For Immediate Release - August 23, 2012

Patrick-Murray Administration's Division of Banks to Hold Hearing on New Foreclosure Regulations

BOSTON - August 23, 2012 - As the Patrick-Murray Administration's Division of Banks prepares to issue rules that require lenders and servicers to take reasonable steps to avoid foreclosure for certain mortgage loans, a public informational hearing will be held on August 29th to gather input on the regulations.

The upcoming regulations are part of legislation signed by Governor Deval Patrick on August 3, 2012 that strengthens consumer protections for the residents of Massachusetts and continues the Commonwealth's national leadership on foreclosure prevention.  Homeowners in Massachusetts will also benefit from protections that prohibit certain conduct in connection with foreclosure including misrepresentation, unfair costs, and imposition of fees for services not performed.

The new law requires that lenders send a notice to borrowers of their right to pursue a loan modification for certain mortgage loans. This law also requires lenders to conduct an analysis to determine the net present value of a loan modification for these types of loans.  Lenders cannot foreclose if modifying the mortgage will cost the lender less than the cost of foreclosure.  In addition to requiring lenders to take reasonable steps to avoid foreclosure, lenders must prove loan ownership prior to taking foreclosure action.

"The new law provides additional protections to consumers and ensures borrowers will have a reasonable opportunity to save their home,” said Barbara Anthony, the Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. "These first-in-the-nation standards will help prevent avoidable foreclosures and position the Commonwealth for recovery in the housing market.”

The public informational hearing during which the Division will accept comments is scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 29, 10 a.m., 1000 Washington St., 1st Floor, Boston, MA 02118

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

Throughout this informational process, written comments may be submitted to the Massachusetts Division of Banks, 1000 Washington St., 10th Floor, Boston, MA 02118-6400 or at dob.comments@state.ma.us. All comments to the Division must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Friday, September 7, 2012.

The Division of Banks oversees state-chartered banks and credit unions as well as mortgage lenders and brokers, debt collectors, and check-cashers, 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, on Facebook and at its Twitter feed, @Mass_Consumer.

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