Green-Rainbow Party Urges Immediate Action on Foreclosure Bill, Endorses Vigil Action

GRP Candidates Unanimously Support Bill and Decry Legislative Inaction

by michael horan

July 26, 2010. For Immediate Release

The Green-Rainbow Party calls on the Massachusetts Legislature to adopt, without delay, "An Act to stabilize neighborhoods" (H 4595, a.k.a. "the foreclosure bill"). As summarized by City Life/Vida Urbana & MAAPL, the bill

"...would prevent foreclosing banks from evicting tenants `no-fault' in buildings banks own after foreclosure. The law would only affect foreclosing banks, not subsequent owners. The proposed law would not require state funding. It will help homeowners facing foreclosure by making banks make a good faith offer for a loan modification to prevent foreclosure or the bank will have to wait an additional 60 days up to a total of 150 days before it can foreclosure. This will provide incentives for more good faith negotiation by banks."

The legislation will also make mortgage fraud a criminal action and assist localities in rehabilitating foreclosed properties.

The state Senate has passed the same legislation unanimously, and the GRP stands with other organizations, including City Life/Vida Urbana and The Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending, in urging the legislature do likewise. With foreclosures across the state forecast to top 12,000 this year, the bill requires immediate action, as the legislative session expires at the end of the week.

Michael Horan, Green-Rainbow Party co-chair, urged state legislators to "focus on matters of real and pressing importance to the citizens of the commonwealth."

(click ["Read More"] to continue)

"This bill was favorably recommended by the Housing Committee on April 8th," Horan stated. "Rather than taking decisive action on legislation that could assist families across the state, our lawmakers instead squandered the spring and summer bogged down in endless backroom arguments about the inclusion of racinos in a casino bill. Meanwhile, as the legislative session draws to a close, the Governor has elected to visit the middle east and to issue `hopeful' statements about the wars. We'd prefer the Governor issue a statement demanding immediate action on this bill and that our Representatives worry less about housing for slot machines and more about housing for people. Follow the Senate's lead and pass this legislation."

GRP candidates running for state office in 2010 have also promoted this legislation and highlighted the fact of its non-passage to date as another example of the need to change inept government.

Gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein points out that "this year the legislature worked overtime for the casino lobbyists, and managed to pass new tax breaks for financial services and multinational corporations. But their priorities haven't yet extended to families facing the threats of foreclosures, unemployment or bankruptcy. This is no way to run a legislature. It's just one more illustration of why things need to change on Beacon Hill." Her sentiments are mirrored by running mate Rick Purcell (Lt. Governor), who warns that "the bill is an attempt to fix one of the many wrongs government should have been watchdogging all along. Those already foreclosed on have paid the price--voters need to make the current administration pay the price for their irresponsibility." And State Auditor candidate Nat Fortune decries "petty power politics within the legislature and a Governor absent without leave that have already needlessly delayed passage of basic protections for families facing foreclosure for months. Voters should begin foreclosure proceedings against Beacon Hill, and set the eviction date for November 2nd."

City Life/Vida Urbana and MAAPL are coordinating a vigil at the Statehouse commencing Wednesday, July 28th, at noon, to urge Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo to schedule a vote in the House this week.

The Green-Rainbow Party endorses this action and calls upon all Party members to make every effort to attend.


Full text of the bill here:

An act to stabilize neighborhoods, h 4595

City Life/MAAPL summary: "Anti-foreclosure groups plan rally at Statehouse to urge passage of state bill preventing bank evictions of tenants after foreclosure," Press Advisory, July 26 2010

"... and the potential for foreclosures across the state to top 12,000 this year": See "Lenders take more homes: Mass. foreclosures through June are called ‘staggering.’" Boston Globe, July 21, 2010.

" ... and to issue `hopeful' statements about the wars": wars which have cost the Commonwealth alone roughly $29 billion since 2009-- see National Priorities Project, "Cost of War to Your Community."