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 The Law Office of Glenn F. Russell, Jr. 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.
Be aware that some 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. 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 The Law Office of Glenn F. Russell, Jr. We are dedicated to helping you stay in your home, so call us today!
- Drowning in debt?
- Feeling stressed because of your finances?
- Being harassed by creditors?
The Law Office of Glenn F. Russell, Jr. is here to help you with all these issues and so much more before they become a major issue.
"I truly appreciate having Glenn not just as an advisor, but someone truly on my team."
- Glenn is knowledgeable in his area, above many. He takes the time to truly understand his clients needs and expectations. He has been an advocate for me. I truly appreciate having Glenn not just as an advisor, but someone truly on my team.- Chris M.
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.