Senate Passes Bill to Protect Homeowners

by | Jan 28, 2014

BOSTON – The Senate on Thursday, January 23rd unanimously passed legislation filed by Senator
Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) to restore the titles of foreclosed properties after thousands of foreclosure
sales in Massachusetts were determined to be void as the result of recent state Supreme Judicial Court

“Thousands of people have purchased foreclosed properties fulfilling their dream of becoming a
homeowner. When these owners go to sell or refinance, they are shocked to learn their titles are void.
This bill protects home owners of foreclosed properties from being unable to sell or refinance their homes
due to issues with the title,” Senator Moore said.

The state Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a foreclosure is void if the foreclosing lender could not
produce a written assignment of its mortgage prior to the first publication of notice. If this occurred at any
time in the chain of the title, the current purchaser of the property is left without a clear title as a result.

This bill will allow the affidavit that is recorded during the sale of the property to serve as conclusive
evidence that the foreclosing lender is in compliance unless the foreclosure has been challenged within
three years of its recording. Under current law, the affidavit can be rebutted by other evidence that shows
the foreclosing lender was not in compliance.

In addition, this bill will provide a reasonable timeframe for those who have been improperly foreclosed
on to assert their rights to ensure that borrowers continue to be protected from unlawful foreclosures.

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.