiate modifications,
    but only through the mail (not in person), and only on certain
    “subprime” loans. Problem: the majority of foreclosures are now on loans
    that are not covered by the modification requirement in this bill.
    * At the last minute, language was added that will deny homeowners the
    ability to fight illegitimate foreclosures in many cases.”

  • marysweeney

    How are we  “creating that discussion between the borrower and the bankers that we think was lacking in the existing law” if there is no obligatory sitting down face to face? And how is there “responsibility that goes all around” if the bank is not responsible for illegally selling their home? If I illegally sell someone’s car (which would be called “theft”) do I get a pass or do I go to jail? And doesn’t the owner get their car back? Am I missing something here? Why don’t the cases match up? What is the difference between the two scenarios. Elise Lawrence is exactly right. Matt (below) is absolutely correct. This is a fiction. This is theft. This is legalized stealing. Will I hear any sermons about this on Sunday??? I won’t hold my breath. The only person who wound up in jail was Bernie Madoff. Why? Because he stole from the 1%. It’s okay and legally sanctioned to steal from the 99%. It is called doing business.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMVATTV65STDDRSKXJIK7BN4RY Mike

    I really dont under stand how this bill will help anyone but the Banks!Why would you take a right to sue the BANKS away if they foreclosed illegally!!!IT makes no sense!It makes alot of CENTS to the banks!If this is passed into law with no changes,the GOV. should at least change the name of the BILL to READ =AID TO HELP UNLAWFULLY DONE FORECLOSURE AND EVICTION!!!!!!!!!Because IT IS WHAT IT IS!

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