Massachusetts Foreclosure Laws

Synopsis of Massachusetts Foreclosure Laws

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Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes

Non-Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes

Primary Security Instruments: Deed of Trust, Mortgage

Timeline: Typically 90 days

Right of Redemption: No

Deficiency Judgments Allowed: No

In Massachusetts, lenders may foreclose on deeds of trusts or mortgages in default using either an entry by possession or non-judicial foreclosure process.

Foreclosure by Possession

After the borrower defaults on the mortgage, the lender may recover possession of the property by: 1) obtaining a court order; 2) entering the property peaceably; and 3) by proper consent of the buyer. If the lender maintains possession peaceably for three years from the date of possession, the borrower loses all rights of redemption.

Non-Judicial Foreclosure

The non-judicial process of foreclosure is used when a power of sale clause exists in a mortgage or deed of trust. A “power of sale” clause is the clause in a deed of trust or mortgage, in which the borrower pre-authorizes the sale of property to pay off the balance on a loan in the event of the their default. In deeds of trust or mortgages where a power of sale exists, the power given to the lender to sell the property may be executed by the lender or their representative, typically referred to as the trustee. Regulations for this type of foreclosure process are outlined below in the “Power of Sale Foreclosure Guidelines”.

Power of Sale Foreclosure Guidelines

If the deed of trust or mortgage contains a power of sale clause and specifies the time, place and terms of sale, then the specified procedure must be followed. Otherwise, the foreclosure may proceed as follows:

A notice of sale must be recorded in the county where the property is located. The notice must also: 1) be sent, by registered mail, to the borrower at his last known address at least fourteen (14) days prior to the foreclosure sale; 2) published once a week for three (3) weeks, with the first publication being at least twenty one (21) days before the sale, in a newspaper of general circulation within the county where the property is located.

Said notice must contain the place, time and date of the foreclosure hearing, the date the mortgage was recorded, the borrowers name, the amount of the default and the terms of the sale.

The sale must be conducted at public auction on the date, time and place specified in the notice of sale. The property will be sold to the highest bidder.

The borrower has no rights of redemption.

Note: Foreclosure Summary ©