News

Fighting Foreclosure in the City of Homes

Comments (13)
Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Springfield City Council moved last week to establish stringent anti-foreclosure laws in the city. At its July 18 meeting, the Council voted unanimously in favor of two ordinances that would make it tougher for lenders to rush to foreclose on residences, and force them to take more responsibility for foreclosed properties once they're vacant. Supporters say the changes will help keep families from being left homeless, and spare neighborhoods the problems that come with having vacant homes on their blocks.

Under one of the ordinances, lenders cannot foreclose on a home without first participating in a city-facilitated mediation process and receiving a certificate verifying their "good faith participation" in the process. The mediation process will include discussion of loan modifications and possible forgiveness of debt. The program would be available to owners of single-family and multi-family houses, as long as the owner lives in the property and it has four or fewer units.

The second ordinance requires lenders looking to foreclose on a property to pay a $10,000 cash bond to help pay for the building to be secured and maintained. "The costs associated with foreclosed and vacant homes have a direct impact on both individual families and the city at large," the Springfield No One Leaves/Nadie Se Mude coalition, which fights for people facing foreclosure and eviction, said in a release after the vote. "Families and communities are destroyed by the mass foreclosures being carried out by big banks, the city incurs significant costs to maintain these properties, and property values decline significantly throughout the city."

The Council vote followed a rally on the steps of City Hall organized by No One Leaves/Nadie Se Mude. Last year, there were more foreclosures in Springfield than in any other municipality in the commonwealth.

The ordinances still need to pass two more Council votes.

Comments (13)
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What a joke, I'd like to shave some off my mortgage but I can't because I read my mortgage documents.

Posted by David Curtis on 7.27.11 at 7:05

I agree..this is an insult to the people who work to keep their homes.

Banks being held to higher standards on upkeep in another issue that should have been adopted eons ago.

Posted by aaron on 7.27.11 at 12:37

The only insult here, is to think the readers of this article would be snowed by the conservative trolls above. This bill is all about equality and fair play, and not allowing financial entities any greater influence over our neighbourhoods.

Actually, this is a great program to help those in need. Anyone who thinks otherwise, is surely out to profit from the misfortunate and those who are victimes of predatory lenders.

Posted by tiedyeguy on 7.27.11 at 14:50

Going through the foreclosure process is very complicated and not easy to go through. Foreclosure laws differ from state to state. For more information on foreclosure laws from state to state, http://www.foreclosures.com/state-foreclosure-laws/ is a great resource.

Aaron Goldsmith

http://www.alexismcgee.com

Posted by amgsmith on 7.28.11 at 20:17

This is a direct result of government intervention in the mortgage market. Most of these people who are losing their homes would have never qualified for a mortgage before 1998. The unprecedented rise in home prices was a direct result of relaxing the guidelines for entry. No longer did you have to be a good risk because Fannie May and Fredie Mac were assuming the risk.

I feel sorry for these people because they were sold a bill of goods and they will likely lose their homes or we taxpayers will pick up the tab. They had to go through a government approved program to qualify for these programs. That worked well didn't it.

The "good" news is most of them had very little or none of their own money invested due to the ease of access to mortgage money. This is an excellent lesson demonstrating the old saying: "I'm from the government......and I'm here to help." Nobody gets helped except the vote seeking politician.

"We have met the enemy, and he is us!" Pogo

Posted by Skip trace on 7.29.11 at 8:07

Skip..you are right on about the people who should of been disqualified for a mortgage, although tiedyeguy will disagree with his liberal hogwash. He'll just tell you how this will be "good for Springfield", without offering up any reasons how or why. I saw the city hall rally and all the people who should of been disqualified started to rejoice because they werent going to have to pay their bills anymore...the hardworking taxpayer will pick up the tab so they can continue to collect their mountains of entitlements.

Posted by Joe S on 7.29.11 at 8:55

The foreclosure crisis has forced too many families from their homes and left too many homes in disrepair.

Posted by Kendra J. Garcia on 7.29.11 at 10:25

Let's see, make it harder for lenders to foreclose and gain title and possession of a property, and after the deadbeat borrowers have trashed the house, make the lender more responsible for the upkeep. Makes perfect sense in such a senseless city.

Posted by Grzegorz on 7.29.11 at 14:51

Most of you probably don't think about the fact that most homeowners that are losing their homes are also victims of the downturn of the economy in the sense that people are losing their jobs left and right due to no fault of their own.

Remember that banks sucked people in with adjustable mortage rate, and that most homeowners have been diligent tax payers their whole lives...so, anyone that is coming down on people having trouble with their mortgage payments, are happy to see that there is help for them being that it's next to impossible to find a job right now....

So, two factors come into play....adjustable rate debacle, and the loss of jobs from hard working people. Feel lucky that you still have a job...and that you can still pay your bills, because many MANY people lost their jobs due to the downturn, and now lenders are deciding not to participate in the government programs of loan modifications, and it is not enforced at all.

This is a good thing for the city....and if you don't think so, then you clearly haven't been affected by this two factors...... we spent almost a year trying to go through the Hope for Homes program (or whatever it's called) and the only thing our lender came back with was something the denied us for because we couldn't come up with the down payment for the loan modification THEY chose for us...with all the options available...they chose the one option they knew we couldn't afford. BS is what it is. By the way, we still have our home and are still struggling to make ends meet, even though we are employed, pay cuts were significant, and we're still struggling. Not our fault? Well, we all hold our lives in our own hands...BUT, there is a reason why this is such a huge problem nationwide, and it's not because we are all dead beat borrowers that are "rejoicing at the fact that we don't have to pay our bills"...that insight is such a pathetic non-empathetic view....those people have no right to come down on good hard working people such as us. We got our loan because of our AAA credit rating...not because we were taken advantage of when we got our loan. BUT, the jobs crisis has taken many people and their homes hostage...so, shame on you for thinking that way. Your tax's will not increase, so stop playing the "us tax payers filp the bill" card...as it has no merit in the larger scheme of things.

Maybe many shouldn't have gotten a loan, but that doesn't put the fault on us...it's the lenders that shouldn't have given the loan....uuuggghhhhhhh....makes my head spin.

Posted by Chris in Springfield on 7.29.11 at 19:02

Typical limp wristed response for irresponsible people. Own a home? Pay the mortgage. Don't pay the mortgage? Lose the home. Very simple. But not to the leftist pinkos. No wonder this country is a shell of what it once was.

Posted by H. Goering on 7.30.11 at 10:08

Chris...didnt the government practically order the lending institutions to lower their loan approval qualifications with a gun pointed at their head?...in Massachusetts in paticular by the likes of ultra-Liberal "do-gooders" like Barney Frank, the man who is pretty much solely responsible for the mortgage meltdown crisis? Frank and friends basically ordered these banks to give loans to people they knew or had to know, would eventually default, and thats not to mention the land flipping schemes that some of these so called "indigent" people were involved in. It was all pre-planned, buyer included. Why would some crackhead care if his credit rating dropped as long as he made a quick couple grand?...remember Bergdoll, McCarthy, and whoever else convicted in these schemes?...those werent innocent buyers that were scammed....those buyers were in on the scam.

Posted by Joe S on 7.30.11 at 10:36

As I understand it make the loan company pay for up keep, because a home owner cant pay for it or won't, we think this is going to help WHO?, these banks and loan company won't want to loan money to people who want to buy in the city because of this new law

Posted by Bear on 8.1.11 at 14:04

this is whats gonna happen in Springfield..the nations 12th most dangerous

city...http://news.yahoo.com/bulldoze-way-foreclose-102000063.html

Posted by Joe S on 8.1.11 at 21:00
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