“Thomas Elkind, a lawyer in Boston for Fannie Mae, said that Fannie Mae did not bring the appeal because it is anti-tenant. The company appealed because it wanted clarification on how to deal with evictions that were started before the effective date of state law, he said.”


High court in Massachusetts upholds law aimed at blocking certain evictions from foreclosed homes

BOSTON – The state’s highest court, ruling in a Springfield housing dispute, said Tuesday that a 13-month-old state law prohibits mortgage companies from evicting tenants from foreclosed residential homes without just cause.

In a decision written by Judge Ralph D. Gants, the state Supreme Judicial Court said the 13-month-old state law prevents such no-cause evictions even if the foreclosing owner purchased the property and started the eviction process before the state law was passed. The high court upheld an earlier decision by a judge for the western division of the state Housing Court in Springfield that halted the previously-common practice of “no-fault” evictions from foreclosed homes.

The state law protects all residential tenants in foreclosed properties who, on or after August 7 of last year — the date the law was signed by Gov. Deval Patrick — had yet to vacate or be removed from the premises by an eviction, the court said. The law was passed by legislators and the governor on an emergency basis during a foreclosure crisis and intended to protect people and neighborhoods, the court said.

The law bans institutional lenders who own foreclosed properties from evicting residential tenants without cause, the court said.

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