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Lawmaker Testifies on Bill Regarding Foreclosure

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By Jennifer Myers

State Sen. Ed Kennedy (D-Lowell) testified, Aug. 3, before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary in favor of S.1065, an Act establishing a foreclosure review division in the Superior Court.

This bill, filed by Kennedy, (D -Lowell) has been endorsed by the Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending.

“Foreclosure is not only an emotionally and financially devastating prospect for those already experiencing economic hardship, but a convoluted legal process that leaves many homeowners uncertain as to the options available to them to remedy their situation and remain in their home,” said Kennedy.

“This process is further complicated by the fact that a homeowner seeking to adjudicate a foreclosure must file petitions with multiple courts. To do so, someone must pay legal and filing fees that they most certainly cannot afford, while also casting them into a lengthy judicial process that is only exacerbated by the fact that the Massachusetts Housing Court is already operating at full caseload capacity.”

S.1065 will provide assistance to pro se litigants (those representing themselves), allow for mitigation, and ensure due process for everybody. It will streamline the foreclosure process in Massachusetts by alleviating a share of the burden encountered by both the foreclosed homeowner and the court systems from costly legal proceedings by establishing a Foreclosure Review Division within the Superior Court. This division will act as a centralized court that is responsible for the handling of the full scope of a foreclosure case as opposed to the several courts that currently have jurisdiction over certain phases of the process. Doing so will spare families from a drawn out legal proceeding and increase the judicial efficiency of our court system by relieving the caseload of the Housing and Land Courts.

“The creation of a Foreclosure Review Division of the Superior Court also has the potential to save the Commonwealth a significant amount of money over time,” Kennedy added. “This singular, judicial body would be well-versed in one of the most nuanced aspects of state law and would be thoroughly equipped to handle a high volume of caseload more efficiently than our current system.”

The bill represents a way to ensure that Massachusetts provides its residents with the means to resolve foreclosure disputes in an expeditious manner, while also making strides to lower our foreclosure rates all together.