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Governor Signs Bill To Help Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

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(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has given final approval to legislation that seeks to prevent home foreclosures by forcing mortgage lenders to offer modifications on certain “risky” loans.

Patrick signed the bill Friday afternoon. It had passed unanimously in both chambers of the Legislature.

The governor said the legislation creates “unparalleled consumer protections” and ensures that mortgage borrowers are given every chance to stay in their homes.

It requires lenders to assess a borrower’s circumstances and determine whether the net value in changing an existing loan is more than the anticipated recovery from foreclosure. If so, the lender is required to offer a loan modification to the borrower.

It also prohibits lenders from foreclosing on properties without proper documentation and includes provisions to create a task force to study mediation programs.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press

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