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Full-Text Articles in Law

Fighting The Undead: Why States Should Use Forced Vesting To Kill Zombie Mortgages, Roman Ibragimov Apr 2019

Fighting The Undead: Why States Should Use Forced Vesting To Kill Zombie Mortgages, Roman Ibragimov

Boston College Law Review

Following the financial crisis, many home mortgage borrowers found themselves living in properties encumbered by debt that far exceeded their value. The result was an increase in mortgage default rates, followed by a wave of foreclosures as lenders scrambled to minimize the financial damage to their investments. From the wreckage, a new creature emerged that threatened to devastate borrowers who believed that foreclosure was their chance for a fresh start: the zombie mortgage. With a spike in lenders failing or declining to foreclose on properties, borrowers were unexpectedly facing an unwanted burden of homeownership that would cause them and their ...


Foreword, Patricia A. Mccoy May 2017

Foreword, Patricia A. Mccoy

Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice

In the wake of the financial crisis, mortgage lending to lower-income and minority borrowers overcorrected and has not recovered. Although homeownership is a riskier investment than previously realized, still it remains a proven path to increased wealth on balance for lower-income households. There are a number of reasonable reforms that could achieve greater access to credit while containing default risk. These include strategies to reduce down payments safely and to keep monthly payments manageable, combined with fixed-rate loans. Prepurchase counseling is important to preparing applicants for the financial demands of homeownership and strengthening their credit histories, while rapid foreclosure prevention ...


Discussion Of Papers On Cyclicality In Mortgage Markets, Edward J. Kane May 2017

Discussion Of Papers On Cyclicality In Mortgage Markets, Edward J. Kane

Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice

The mortgage market can be portrayed as a complicated machine that processes information and disinformation to help lenders and would-be homeowners to fashion an enforceable and fair set of mutual obligations. The papers in this symposium issue focus on ameliorating cyclical speed-ups and slowdowns in the lender-operated parts of this machine. My discussion focuses on two issues: (1) how transitioning to a gig economy is changing household needs for owner-occupied and rental homes across different age groups; and (2) how to use the legal system to lessen the informational disadvantage that would-be homeowners face in understanding the deals they are ...


Mortgage Supply Chain Failure And Innovation, Lisa Davis May 2017

Mortgage Supply Chain Failure And Innovation, Lisa Davis

Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice

The standard mortgage supply chain is so costly and inefficient that large national banks have dramatically scaled back their provision of mortgages to low- and moderate-income households. Absent regulatory requirements, subsidy, improvement in the way the mortgage supply chain works, or maybe all three, low- and moderate-income households will continue to be underserved by those banks with the largest share of the mortgage market. A number of factors contribute to this problem, including expensive marketing costs and commissions, as well as the obsolete, paper-based technology for loan production. Arguably, the national banking system has never excelled at providing fairly priced ...


Expanding The Mortgage Credit Box: Lessons From The Community Advantage Program, Roberto G. Quercia, Sarah Riley May 2017

Expanding The Mortgage Credit Box: Lessons From The Community Advantage Program, Roberto G. Quercia, Sarah Riley

Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice

The Great Recession has raised concerns about the promotion of homeownership to low- and moderate-income families. The subprime credit boom of the early 2000s was replaced with an overall credit retrenchment. The reforms to the housing finance system, begun with the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, remain incomplete given the uncertain future of the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”). In light of this uncertainty, can or should homeownership continue to be supported, and if so, in what way? In this paper, we examine one ...


Quantifying The Tightness Of Mortgage Credit And Assessing Policy Actions, Laurie S. Goodman May 2017

Quantifying The Tightness Of Mortgage Credit And Assessing Policy Actions, Laurie S. Goodman

Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice

This Article quantifies the dramatic tightening of mortgage credit that has occurred in the post-crisis period. It then describes the policy actions to loosen the credit box taken to date by both the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as well as those taken by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), concluding the FHA still has some important actions it has yet to undertake. Finally, the consequences of tight credit are discussed: namely, a lower home ownership rate, particularly among minorities, leaving many unable to access what has historically been the single most powerful ...


