News

City’s Anti-Foreclosure Rules Stand

Comments (0)
Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Aggressive regulations passed by the Springfield City Council to address that city’s significant foreclosure problem have survived an effort to water them down.

Councilors passed the pair of ordinances in 2011 in response to concern over the effects of Springfield’s high foreclosure rate, among the highest in Massachusetts in recent years. One required lenders to participate in city-facilitated mediation with homeowners before foreclosing on properties; the other required them to post $10,000 bonds for foreclosed houses, to ensure that they maintain the vacant buildings. Supporters said the ordinances would help keep struggling families in their homes and help prevent neighborhood blight when vacant houses fall into disrepair, and touted the regulations as models for other communities to follow.

The Mass. Bankers Association sued over the ordinances, saying they violated state and federal law, and the city held off on enforcing them. Last summer, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Ponsor upheld the requirements, finding that the city’s Law Department had “made a sufficient showing that the Foreclosure Ordinance was necessary to protect a basic societal interest, was tailored appropriately to that purpose, and imposed reasonable conditions.”

The bankers’ group appealed Ponsor’s decision, and the two sides entered mediation, which resulted in a proposed settlement: the Bankers Association would drop the lawsuit if the city eliminated the $10,000 bond requirement, instead replacing it with a requirement that lenders register vacant properties with the city and identify a local property manager. Last week, the Council voted unanimously against amending the ordinances. The Bankers Association is expected to pursue its legal appeal.•

Comment:

Name:

Password:

New User/Guest?

Find it Here:
keyword:
search type:
search in:

« Previous   |   Next »
Print Email RSS feed

Flight Fight
The FAA’s evolving drone policy is sure to induce outrage.
From Our Readers
Casinos Need Problem Gamblers; A Better World with Ryan
Berwick-Stricken
Don Berwick may have lost to Martha Coakley in the Democratic primary, but not without winning hearts and minds in Western Mass.
Between the Lines: Martha Coakley Remade
The Democrats’ choice for governor still needs to find her star power.
From Our Readers
Gun License Mathematics; The Gun Tribe; Torturers Go Unpunished
UCash
UMass works to turn academic research into useful products—and profit.
Between the Lines: The Birth of Ajax Montoya
Debut novelist Joe Gannon brings his memorable detective to life.
Thanks, Anonymous
A private UMass donation sends us on a fruitless quest.