BOSTON/State House - Two dozen activists from the Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending and allied organizations held a press conference in support of a bill to "Prevent Unlawful and Unnecessary Foreclosures" at the State House on Tuesday. The bill, House 4096/Senate 2298, was intended to strengthen 2010 state legislation that provided banks with incentives to meet with threatened homeowners to prevent foreclosure. Since that time, activists say that banks have chosen to ignore those incentives and wait a while longer to foreclose on homes whose owners can no longer make their mortgage payments - often due to much-criticized predatory loan terms.
Language passed in the Senate version of the bill in May would have added a provision for mandatory mediation between homeowners and banks to prevent many foreclosures - a policy already in place in 23 jurisdictions across the US and in all New England States except Massachusetts. But that language was removed by the state legislature's conference committee on Wednesday. And the bill is currently expected to be passed into law without the provision.
Speakers at the event included Mayor Lisa Wong of Fitchburg, State Rep. Carl Sciortino (D-Somerville) and several other officials and activists. MAAPL activists are now trying to put pressure on the state legislature to add the mandatory mediation provision back into the bill.
This article is a news brief.