Welcome! Login | Register
 

Seven Arrested During “Worcester Anti-Fascism Group” Demonstration—Seven Arrested During "Worcester Anti-Fascism Group" Demonstration

Youth Jobs Rally to Take Place on Thursday at State House—Youth Jobs Rally to Take Place on Thursday…

Horowitz: Enemy of the People—Horowitz: Enemy of the People

Organize + Energize: 8 Things Not to do When Packing for Vacation—Organize + Energize: 8 Things Not to do…

Seven Officers to Graduate From Worcester Police Mounted Patrol Unit Tuesday—Seven Officers to Graduate From Worcester Police Mounted…

Worcester Man Arrested for Stabbing—Worcester Man Arrested in Connection With Madison Street…

Weiss: Overhauling Social Security & Medicare Gets ‘Thumbs Down’ in Recent Poll Findings—Weiss: Overhauling Social Security & Medicare Gets 'Thumbs…

Fecteau: Chafee’s Wrong on Russia—Fecteau: Chafee’s Wrong on Russia

Champion Reaches 1,000 Career Points Milestone, Holy Cross Beats American 69-54—Champion Reaches 1,000 Career Points Milestone, Holy Cross…

Smart Benefits: Five Ways to Avoid National Origin Discrimination Claims—Smart Benefits: Five Ways to Avoid National Origin…

 
 

Housing Advocates Say Settlement is Not Enough

Thursday, September 27, 2012

 

Massachusetts borrowers hit by the foreclosure crisis are eligible for roughly $14.6 million in cash payments as part of the $25 billion national mortgage settlement, but some Central Mass housing advocates said the money will barely scratch the surface of the state's housing woes.

Attorney General Martha Coakley's office announced on Wednesday that claim forms are being sent to the more than 21,000 eligible borrowers in the Commonwealth who lost their homes to foreclosure between January 2008 and the end of 2011.

“Our office worked hard to ensure the best possible outcome for Massachusetts borrowers through the national settlement and will continue to provide assistance to distressed homeowners through our settlement funded HomeCorps program,” Coakley said.

“These payments will help those who were foreclosed in recent years by entities we allege didn’t follow proper servicing standards.”

The settlement came through in April of this year, and Massachusetts received a $44.5 million direct payment of its own, which has been used to launch the Attorney General's HomeCorps program offering support and advocacy to distressed borrowers throughout the state.

Claim forms will be sent out around the Bay State between now and October 12, and the deadline to file all claims is January 18, 2013. The cash payments are expected to be sent out mid-2013.

While $14.6 million may seem like a lot of money, Martha Assefa, community organizer for the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team, said the state has also seen a lot of foreclosures.

"If everyone gets the same amount, that's not a lot of money."

Split evenly between 21,000 borrowers, the $14.6 million settlement works out to about $700 per foreclosure, which Assefa said was "a drop in the bucket" for someone who may have lost their home over four years ago.

Still, every dollar counts.

"It's not much in the grand scheme of things," she said, "but we will be making sure whoever we're working with will apply and see what happens with the process."

Assefa said another potential issue is that many borrowers who might be eligible for those cash payments have already been scared out of their homes and will never learn of the claim forms.

"People still are learning their rights."

The fact that filing a payment claim for the newly available funds will not affect any other outstanding legal claims was a plus for Assefa in Wednesday's announcement.

"I am glad that them applying for this does not waive any of their rights," she said.

With about 90 active members, the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team runs a comprehensive outreach program, which includes knocking on doors every weekend to tell borrowers about their rights and help walk them through the various application processes for assistance and relief.

"Obviously we're going to be working with our members from any of the banks to see if they did qualify from that period and make sure that they submit whatever paperwork is necessary," Assefa said.
 

 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 
Delivered Free Every
Day to Your Inbox