Massachusetts Foreclosure Laws

Foreclosure in of Massachusetts is primarily non-judicial, that is they occur mostly out of courts. The process of foreclosures generally takes not more than three months from the date the lender schedules the foreclosure sale.

Pre-foreclosure Period

The lender has the option of issuing a notice of default to the borrower before initiating the foreclosure procedure. But it is not mandatory in the State of Massachusetts. However, it is important for the lender to obtain a ruling from the land court confirming that the borrower is not subject to any protection under the Soldiers' & Sailors' Civil Relief Act, in the event of which the foreclosure action may be postponed if the borrower is an active member of the US Military.

The mortgage shall contain a clause of power-of-sale that authorizes the lender to proceed with a foreclosure process and dispose the property in sale to recover the debts. Under the terms of the power-of-sale clause of the mortgage, the lender shall obtain a judgment from the land court authorizing the foreclosure.

Further process of foreclosure shall be followed by the lender once the judgment is obtained.

Auction Notice

The lender shall publish the notice of sale in the local newspaper published within the county where the property is located. Such notice shall be published once a week, for a minimum period of three weeks. The first such notice shall be published within a period not less than 21 days before the scheduled date of the foreclosure sale.

The lender shall also send, by mail, a notice of sale to the borrower or any such stake holders, within a minimum period of 14 days prior to the date of sale.

The property is sold in a public auction by a licensed auctioneer. The sale is awarded to the highest bidder. At the time of awarding the sale, the winning bidder must pay a deposit and shall be given a period of not more than 30 days in order to remit the remaining amount.

The auctioneer may announce the postponement of the foreclosure sale, and the number of such postponements is not limited. The sale is recorded within 30 days from the date of the sale, and the winning bidder shall be transferred the ownership of the property.

Any surplus in the auction sale proceeds shall be claimable by the borrower. Once the sale is completed, the borrower does not have the right of redemption.

A judgment of deficiency, for any inadequacy of funds to discharge the debt even after disposal of the property in the auction sale, can be passed against the borrower. This can be done only if such a notice for filing for deficiency judgment is issued to the borrower within a period of 21 days from the date of scheduled sale. The notice has to clearly state that the lender shall proceed to claim deficiency from the borrower in case the foreclosure sale does not generate adequate funds.

If you need more information about Massachusetts foreclosure laws, you should contact a foreclosure lawyer, or contact us so we can recommend one for you.

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