Tuesday, March 22, 2011

From March 16th, 2011

WAFT Bi-weekly Meeting

Attendance: 23 (Current Record!)

Today we had a Spanish translator during our meeting, which appeared to be quite helpful. As usual everyone read the 10 Rules of Foreclosure Rights.

The only critique was that the need to translate seemed to slow down the meeting. Maybe there should be a meeting once a month for Spanish speakers?

Important Notes

•Always remember to take a deep breath; everyone attending WAFT is struggling through some hard times. What many people DON’T know if that usually they have a MINIMUM of 4 months before any moving is forced and WAFT is here to help support you along the way providing advice that helps you in your personal position.
•Many residents who came have complained that the banks been calling multiple times a day/week. THIS IS ILLEGAL. THIS IS CONSIDERED HARASSMENT!
•The Banks should be supplying all information in WRITING not by phone.

Individual Site/ Updates

Man #1- Due to a passing in the family, he fell behind in rent. He has saved up a small amount of money and is unsure how to send that it for the mortgage. On top of that his wife is fighting breast cancer. We advised that he go to housing court despite the lack of money for a lawyer. Advised him to call banks for negotiation and to allow him to pay, also to bring all his papers to the next meeting

Man #2- Man struggling while banks work on the trial modification AND the foreclosing at the SAME time, something the banks SHOULD NOT BE DOING!!! Foreclosed took place January 10th. We assured them that the marshals will not come to their house to evict them.

Woman #1- She is 1 month behind payment, since October she’s been threatened by banks with foreclosure and even put house on market without her knowledge. Banks have been calling multiple times a day. She asked bank how much she should pay to keep the house, all correspondence was by phone when it SHOULD have all been in writing.

Woman #2- Banks were also calling everyday, once again this is NOT ALLOWED! Went through the loan modification program.

Couple #1- House was put up for sale a year and two months ago. They filed for loan modification program while house was also being foreclosured on. Had court date for March 7th but date was canceled (turns out it was an auction date)

Couple #2- Bought triple-decker 19 years ago. Not behind in payments YET. Came for research purposes.


21 students from the Boston area came to Worcester to perform a massive outreach. Went door-to door passed out fliers and pamphlets. Taking multiple routes they were able to hit almost every house on the lists. Which we now have recorded thanks to our canvassing forms.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

10 Things Tenants and Homeowners Facing Foreclosure Should Know and Do:

  1. The eviction process begins with a letter called a Notice to Quit. You DO NOT need to move out immediately or by the caveat date. You can only be evicted after you’ve had your day in court. Even if your building is foreclosed! 
  2. You might be able to continue living in a foreclosed property if you’ve been a good tenant and don’t want to move. The bank might ask you to move, but it’s in their best interest not to have a vacant building. If you want to stay, fight for it.
  3. If you are up-to-date with rent, it is illegal for your landlord, old or new, to change your locks, remove your possessions, shut off your utilities, or threaten to do any of the above, unless a judge evicts you. 
  4. Save all letters, receipts, leases, and paperwork related to your tenancy, mortgage, foreclosure or eviction, even if you don’t have time to look at them right away. These will help you in court!
  5. Report code violations to the housing inspector. Proof of code violations in your building can help you get what you want or need in Housing Court. 
  6. If you are offered cash for your keys, it’s not always the best option. Bank representatives may try to pressure or bully you into accepting this type of agreement. Don’t let them. You have the right to see them in Housing Court where a judge may give you more time or award you more money to move out. 
  7. Never Sign anything that you don’t understand fully, or aren’t totally comfortable with. If you aren’t sure, don’t sign it.
  8. Never pay rent to someone if you are unsure that he/she is the real owner, old or new. Only a title or deed is positive proof of ownership.
  9. If you are unsure of whom to pay rent to, save your rent money, preferably in a dedicated bank account or in ESCROW, until you know whom to pay to.
  10. Go to Housing Court, even if you don’t have a lawyer or are unsure of what to do. Judges are often sympathetic to tenant needs such as moving costs and time to move.

Know your rights as a tenant or homeowner and help spread the word!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

WAFT Meetings!

 The Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team (WAFT) has general meetings on the  FIRST and THIRD Wednesday of the month! At these meetings, people in all sorts of situations come together to provide support and information on how to beat the banks when they try to evict you or foreclose on your house.

If you are facing foreclosure now, or if you have in the past, we hope that you will attend and find out more about your rights as a tenant or homeowner.

Together we can work to save your home and build a movement to prevent future illegal foreclosures!

5:30-7 pm @ The Neighborhood Network Center
First and third Wednesdays of the month

301 Pleasant Street (right next to the Pickle Barrel!)
Worcester, MA 01609