Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rejects Municipal Foreclosure Ordinances
By: Gregory N. Blase, David D. Christensen, Matthew N. Lowe
Can a Massachusetts municipality impose ordinances on banks that are more onerous than existing statewide law? In a recent landmark decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) answered “no.” In Easthampton Savings Bank v. City of Springfield, the SJC held that two ordinances, through which the City of Springfield (“Springfield”) sought to make foreclosures more difficult, were preempted by the Massachusetts Constitution. The Easthampton Savings Bank decision should serve to curtail municipalities’ attempts to impose regulations that are more stringent than those imposed by statewide law and—in welcome news to banks and investors—restore a degree of consistency in conducting foreclosures in Massachusetts.
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