Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010
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From left to right: Joint Foreclosure Legislation Task Force Chair Elizabeth J. Barton and Vice Chair Laurel H. Siegel.

MBA forms task force to study improving foreclosure laws

The committee will focus on training attorneys to better assist foreclosure victims

The Massachusetts Bar Association has formed a Joint Foreclosure Legislation Task Force, which strives to improve both the state's foreclosure law and borrowers' access to assistance in the foreclosure process. A collaboration among bar associations, legal services, real estate attorneys and banker's associations, the task force plans to draft a legislative proposal to modernize foreclosure law in Massachusetts and ensure a fair and efficient foreclosure process.  

"The development of this task force comes at a critical time when many Massachusetts residents are struggling to stay in their homes," MBA President Denise Squillante said. "The MBA hopes this new effort will result in a more streamlined foreclosure process in Massachusetts - making it easier for both homeowners and their attorneys to navigate the system."

The task force includes representatives from the MBA's Property Law and Access to Justice sections, as well as the Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Bankers Association, the Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Association, Western Massachusetts Legal Services, and other real estate practitioners.

"Piecemeal changes to the state's mortgage foreclosure laws over the years have created a foreclosure process that is incomprehensible to borrowers and disruptive to lenders trying to comply with the law," said Beth Barton, task force chair and vice chair of the MBA's Property Law Section. "The task force strives to build a clear, open and understandable foreclosure process, from the ground up, which will benefit both homeowners and lenders."

In conjunction with the task force, the MBA has formed the Foreclosure Education Committee to teach attorneys how to counsel and advocate for individuals facing foreclosure. The free education program will kick off on Oct. 28 with a seminar covering changes in foreclosure laws. Click here to R.S.V.P. The program will also be available via MBA On Demand, an innovative approach to continuing legal education that allows users to watch programming from the comfort of their home or office. Seminars to follow will cover topics that include HAMP Loan Modifications, Alternatives to Foreclosure and others.

The task force will be led by:

  • Chair Elizabeth J. Barton, vice chair of the MBA Property Law Section Council
  • Vice Chair Laurel H. Siegel, chair of the MBA Property Law Section Council
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