On November 19, 2014, the federal government argued in federal court that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae – the government-sponsored banks that own half of all US mortgages – should not be subject to local, state, or federal laws. Ramón and Rosanna Suero, Dorchester residents, filed suit against Freddie Mac in November 2013 for violating a Massachusetts consumer protection statute intended to protect homeowners and stabilize communities, G.L. c. 244 sec. 35C. The Obama Administration, through the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), has intervened in the lawsuit, taking the position that the courts cannot restrain any illegal acts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.Read more
After nearly 2 years in housing court fighting eviction - and after 2 days of jury trial - the Omorodion family has won a significant victory in the fight to stay in their home. The settlement reached this week with corporate landlord City Realty:
- Allows them to stay in their home with a lease renewable for 5 years at 3% rent increases
- Provides significant compensation for valuable items removed from locked storage space
- Enforces their right to notice prior to the landlord or its workers entering the apartment
Published on October 6, 2014 on NBC.com. Written by Seth Freed Wessler.
When Marilyn Mack received an email from a company she’d never heard of before asking her to send money, she assumed it was a scam.
The December 2012 email from A Sweet Lemonade LLC told her to “please provide the amount of the condo fee and bank instructions,” according to legal documents Mack’s lawyer submitted in court. Mack at first dismissed the message, but a year later, the 59-year-old transit authority worker was facing a court battle against A Sweet Lemonade and the threat of foreclosure and eviction from the Boston condo where she’s lived for six years.
Although Mack says she has always paid her mortgage on time—and unlike her neighbors in her three-unit building, survived the foreclosure crisis of 2010—she has been subject to a questionable practice that housing advocates are calling a “condo takeover scheme.” Real estate investors first buy up foreclosed condo units in a building, then take control of the building’s condo association, which allows them to set condo fees at whatever level they choose. Advocates say that by inflating these fees beyond what occupants can afford, they place longtime condo owners like Mack at risk of being priced out of their homes.Read more