Waiting For Homeownership: Assessing The Future Of Homeownership, Jonathan Spader, Christopher Herbert May 2017

Waiting For Homeownership: Assessing The Future Of Homeownership, Jonathan Spader, Christopher Herbert

Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice

The decade-long decline in the homeownership rate in the United States has generated substantial discussion over its future path. In the face of continued uncertainty, this Article seeks to assess what we know and do not know about the sources of the decline and the likely trajectory of the homeownership rate in coming years. The analyses use the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) of the Current Population Survey for 1985 to 2015 to examine the determinants of changes in the homeownership rate, using shift-share analyses to measure the extent to which changing demographics explain the observed changes. The results ...


One Mortgage: A Model Of Success For Low-Income Homeownership, Clark L. Ziegler, Elliot Schmiedl, Thomas Callahan May 2017

One Mortgage: A Model Of Success For Low-Income Homeownership, Clark L. Ziegler, Elliot Schmiedl, Thomas Callahan

Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice

A 1989 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston identified major racial disparities in mortgage lending in the City of Boston that could not be explained by income, credit scores, or other objective underwriting factors. In response, city and state officials, community organizations, and major banking institutions joined together in 1990 to design and launch what is now the Massachusetts ONE Mortgage program. The program is built around a low down payment mortgage loan with discounted interest rates, a state funded loan loss reserve that eliminates the need for mortgage insurance, retention of servicing and credit risk by the ...


Why Cyclicality Matters To Access To Mortgage Credit, Patricia A. Mccoy, Susan M. Wachter May 2017

Why Cyclicality Matters To Access To Mortgage Credit, Patricia A. Mccoy, Susan M. Wachter

Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice

Virtually no attention has been paid to the problem of cyclicality in debates over access to mortgage credit, despite its importance as a driver of tight credit. Housing markets are prone to booms accompanied by bubbles in mortgage credit in which lenders cut underwriting standards, leading to elevated loan defaults. During downturns, these cycles artificially impede access to mortgage credit for underserved communities. During upswings, these cycles make homeownership unnecessarily precarious for many who attain it. This volatility exacerbates wealth and income disparities by ethnicity and race. The boom-bust cycle must be addressed in order to assure healthy and sustainable ...


The Housing Market Cannot Fully Recover Without A Robust Rental Policy, Michael A. Stegman May 2017

The Housing Market Cannot Fully Recover Without A Robust Rental Policy, Michael A. Stegman

Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice

There is no one explanation for why access to mortgage credit remains so tight this far into the housing recovery, nor is there a consensus on why our national homeownership rate has fallen to a fifty-year low, but one thing is clear: the homeownership and rental markets are two sides of the same coin. As such, policymakers must understand that pressures and problems in one have implications for the other. As we disentangle and address the interwoven causes of our credit access and homeownership challenges, we do have a set of affordable rental policies and programs, proven effective and informed ...


A Narrowing Of Section 1983 Claims: How Gonzaga Has Limited Recovery For Victims Of Lead Poisoning In Federal Court, Anna Snook Apr 2017

A Narrowing Of Section 1983 Claims: How Gonzaga Has Limited Recovery For Victims Of Lead Poisoning In Federal Court, Anna Snook

Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review

Dellita Johnson brought a claim against the City of Detroit on behalf of her minor son, asserting that her son sustained lead poisoning from the public housing unit in which they lived. She brought claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for the deprivation of federal rights created under provisions of the United States Housing Act, the Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act, and administrative regulations created under those statutes. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s dismissal of Ms. Johnson’s claims, holding that the applicable provisions of the United States Housing ...


No Place To Call Home: Rethinking Residency Restrictions For Sex Offenders, Gina Puls Jun 2016

No Place To Call Home: Rethinking Residency Restrictions For Sex Offenders, Gina Puls

Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice

Modern day sex offender legislation was first implemented in the early 1990s in response to a number of headline-grabbing incidents. Seeking to protect families and children, federal and state legislators passed regulations aimed at tracking, monitoring, and controlling released sex offenders. A key portion of these legislative developments include state and local level residency restrictions, which prevent sex offenders from living within an established distance—usually 1000 to 2500 feet—of various places where children gather, such as schools and daycare facilities. These laws have created enormous hardship for released sex offenders as they attempt to reintegrate into society, and ...


