Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Boston Globe-Gov. Patrick's Bill Helps Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure

Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick:
(Story reported by Matt Byrne for the Boston Globe)

BROCKTON — In a city especially hit hard by the economic downturn, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law yesterday a bill aimed at staving off foreclosures across the Commonwealth.

The law gives delinquent borrowers more time to avoid foreclosure, bolsters tenants’ rights, encourages local redevelopment of derelict properties, and criminalizes mortgage fraud. The law also adds language to compel lenders to make a good-faith effort to communicate with homeowners who are behind on their payments before starting the foreclosure process.

Lending institutions have derided the legislation, saying it will add a new layer of confusion to the already difficult foreclosure process and effectively place a one-year moratorium on foreclosures because of the law’s extended waiting periods.

Patrick lauded the legislation, called An Act to Stabilize Neighborhoods, as a key weapon in the fight against the pain and hardship that foreclosure brings.

“There are still too many people who are losing their homes or at risk of losing their homes, with all of the disruption that comes to a family and to a community as a result of that,’’ said Patrick, speaking to about 65 community activists and local government officials before the signing. “And the role of government is not to solve every problem in everybody’s life, but to help people help themselves, and that’s what this bill does.’’

(click here to read the full story on the Boston Globe website)

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