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U.S. Appeals Court Stays Springfield Foreclosure Regulations

A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked enforcement of an anti-foreclosure ordinance in Springfield Massachusetts.

Banks are challenging the ordinance that requires a $10,000 bond be posted for each property being foreclosed.  The  money would be used to secure and maintain vacant houses, according to Springfield Code Enforcement Commissioner Stephen Desilets.

" It has been very frustrating for  us over the years trying to deal with all the complaints that come in from the neighborhoods about vacant properties and have nothing to tap into."

The banks appealed a federal judge’s 2012   ruling that the ordinance-- and a second one requiring a mediation program to help homeowners faced with foreclosure-- are valid.  The U.S Court of Appeals in Boston this week stayed enforcement of the ordinances until it rules on the case.  During the peak of the foreclosure crisis Springfield was the hardest hit city in the state and has struggled to recover.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.