Up In The Air: Harmonizing The Sharing Economy Through Airbnb Regulations, Johanna Interian Apr 2016

Up In The Air: Harmonizing The Sharing Economy Through Airbnb Regulations, Johanna Interian

Boston College International and Comparative Law Review

The practice of opening up one’s home to accommodate strangers is not new, but it has been revitalized and expanded through the sharing economy and—in particular—through the technology-based platform Airbnb. Despite marketing itself as a tool to connect people across the world, Airbnb has distanced itself from responsibility to its users and the communities in which it operates. As a leader in the sharing economy, Airbnb should be liable for limited actions of hosts consistent with the externalities generated by transient home sharing. A number of European cities serve as a model for how U.S. jurisdictions ...


A Dangerous Disappearing Act: Preserving Affordable Housing In The Face Of Maturing Mortgages, Kaitlin J. Brown Apr 2015

A Dangerous Disappearing Act: Preserving Affordable Housing In The Face Of Maturing Mortgages, Kaitlin J. Brown

Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice

By the year 2020, almost all of the affordable housing units created by Sections 221(d)(3) and 226 of the Housing Act of 1937 could disappear. These units were created in the late 1960s in an effort to draw more private equity to the affordable housing market. The federal government entered into contracts with developers, exchanging mortgage subsidies and insurance for affordability clauses in the developers’ mortgages that required a certain percentage of their developments be kept for affordable housing for the life of the mortgage. These mortgages were set for a term of forty years. The country is ...


Private Rights Under The Housing Act: Preserving Rental Assistance For Section 8 Tenants, John M. Lerner Apr 2014

Private Rights Under The Housing Act: Preserving Rental Assistance For Section 8 Tenants, John M. Lerner

Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice

The Housing Choice Voucher Program provides low-income families with federally funded rental assistance. In order to receive rental assistance, tenants and landlords must maintain units in compliance with the Housing Quality Standards promulgated by the United States Housing Act. A failure by either party to comply with the Housing Quality Standards results in a termination of the federal funding. Unfortunately for voucher recipients, this means that they can be stripped of their rental assistance through no fault of their own. To remedy this situation, many tenants have tried to bring an action against their landlord, alleging a violation of the ...


Now Ucc Me, Now You Don't: The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Ignores The Ucc In Requiring Unity Of Note And Mortgage For Foreclosure In Eaton V. Fannie Mae, Christopher Cifrino Apr 2013

Now Ucc Me, Now You Don't: The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Ignores The Ucc In Requiring Unity Of Note And Mortgage For Foreclosure In Eaton V. Fannie Mae, Christopher Cifrino

Boston College Law Review

On June 22, 2012, in Eaton v. Federal National Mortgage Association, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts upheld a trial court ruling and held that an entity must hold both note and mortgage in order to foreclose properly. Because this represented a significant shift in Massachusetts foreclosure law, the court applied its ruling only prospectively. To support its holding, the court relied on common law and statutory justifications. In so doing, the court did not address pertinent sections of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) that could have led to the same outcome. This Comment argues that examining the UCC in ...


Procedural Due Process And Hearsay Evidence In Section 8 Housing Voucher Termination Hearings, Margaretta E. Homsey Mar 2010

Procedural Due Process And Hearsay Evidence In Section 8 Housing Voucher Termination Hearings, Margaretta E. Homsey

Boston College Law Review

The federal Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program provides critical housing subsidy assistance to over two million low-income families in the United States. Each year some of these families have their Section 8 voucher assistance terminated based solely on uncorroborated hearsay evidence relied on by local public housing authorities to prove various program violations. State and federal courts have reached differing conclusions as to whether these terminations violate families’ procedural due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment and federal regulations governing the program. This Note argues that terminations based solely on hearsay evidence violate procedural due process and the federal ...


Local Preferences In Affordable Housing: Special Treatment For Those Who Live Or Work In A Municipality, Keaton Norquist Jan 2009

Local Preferences In Affordable Housing: Special Treatment For Those Who Live Or Work In A Municipality, Keaton Norquist

Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review

Local governments are increasingly granting preference to local residents and employees when selecting occupants for affordable housing set-asides. These preferences risk being invalidated for three reasons. First, courts could view the preferences as a penalty on nonresidents’ fundamental right to travel and migration. Second, preferences implemented with the intention of excluding protected classes of persons could violate the Equal Protection Clause. Finally, preferences could violate the Federal Fair Housing Act by creating or perpetuating discriminatory racial impacts. In order to avoid these legal risks, this Note proposes that local governments should structure their affordable housing selection programs as broadly and ...


