For Immediate Release - January 13, 2011

Patrick-Murray Administration's Division of Banks to Hold Hearings in Brockton, Lawrence and Springfield on Foreclosure Right-to-Cure Notices, and Reverse Mortgage Regulations

BOSTON - January 13, 2011 - As the Patrick-Murray Administration's Division of Banks puts into place new rules regarding right-to-cure foreclosure notices and reverse mortgages, public informational hearings will be held to gather input on the regulations in late January.

The upcoming regulations on the right-to-cure notices and reverse mortgages are part of legislation signed by Governor Deval Patrick in August 2010 as part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's response to the foreclosure crisis in Massachusetts. The legislation extends the right-to-cure time period for homeowners from 90 to 150 days; and gives the Division of Banks the ability to create regulations regarding information about the timing of the cure period, counseling options, alternatives to foreclosure sale and the language in which the notice is printed.

The reverse mortgage regulations will focus on opt-in and counseling certification requirements, and the Division is interested in hearing about current counseling options and personal experiences in reverse-mortgage counseling, along with information about the current level of reverse-mortgage foreclosures in Massachusetts. A reverse mortgage loan is a special type of mortgage loan for seniors that pays a homeowner loan proceeds drawn from accumulated home equity. This legislation and other reverse mortgage laws cover the eligibility, procedures, disclosures and counseling requirements for a reverse mortgage program.

"Keeping families in their homes is important not just to individual homeowners, but to neighborhoods and communities across Massachusetts, and the Division of Banks continues to play a vital role in that effort," said Barbara Anthony, the Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. "These new rules will make right-to-cure notices a better tool for homeowners seeking options from foreclosure and will enhance the strong safeguards already in place on reverse mortgages."

The public hearings are currently scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 19, 10 a.m., Brockton Public Library, Main Library Multi-Purpose Room, 304 Main St., Brockton;
  • Tuesday, Jan. 25, 10 a.m., Lawrence Public Library, 51 Lawrence St., Lawrence; and
  • Tuesday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m., Fitchburg State University, Hammond Campus Center, Room Alumni AB, 160 Pearl Street, Fitchburg.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 2, 3 p.m., Springfield State Office Building, 436 Dwight St., Room B-43, Springfield.

Additional announcements relative to the hearings and subsequent rulemaking schedule will be posted on the Division's website.

Throughout this informational process, written comments on either or both subjects may be submitted to the Massachusetts Division of Banks, 1000 Washington St., 10th Floor, Boston, MA 02118-6400 or at www.mass.gov/dob. All comments to the Division must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 4.

The Division of Banks oversees state-chartered banks, check sellers, debt collectors, foreign transmittal agencies, lenders, and mortgage brokers, and is an agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. Follow the Office at www.mass.gov/consumer, its Consumer Connections Blog and at its Twitter feed, @Mass_Consumer.

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