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Mass DOB Makes Web-based Foreclosure Database Available to Public

As part of their multi-faceted response to the foreclosure crisis, on January 7, 2009, the Massachusetts Division of Banks opened its online database of Massachusetts foreclosure notices to the general public. The web-based resource, available at www.mass.gov/dob, allows the Division to study trends and better focus foreclosure examination efforts. The Division opened the database to local public safety and code enforcement officials several weeks ago, enabling municipalities to better respond to public safety hazards associated with vacant foreclosed properties. To date, public officials in 122 cities and towns have registered for the database.

By providing public access to the database, anyone with an interest in tracking and understanding foreclosure trends in their neighborhood can now do so at the tip of their fingers. Community organizations and regional housing agencies will be able to use the tracking feature to better focus their relief efforts or to study trends and allocate their funds accordingly.

Under Chapter 206, An Act Protecting and Preserving Home Ownership, which was signed by Governor Patrick in November 2007, the regulatory oversight of the non-bank mortgage industry was significantly increased. Among other things, Chapter 206 mandates the development of a statewide foreclosure tracking database. All mortgage holders are now required to electronically file foreclosure petitions and records of sales involving one-to-four family, owner-occupied properties with the Division. The electronic submissions allow the Division to efficiently process and maintain this information in a web-based database, making select foreclosure property information easily available to members of the public who register to access it. In addition to creating the foreclosure database, the statute includes a new licensing requirement for mortgage originators, the fees of which have funded a statewide foreclosure prevention counseling program.

For more information, click here for the Division of Banks press re...

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