Massachusetts Foreclosure Process and Laws
Quick Facts About the Foreclosure Process in Massachusetts
Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes
Non-Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes
Primary Security Instruments: Deed of Trust, Mortgage
Timeline: Typically 90 days
Right of Redemption: No
Deficiency Judgments Allowed: No
In Massachusetts, lenders can use an entry by possession or non-judicial process to foreclose a mortgage or deed of trust in default.
Foreclosure by Possession
When a borrower defaults on a mortgage, the lender can gain possession of the property by obtaining a court order, entering the property peaceably with proper consent of the buyer. If the lender is in possession of the property for three years, the borrower loses his rights to redemption.
When the power of sale clause is included in a mortgage, this means that the borrower has pre0authorized the selling of his property in the event of his default. The lender or his representative has the power to sell the property following the regulations in the “Power of Sale Foreclosure Guidelines.”
Power of Sale Foreclosure Guidelines
If there are specifics indicated in the power of sale clause, such as the time, date, place and terms of sale, then these must be followed. If not, the foreclosure process is carried out as follows:
A notice of sale must be recorded in the county where the property is located. This notice must also be sent by mail to the borrower at least 14 days before the date of the foreclosure sale. It must also be published once a week for three weeks in the county newspaper, with the first ad published at least 21 days before the date of sale.
The notice should contain the specifics of the sale, which includes the time and date of the foreclosure hearing, date of the mortgage when it was recorded, the borrower’s name, the amount of the default and the terms of the sale.
This sale is to be conducted at a public auction specified at the time and date stated at the notice, and the property will be sold to the highest bidder.
No right of redemption is given to the borrower.
Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling
HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are available to provide you with the information and assistance you need to avoid foreclosure. As part of President Obama’s comprehensive Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan (HASP), you may be eligible for a special Making Home Affordable loan modification or refinance, to reduce your monthly payments and help you keep your home.
If you need help understanding the Making Home Affordable programs, you can use this search tool to find a counseling agency in your area that will provide you with free foreclosure prevention services. If you are eligible for the loan modification or refinance program, the counselor will work with you to compile an intake package for your servicer.
Foreclosure prevention counseling services are provided free of charge by nonprofit housing counseling agencies working in partnership with the Federal Government. These agencies are funded, in part, by HUD and NeighborWorks® America. There is no need to pay a private company for these services.
Boston Regional Office
Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Federal Building
10 Causeway Street, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02222-1092
Phone: (617) 994-8200
Fax: (617) 565-6558
TTY: (617) 565-5453
Jurisdiction: State of Massachusetts
Richard A. Walega
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday