Foreclosure Process in Massachusetts
Help from a Massachusetts Foreclosure Defense Lawyer
Foreclosure is a complex legal process that requires a lender to re-acquire ownership of a property after a homeowner is consistently unable to keep up with monthly mortgage payments. At Glenn F. Russell, Jr. & Associates, P.C., we completely understand how emotional this time must be for you. As a homeowner, you have placed a substantial of investment in your home. We can help you assess your situation and find the best solution for you. If, ultimately, you need to foreclose, we can successfully navigate you through the process.
If you are facing foreclosure or fear that your home may be in danger of foreclosure, it is extremely important for you to be informed of the process. Becoming familiar with the legalities of the foreclosure process not only helps to prepare you for the future but also helps you learn what to expect if you choose to go through with the foreclosure process. Before making any legal decisions, it is wise to consult the legal advice of a qualified Massachusetts foreclosure defense attorney from our firm.
What happens in the foreclosure process?
In Massachusetts, the foreclosure process typically begins once a homeowner falls behind on mortgage payments. After consecutive months of continuously missed mortgage payments, the bank or lending company may issue collection letters or calls, typically giving notice to the homeowner that payments have not been received. Lenders or banks reserve the right to cure a default, which gives a homeowner approximately 150 days to resolve mortgage debt. If a homeowner is unable to settle a debt, then the banks will send an acceleration notice, which essentially means that the balance of the entire loan is due. From there, the official foreclosure process begins, which typically involves the following steps:
- A notice of acceleration/intent to foreclose is sent to the homeowner
- Under Massachusetts Law, a homeowner is given 150 days to bring the loan current, however if the borrower fails to respond to the foreclosing entity, this time frame can be reduced to 90 days.
Under Massachusetts law, the foreclosing entity will then file complaint with th Massachusetts Land Court, seeking a judicial determination that you are not currently in the active military service, and thus afforded extra protections of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Don't be confused, Massachusetts is a "non-judicial" foreclosure state, and therefore this action has nothing to do with the foreclosure itself under Massachusetts Law. We recently argued a case before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, that clearly describes this process, see HSBC Bank USA v. Jodi B. Matt 464 Mass. 193 (2013)
- The foreclosing entity, with proper jurisdiction and authority under G.L. c. 244 Section 14, must publish a notice of foreclosure sale in your local paper for three (3) consecutive weeks.
- The foreclosing entity must send a notice of foreclosure sale to the homeowner at least 14 days prior to foreclosure sale date.
- The foreclosure sale occurs on the borrower's premises, at the time, date of the auction, indicated by the foreclosing entity and also must conducted by a licensed auctioneer.
- The property is auctioned and sold to the highest bidder, and the new owner must record a foreclosure deed, which must be filed at the Registry of Deeds.
- If the borrower remains in the home after the foreclosure auction sale, the purported "highest bidder" at the foreclosure auction sale must institute eviction proceedings under G.L. c. 239, in order to force the hold over borrower to vacate the premises. (note I have heard stories about real estate companies have wrongfully scared homeowners to leave immediately after the purported "auction", Do not allow anyone to tell you that you must leave after the auction, where there have been no eviction proceedings filed, and make sure to take note of those who do tell you to leave, as they may face civil and/or criminal liability.
- The borrower retains the right to bring an action for 3 years after the auction, to challenge that the purported "auction" was wrongful.
Contact Us to Discuss Your Massachusetts Foreclosure Defense
Remember, you have the right to fight a foreclosure! There may be plenty of defenses to foreclosure available to you, but you may never know your legal options unless you consult a Massachusetts
foreclosure defense lawyer. Don't hesitate a moment longer!
Contact Glenn F. Russell, Jr. & Associates, P.C.. We are dedicated to helping you stay in your home, so call us today!