If You Can't Build It, They Won't Come: Condominium Construction Moratoria And Gentrification, Dara K. Newman Jan 2008

If You Can't Build It, They Won't Come: Condominium Construction Moratoria And Gentrification, Dara K. Newman

Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review

The increasing presence of bright, new condominium development in America’s cities is changing the composition and appearance of these urban landscapes. Long-time local residents in gentrifying areas are confronted daily with the impacts of development, and are searching for tools to preserve their communities and keep them affordable. One response has been proposed moratoria on condominium construction. This approach aims to stop the influx of more affluent individuals into urban neighborhoods by preventing the construction of higher-end condominiums. This Note examines the validity of such moratoria on condominium construction as an exercise of the police power. Through a comparison ...


Rent Control And Rent Stabilization As Forms Of Regulatory And Physical Takings, Christina Mcdonough Jan 2007

Rent Control And Rent Stabilization As Forms Of Regulatory And Physical Takings, Christina Mcdonough

Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review

The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the government’s taking of private property without adequate compensation. Rent controls and rent stabilization unduly burden property owners by depriving them of market rate rental revenue. Furthermore, these methods of producing artificially low rents are often ineffective, failing to alleviate the financial hardships of the programs’ intended beneficiaries. Due to these dual aspects of rent control and rent stabilization programs— as well as by analogizing the programs to more classically recognized forms of regulatory takings, such as where the government deprives a property owner of all reasonable uses of his ...


Stranded Again: The Inadequacy Of Federal Plans To Rebuild An Affordable New Orleans After Hurricane Katrina, Larkin M. Moore Jan 2007

Stranded Again: The Inadequacy Of Federal Plans To Rebuild An Affordable New Orleans After Hurricane Katrina, Larkin M. Moore

Boston College Third World Law Journal

Hurricane Katrina was the most devastating hurricane to hit the United States in recorded history. The damage in New Orleans was most acutely felt by poor and African-American neighborhoods. One of the most pressing issues for poor residents of New Orleans in the future will be the availability of affordable housing. After the hurricane, Rep. Richard H. Baker (R-La.) proposed that the legislature create a government-run corporation with the mission of facilitating the rebuilding of Louisiana communities. His plan took into account community needs and prioritized affordable housing and well-planned development. Baker’s Bill has been rejected by the Bush ...


Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning--The Answer To Affordable Housing Problem, Brian R. Lerman Jan 2006

Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning--The Answer To Affordable Housing Problem, Brian R. Lerman

Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review

Affordable housing has always been a problem in the United States. Cities and towns originally engaged in forms of discrimination through exclusionary zoning to exclude low-income residents. While many of the social attitudes persist today, the question is how to encourage new affordable housing development. This Note introduces the concept of inclusionary zoning as a successful method for creating affordable housing. The Note examines the constitutional analyses used for land use ordinances. Then, the Note evaluates existing affordable housing programs, distinguishing between the eastern approach and the western approach. The eastern approach—represented by New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Montgomery County ...


Housing In Crisis--A Call To Reform Massachusetts's Affordable Housing Law, Christopher Baker Jan 2005

Housing In Crisis--A Call To Reform Massachusetts's Affordable Housing Law, Christopher Baker

Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review

The debate over how to properly foster and maintain affordable housing has remained a longstanding, contentious issue in Massachusetts government. For the past thirty years, this debate has crystallized and regularly centered on Chapter 40B, Massachusetts’s affordable housing law. Recent executive, legislative, and private proposals, coupled with extraordinary increases in housing costs, have resulted in growing concerns over the effectiveness of 40B and the correct method, if any, of fixing its deficiencies. This Note examines these proposals as well as affordable housing efforts in other parts of the country and argues that Massachusetts’s affordable housing crisis will only ...


