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Galvin Wants All Foreclosures Reviewed By Judge

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Massachusetts is experiencing a downward trend in foreclosures linked to the  improving job market and recovery of the housing market. (credit: AP)

Massachusetts is experiencing a downward trend in foreclosures linked to the improving job market and recovery of the housing market. (credit: AP)

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BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts is one of 27 states that does not require home foreclosures to be reviewed by a judge. Secretary of State Bill Galvin wants to change that.

Galvin, who oversees the Registries of Deeds, is proposing a new law that would require a court review before a lender can seize a property.

“I think this could be done very efficiently,” Galvin said. “We have many courts. It’s obvious that some of the courts we have don’t have that much to do, and we certainly can give them an opportunity to solve this problem for us and help getting our economy going again.”

 Listen: Full Interview with Secretary of State Bill Galvin

Galvin said that scrambled titles are dragging down the entire housing market by, “affecting the ability to sell real estate, not just for people who have property in foreclosure, but also for people who might buy them, and people who have nothing to do with it, who see their own property values going down because there’s a lot of uncertainty on other properties that might be near them.”

“We can’t straighten out our economy in Massachusetts until we get the real estate problem solved,” Galvin said.

Critics say a court review simply adds another layer to an already lengthy foreclosure process.

Meanwhile there is a bit of good news for those facing bad mortgage news. Mortgage giants including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Bank of America are promising not to evict home owners who are in default, during the two weeks surrounding Christmas.

From December 20th to January 3rd, those in default will get a holiday reprieve. With the number of bank repossessions amounting to about 100,000 a month nationwide, this temporary freeze could affect tens of thousands of home owners.

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