Massachusetts Federations Win Foreclosure Prevention
September 3, 2010
Brockton Interfaith Community (BIC), Massachusetts Communities Action Network (MCAN)
PICO federations in Massachusetts worked jointly this summer to pass a new state law preventing unnecessary foreclosures. Leaders from MCAN organized a rally of 70 people in Revere City Hall to urge state speaker of the house Robert DeLeo to move forward the bill which had already passed the State Senate. The Mayor of Revere, Thomas Ambrosino, spoke at the rally urging speaker DeLeo, who represents Revere, to pass the bill. Leaders from MCAN also met individually with Speaker DeLeo and Representative Charles Murphy, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, to encourage the bill's passage.
Leaders at BIC added to the pressure on the Legislature to pass a statewide foreclosure prevention bill in 2009 by hosting a local public action meeting with over 300 people. In response to the event the Mayor and City Council of Brockton worked to pass Home Rule Petitions, asking the Massachusetts legislature for the authority to implement foreclosure prevention laws locally. BIC also met with House legislators from their own districts to urge the passage of the State Foreclosure Law.
The new law encourages banks to meet with homeowners prior to starting the foreclosure process ensuring a fair loan modification process. Homeowners are entitled to an extra 60 days before the foreclosure process starts if a meeting is not offered. The new law also further protects tenants in rental properties against arbitrary evictions once the rental property has been foreclosed through protections for just-cause evictions.
Due to the important role that MCAN and BIC played in the passage of the bill, the Governor invited long-time BIC leader, Diluvina Vazquez Allard, to speak at the bill signing, which was held in front of a foreclosed home in Brockton. Forty BIC leaders attended the signing.