Anti-foreclosure advocates in Springfield praised a ruling by the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts which upheld an ordinance passed by the city council last year. Malcolm Chu, an organizer with Springfield No One Leaves, says the ordinance requires banks to negotiate settlements face-to-face with foreclosed residents in the presence of a neutral third party. The ordinance also requires banks to pay a $10,000 bond to the city to maintain and secure each foreclosed or vacant property.
The lawsuit was brought by the Massachusetts Bank Association and six Western Massachusetts banks, who can now appeal the court’s decision. Chu says he hopes that doesn’t happen.
“Our hope is that they will not continue. I know that they are allowed to appeal, however, at this point we’re calling on the city of Springfield and Mayor Sarno to act quickly to implement this ordinance.”
The ordinance passed the city council last August, but has yet to be signed by Mayor Dominic Sarno. Lawyers for the banks and the Massachusetts Bank Association could not immediately be reached for comment.