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Massachusetts Law About Foreclosure

Massachusetts Laws

Massachusetts Regulations

Selected Case Law

Bank of NY v. Bailey, 460 Mass. 327 (2011). "[T]he Housing Court has jurisdiction to decide the validity of a challenge to a title, raised by a former homeowner as a defense to a summary process eviction action by a party acquiring the property pursuant to a foreclosure sale."

Commonwealth v. Fremont Investment and Loan, 452 Mass. 733 (2008). Upholds a Superior Court order "that restricts, but does not remove, Fremont's ability to foreclose on loans with features that the judge described as 'presumptively unfair.'"

Eaton v. Federal National Mortgage Ass'n, 462 Mass. 569 (2012). "The meaning of the term "mortgagee" as used in the statutes is not free from ambiguity, but we now construe the term to refer to the person or entity then holding the mortgage and also either holding the mortgage note or acting on behalf of the note holder." The ruling will only apply to " foreclosures under the power of sale where statutory notice is provided after the date of this decision."

US Bank National Association v. Ibanez, 458 Mass. 637 (2011). Upholds the ruling of the Land Court (MISC 08-384283) below, regarding the requirement that mortgage holders must be accurately identified in a foreclosure proceeding. "We agree with the judge that the plaintiffs, who were not the original mortgagees, failed to make the required showing that they were the holders of the mortgages at the time of foreclosure. As a result, they did not demonstrate that the foreclosure sales were valid to convey title to the subject properties, and their requests for a declaration of clear title were properly denied."

U.S. Bank National Association v. Ibanez, 17 LCR 679, Land Court MISC 08-384283, October 14, 2009. Foreclosure sales are invalid where they fail to name "the “present holder of the mortgage” at the time of the notice and sale (i.e., that post-sale mortgage assignments to the successful bidder, even if backdated, do not suffice)..."

Other Web Sources

Abandoned Housing Initiative Receivership Manual, Mass. Attorney General, May 2009. Extensive (94 p.) manual for municipalities on what to do when owners of abandoned housing are "completely nonresponsive to demands for code compliance." Includes sample pleadings and more.

Attorney General's HomeCorp, Mass. Attorney General. A "statewide foreclosure prevention and borrower support initiative," designed to "mitigate future impacts of the foreclosure crisis by providing advocacy to distressed borrowers in Massachusetts facing foreclosure."

Avoiding Foreclosure, Freddie Mac. Covers what if you cannot pay your mortgage?, what if you cannot afford to keep your home?, and beware of scam artists.

Complete Guide to Preventing Foreclosure on Your Home, Atlantic Publishing, 2009. Requires Library Card for access.

Defending Against Mortgage Foreclosures in Massachusetts, Michael Pill, October 2010. This 27-page supplement to Mass. Practice delineates five ways to challenge a foreclosure, with detailed references and footnotes.

Foreclosure Timeline, Middlesex North Registry of Deeds, July 2013. Blog post uses an example to illustrate the timing of an Order of Notice in the foreclosure process.

Foreclosure Prevention Counseling Resources, National Consumer Law Center. "Practical tools and resources for housing counselors, attorneys, and other advocates who are counseling homeowners threatened with foreclosure." Includes Sample Documents and Practice Aids, Fannie Mae Information, Freddie Mac Home Affordable Modification Program and more.

The Foreclosure Process in Massachusetts, Middlesex North Registry of Deeds, 2008. This fact sheet provides a clear outline of the steps involved in a foreclosure.

Foreclosure Resources, Mass. Office of Consumer Affairs. Links to valuable information for homeowners or tenants, and includes a list of foreclosure assistance available by town.

The Foreclosure Survival Guide: Keep Your House or Walk Away with Money in Your Pocket, by Stephen Elias, Nolo, 2013. Covers workouts, foreclosure, and walking away. Requires Library Card for access.

Guide to Avoiding Foreclosure, US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. Primarily written for homeowners with FHA Insured loans, much of the information may apply to anyone facing foreclosure.

Making Home Affordable, US Treasury Dept. Explains eligibility for federal programs for refinancing and modification of mortgages, including a self-assessment tool.

Questions and Answers on Home Foreclosure and Debt Cancellation, IRS. Provides critical information on the tax consequences of foreclosure and debt cancellation, with links to forms.

What Happens When the Bank Forecloses, Mass Legal Help, 2013. Outlines the steps from a missed mortgage payment through the foreclosure auction.

Selected Print Sources

Massachusetts Mortgages, Foreclosures and Workouts, 4th ed. MCLE, loose-leaf. 2v.

Short Sales, Deeds-in-Lieu and Receiverships, MCLE, 2010.