Massachusetts bill could change foreclosure rules

Legislation meant to help the many homeowners in Massachusetts who are facing high credit card bills, mortgage payments and the threat of foreclosure could soon be introduced into the state’s House of Representatives.

Housing advocates support the new bill, as it would require all foreclosures to be reviewed before a judge. This is seen by many as an extra precaution that could help stop homeowners from being improperly evicted.

“Foreclosures are spreading like wildfire across Massachusetts, with some of the now hardest hit communities in rural areas and wealthy suburbs,” Grace Ross, coordinator of the nonprofit Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending, told The Boston Globe. “This is a crisis that affects everybody, and we’ve got to get on top of it.”

The news comes weeks after a state Supreme Judicial Court decision that invalidated the foreclosures of two Springfield residents, the news source says. If approved, the bill could make Massachusetts the 24th state to institute a process by which these disputes are heard in court.

In the last two years, an estimated 20,000 Massachusetts homeowners have lost their properties due to a foreclosure.