Mass. Senate to start debate on foreclosure bill

Associated Press / April 25, 2010

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BOSTON — The Massachusetts Senate is planning to start debate Thursday on a bill designed to protect renters and older homeowners as foreclosures continue to climb.

The bill would bar tenants from being evicted from foreclosed properties and toughen consumer protections for senior citizens considering reverse mortgage agreements.

The bill would also encourage lenders to modify loans to help homeowners stay in homes, create an abandoned and foreclosed property registry, and criminalize residential mortgage fraud.

The proposed legislation comes as the number of foreclosures initiated by lenders jumped 21.6 percent in March compared to the prior month and 8 percent from a year earlier. The increase was a sign that the recovery in the housing market remains tenuous, real estate specialists said.

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