Massachusetts High Court Rules Against Banks in Foreclosure Case

The state’s highest court sent ripples through the real estate industry yesterday ruling that banks and lenders must have proper documentation before foreclosing on a home.

The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed a 2009 Land Court decision requiring banks to have proper documentation before moving forward on foreclosures. The decision affects thousands of homes that have been foreclosed upon in Massachusetts.

In a decision written by Justice Ralph Gants, the court ruled that U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo & Co. did not prove that they held the titles on two Springfield homes, ruling the foreclosures invalid. Banks and lenders, Gants wrote, must prove they own mortgages at the time of foreclosure to proceed in seizing a home.

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