Authorities in Springfield, Massachusetts announced Monday they will begin enforcing anti-foreclosure regulations that survived a federal court challenge. An activist who had lobbied for passage of the new requirements more than two years ago lamented the slow pace of implementation.
For just over a year now, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office has used money from the nationwide settlement with banks over unlawful foreclosures to help people hang on to their homes. Attorney General Martha Coakley highlighted the successful efforts during a forum today in Springfield.
In the first quarter of 2013, the foreclosure crisis affecting Western Massachusetts and the Berkshires appears to be worsening despite national trends of an improving housing market.
As a result of a $25 billion national settle with major lenders over their foreclosure practices, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office over the past year has partnered with community organizations to offer assistance to those who face foreclosure in a campaign called HomeCorps.
City councilors in Springfield Massachusetts have voted to reject a settlement with several banks over a foreclosure ordinance.
The vote means the city can implement the ordinance even if the banks continue to challenge its legality in the federal appeals court. The ordinance, passed in 2011, and upheld by a federal judge last year requires banks to post a$10,000 bond to maintain and secure vacant foreclosed property. City councilor Melvin Edwards said city taxpayers will no longer have to pay to eradicate the blight that results from foreclosure.
Community activists in several US cities are calling for changes in housing policies. They point to a shortage of affordable housing in the midst of a surplus of vacant, bank-foreclosed properties. One of the cities where anti-poverty activists point to what they see as a housing crisis is Springfield Massachusetts.
City Councilors in Springfield Massachusetts Monday night will consider changing a foreclosure ordinance to settle a lawsuit by several banks.
The change would exempt banks from having to post a $10,000 bond to secure and maintain foreclosed vacant property, if other conditions are met, including hiring a local property manager. A mediation program to help people at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure would be implemented. City Council Vice President Bud Williams said implementation of the ordinance has been blocked since it was passed almost two years ago.
The city of Springfield Massachusetts is considering changing a local ordinance that was hailed as a national model for addressing problems caused by foreclosures. Community activists, who championed the ordinance when it passed almost two years ago, accuse city officials of caving into the banks.
The Massachusetts House of Representatives has passed a compromise bill designed to prevent unnecessary home foreclosures in the state by forcing modifications for certain mortgage loans. WAMC’s Lucas Willard has more…
State representatives voted unanimously in favor of the conference committee's compromise bill Wednesday. It now heads to the Senate, which is expected to vote on the proposal during its Thursday session.