Defenses to Foreclosure in Massachusetts
The Law Office of Glenn F. Russell, Jr.
After the real estate market crash, due largely to fraudulent and predatory activity committed by lending and mortgage companies, it has become increasingly common for individuals to fight foreclosure actions. A Massachusetts foreclosure defense lawyer from our firm can use several defenses to foreclosure on your behalf.
We have provided a general overview of the most common defenses that can challenge a foreclosure lawsuit and allow a court-ordered review of a foreclosure notice. Read more about the defenses that may apply to your foreclosure below.
Offer to negotiate terms of mortgage.
Some mortgage terms are so unfair that it causes a homeowner to suffer financial hardship. In such a case, a lawyer can challenge the grounds of a foreclosure by persuading a judge that a foreclosure that resulted from an unfair mortgage should be dismissed. This is known as the legal principle of "unconscionability." An attorney can help you with the process of negotiating the terms of mortgage to a rate that is fair and attainable and could also enroll you in government and lender programs.
If the Foreclosing Party Failed to Follow Foreclosure Procedures
The foreclosure process is incredibly complex and complicated. In order for a foreclosure to continue in court, specific legal requirements must be met. If a foreclosing party fails to follow procedures, or if a lender commits an unfair lending practice, you could have grounds to challenge a foreclosure in court.
Due to the enactment of the recent Massachusetts legislation, An Act Preventing Unlawful and Unnecessary Foreclosures, homeowners throughout Massachusetts are more protected. Foreclosure law states that only a mortgage holder can initiate a foreclosure action in order for the foreclosure process to legally begin. Unfortunately, mortgage servicers make mistakes all the time. Due to the mortgage securitization process and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, mortgages are often sold unlawfully, and proving mortgage ownership can be incredibly difficult.
We are Massachusetts attorneys with court experience that can help defend you!
In order to defend your property against a foreclosure in Massachusetts, you must first file a lawsuit alleging that the foreclosure (or threatened foreclosure) did not take place under Massachusetts' strict statutory requirements. Doing so may push the courts to stop to the foreclosure in Massachusetts and possibly force the courts to review the case. At The Law Office of Glenn F. Russell, Jr. hiring a Massachusetts attorney with court experience can help when you need assistance challenging foreclosure actions or require representation in foreclosure appeals.
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Do I really need a foreclosure lawyer?Absolutely. Should you need foreclosure defense counsel, only an experienced attorney can determine which course of action is best for you. Whereas predatory scam artists try to prey on your financial vulnerability, a skilled foreclosure defense attorney genuinely can look out for the best interest of you and your family. Legal advice must be practical and efficient in order to be effective, so if you need strong legal guidance, trust that The Law Office of Glenn F. Russell, Jr. can offer the counsel needed to successfully navigate the complicated legalities of foreclosure or bankruptcy.
Third parties are offering to help my foreclosure process. How do I know who to trust?
Perhaps one of the greatest obstacles individuals encounter during the foreclosure process is learning who to trust and who to avoid. Due to the nature of the foreclosure process, descriptions of any homes being foreclosed may be published and accessible as public information. It is a sad truth that there are fraudulent companies that prey on public lists of foreclosing homes and attempt to take advantage of a people's financial vulnerability.
You may be contacted by mortgage brokers, mortgage negotiators, or mortgage holders. You may also be contacted by a Massachusetts bankruptcy attorney or a private financier who offers to help you sort out your finances. These parties may be dependable sources of legal and helpful advice during your foreclosure.
Unfortunately, there are frauds and scam artists who will try to take your home or your money without providing any sort of service. A general word of advice we give to clients to follow is: If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid scams with the help of a qualified attorney from our firm!
What happens at a foreclosure sale?
It doesn't happen all the time, but if you have exhausted all of your legal alternatives and feel as though a foreclosure or short sale is the last resort, you need to know what to expect.
No foreclosure sale is exactly the same, but for the most part, the foreclosure sale process typically involves the following:
- Lenders must first send a notice of a foreclosure to the homeowner. The notice must be sent at least 14 days prior to the foreclosure sale date.
- A foreclosure sale will take place at the date, time, and place specified in the foreclosure notice.
- The foreclosure sale will be conducted by a licensed auctioneer. The auctioneer will read various legal notices, descriptions, and documents pertaining to the property.
- The auctioneer will take bids on the property, take deposit checks, and accept the highest bid to close the foreclosure property sale.
- Parties - including the mortgagor, the purchaser, and the auctioneer - will draft a foreclosure deed, which must be recorded and filed at the Registry of Deeds.
- A grace period - typically 30 days - will be given to allow the purchaser to line up financing.
- A closing will take place, and the new owner will formally take title to the foreclosed property.
All monies paid by the new purchaser will go toward paying real estate taxes, owed mortgages, and payments to creditors or other debts owed on the property. If no one at the foreclosure sale is able to bid a high enough amount to cover the debt of the property, then the balanced owed - called a deficiency - would then be the liability of the old owner.