Getting Evicted For The Actions Of Others: A Proposed Amendment To The Anti-Drug Abuse Act, Bryan Cho Jul 2003

Getting Evicted For The Actions Of Others: A Proposed Amendment To The Anti-Drug Abuse Act, Bryan Cho

Boston College Law Review

Section 1437d(11(6) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 seeks to eliminate the dangerous conditions in America's public housing complexes by providing housing authorities with the ability to combat the drug crisis through streamlined third-party-action evictions. Both history and substantive due process challenges to this law reveal significant problems, however, with providing management with broad discretion to evict tenants uninvolved in or unaware of a third party's illegal activities. This Note proposes that Congress amend § 1437d( /) (6) to require that public housing tenants have actual or constructive notice, based on an objective standard, of a ...


Can't Stop The Hustle: The Department Of Housing And Urban Development's "One Strike" Eviction Policy Fails To Get Drugs Out Of America's Projects, Jim Moye May 2003

Can't Stop The Hustle: The Department Of Housing And Urban Development's "One Strike" Eviction Policy Fails To Get Drugs Out Of America's Projects, Jim Moye

Boston College Third World Law Journal

In Department of Housing and Urban Development v. Rucker, the United States Supreme Court upheld the agency's use of the "one strike" eviction policy, which requires housing authorities to issue leases with the condition that tenants who engage in any drug-related criminal activity are subject to eviction. Moreover, the court held that a tenant's ignorance of the activity is not a defense to eviction. Although this ruling appears consistent with the Court's decision in Goldberg v. Kelly, the seminal case delineating the government's ability to terminate public assistance, the one strike eviction policy nevertheless suffers from ...


Affordable Housing V. Open Space: A Proposal For Reconciliation, Mark Bobrowski Jan 2003

Affordable Housing V. Open Space: A Proposal For Reconciliation, Mark Bobrowski

Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review

This Article describes the friction in Massachusetts—largely inspired by controversy surrounding the State’s affordable housing law, Massachusetts General Laws chapter 40B—between housing advocates and open space advocates. The sources of this breach are embedded in the State’s land use statutes. This Article reviews the current law and the symptoms of the feud, and it suggests various legislative proposals for the reconciliation of these progressive forces.


The Cost Of Developing Affordable Housing: At What Price?, Jonathan Douglas Witten Jan 2003

The Cost Of Developing Affordable Housing: At What Price?, Jonathan Douglas Witten

Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Affordable Housing Element In Comprehensive Plans, Daniel R. Mandelker Jan 2003

The Affordable Housing Element In Comprehensive Plans, Daniel R. Mandelker

Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review

The New Jersey Supreme Court’s Mount Laurel doctrine requires all municipalities in the state to accept their fair share of regional housing need. Planning statutes that require housing elements in comprehensive plans have adopted the fair-share doctrine as a basis for assigning local affordable housing obligations. This Article argues that the assignment of numerical fair shares is not an acceptable basis for affordable housing policies in comprehensive plans. Alternate strategies should be considered.


Inclusionary Housing Programs: Local Governments Respond To California's Housing Crisis, Cecily T. Talbert, Nadia L. Costa Jan 2003

Inclusionary Housing Programs: Local Governments Respond To California's Housing Crisis, Cecily T. Talbert, Nadia L. Costa

Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review

As anti-growth sentiment increases across the country, two laudable goals—affordable housing and environmental protection—are coming into conflict. This tension is most evident in California. Nine of the ten least affordable communities in the country are in California. California also has one of the most complicated and expensive environmental regulatory processes for development. This results in builders being unable to produce housing to keep up with demand, and an increase in the cost of those units that are available. “Smart Growth” is often proffered as the answer to this dilemma: by promoting more compact development, mixed-use and mixed-income neighborhoods ...


Equity In Eden: Can Environmental Protection And Affordable Housing Comfortably Cohabit In Suburbia? , Rusty Russell Jan 2003

Equity In Eden: Can Environmental Protection And Affordable Housing Comfortably Cohabit In Suburbia? , Rusty Russell

Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review

State-based affordable housing initiatives have survived decades of controversy. Two of the most successful—in Massachusetts and New Jersey—encourage homebuilders to bypass local regulations when zoning ordinances limit available land. Opponents assert that these programs invite developers to pillage open space, impairing wetlands and promoting sprawl. This Article examines the low- and moderate-income housing programs established by the so-called “Anti-Snob Zoning Act” in Massachusetts and the Mount Laureldoctrine in New Jersey. Drawing on Oregon’s integrated planning regime as a point of contrast, it analyzes the potential for tension between policies that advance affordable housing in the suburbs and ...