Housing

With the tough economy, ensuring that individuals have the tools and resources to remain in their homes has been of great importance to Barbara.  She has worked with both parties to address Massachusetts citizens’ concerns over housing costs, foreclosures, and mortgages.

Bills Passed in 2009-2010

Foreclosure Legislation (Chapter 282 of the Acts of 2010)

  • Establishes protections for tenants living in properties that have been taken over by a lender after foreclosure
  • Lenders must post contact information for the lender – including an address where tenants can mail their rent – within 30 days of foreclosure; a lender cannot evict a tenant for failure to pay rent unless it has provided this notice
  • In the event that a property is taken over by a lender after foreclosure, this bill stipulates that tenants can only be evicted for just cause or if the building is purchased by a third party
  • Extends the right to cure period to 150 days from 90 days in some circumstances. This period, which allows lenders and homeowners a window to work out a new payment plan to avoid foreclosure, gives homeowners time to come up with past due payments on their mortgage before the lender can require full payment of the unpaid balance
  • Institutes new provisions to govern interaction between a lender and homeowner during the right to cure period
  • Allows the 150-day right to cure period to be granted once every 3 years: currently, the 90-day right to cure period is available once every 5 years
  • Adds new requirements to the right to cure notice that lenders must provide to homeowners
  • Establishes a new local property tax exemption for charitable organizations that acquire a foreclosed property with plans to create low and moderate income affordable housing on the property – exempts the organization from property taxes until it sells or rents the property, but not for more than 7 years after the purchase

Affordable Housing “Expiring Use” (Chapter 159 of the Acts of 2009)

  • Preserves affordable housing and protect tenants living in publicly-assisted housing
  • Allows the state and localities to purchase affordable housing units before they hit the open market
  • Protects tenants of affordable housing units by requiring that they be given 24 months notice of affordability termination

Federal Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) for Mortgage Licensing (Chapter 44 of the Acts of 2009)

  • Brought Massachusetts into compliance with a federal law to require all mortgage loan originators to be licensed through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry.
  • Enacted important consumer safeguards and established a system of compliance, enforcement and continuing education for mortgage loan originators to ensure that the highest ethical standard be met.