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Eastern Bank, others seek to put stop to Lynn foreclosure law

0508 foreclosure sign

Bay State foreclosure petitions skyrocketed in March as lenders get tough with delinquent mortgage holders.

Eastern Bank and several other banks pushed a federal court to prevent the city of Lynn from enforcing an ordinance that requires them to engage in mediation with homeowners prior to foreclosure.

The banks, which also include the Country Bank for Savings and Avidia Bank, are seeking a preliminary injunction in their lawsuit against Lynn and the city of Worcester. They argued in a court filing earlier this week that because Massachusetts’ highest court recently ruled against a similar statute in the city of Springfield in another case, the federal court should rule against the Lynn ordinance. The Supreme Judicial Court held that the foreclosure process is traditionally overseen by the state, not municipalities, according to the banks.

The federal court previously granted the banks’ bid to temporarily bar Worcester from enforcing a similar mediation statute, though it rejected the bid as it related to the Lynn statute. The banks contended the court should reconsider its holding in light of the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision. They also asked the court to extend the injunction against the Worcester ordinance.

The banks are also asking the court to stop Worcester and Lynn from enforcing ordinances that require lenders that start foreclosure proceedings to remove hazardous material from the property.

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