Governor Deval L. Patrick
Floreclosure Prevention Plan Unveiled
October 18, 2007
Representative William Lantigua
Some of the issues that's going on today that has been outlined before you is going to prevent some of those things from happening. But I think the best news that I heard so far and that is great news is that something is going to be done for those who are suffering right now, at the brink of losing their homes. Somebody's got, when I spoke about what happens to a community when people are losing their homes? What happens to the economy? Those of you who were in Lawrence many years ago remember what happened. We had a fire literally everyday, we became known as the "fire capital of the United States" or something like that. We don't want that to happen, and I'm not saying that's what we see so far because a lot of people who bought their homes have the same pride as the people who bought their homes before. But when you invest in something and value goes down so much, and you feel that you are just throwing money out the window, you just abandon that piece of property. It happened in many cases in years before and that's what will happen if this train continues. And I'm glad to see that the Governor, the House and the Senate, all of us are working together to avoid that from happening.
Mayor Michael Sullivan
Governor Patrick, now you need to think about this, came to Lawrence today and said "I'm here to listen and I'm here to help." Now if you turn the clock back, when Lawrence was burning, cars were being stolen, crime was through the roof. I don't know what Boston governors or politicians came to Lawrence to say "I'm here to help." Maybe if they did back then, we wouldn't have had the problems that we had over that run of about ten years. We have brought together people, all of you, this building, we're in the Our House building, it's called Our House because it was the people who built it, thanks to LCW and their team. Homeownership has been something we've been talking about that will change all the rules, and that has happened. We have had a 60% reduction in property crimes in the last four years. We built new schools thanks to Sentator Tucker, Representative Lantigua, Governor Patrick. We have come a long way in this city working together.
Senator Susan Tucker
Today I have summaries of work that the senate did. We passed a bill two months ago, the house is working on it today. Representative Torrisi has been very tireless in his efforts on this bill. The attorney general, as the governor mentioned, the federal government, the division of banks. Prevention, education, regulation, criminal penalties for these deceptive loans. The gig is up. However, what we need today and what the governor is doing is putting together strategies to help people now who are in serious devastation.
Governor Deval Patrick
We need, in order to make good policy good information, real facts on the ground from real people. And I thank all the participants in the meeting for helping us, in that respect. I think Mario and others who spoke today talked about something a lot of us understand instinctively, which is how homeownership is central to the toehold many of us are trying to get in the middle class. I met this young man just a minute ago who told that he has three children did you say?
Young Man: Yes, sir.
Governor Deval Patrick
Trying your best to stay in your home while on account of steeply increasing interest rates, or terms that in some cases unfair at the outset. People are at risk of losing their homes. And it's in those homes where families are built, communities are built and stabilized. The economy, frankly, is built. Because of those sharply increasing interest rates and poor industry practices, individuals and families are at risk. I think we're had a 78% increase in the rate of foreclosures here in Massachusetts in the last 12 months. To help families facing foreclosures we are rolling out today a 5 point plan. It involved outreach, it involved learning about and spreading best practices in the lending industry, it involves refinancing opportunities it involves consulting and transition activities if necessary and it involves efforts to stabilize neighborhoods because if this is left unattended the neighborhoods will be destabilized and a whole host of other social problems and challenges are multiple so we have to act and we have to act now. In terms of outreach the commonwealth is joining the Neighborworks center for foreclosure solutions it's a 24/7 hotline with advice and referrals for counseling for work out programs for resources available to homeowners to help them work through their situation. That number and I will ask please if the media will indulge me by not editing this out, that number is available at 888 995 HOPE of 4673. The division of banks will continue its effort to try to obtain temporary delays, stays of foreclosure to buy some time for individual families and homeowners to work out their needs. In terms of best practices we had a good and rich conversation about some things that work and a lot of consensus around the room I think its fair to say about restructuring. That it lenders take the time to work through terms that enable people to stay in their homes at payments that they can afford and perhaps sharing in the view of some in the upside once to market begins to rebound.