New and Recent Massachusetts Foreclosure Laws

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has amended its laws regarding the foreclosure process by adding or revising sections of Chapter 244, General Laws over the past couple of years.

Pursuant to Section 35A, effective August 7, 2010 through December 31, 2015, the mortgagor (borrower) of a one to four family dwelling occupied in whole or in part by the obligor on the debt has a 150 day right to cure, unless the lender engages in a good faith effort to negotiate a commercially reasonable alternative to foreclosure, involving at least one in person or telephone meeting, and after the meeting the borrower and creditor are not successful in resolving the dispute, in which case, the cure period is 90 days.  Notice and filing requirements are detailed.  From and after January 1, 2016, the right to cure reverts to 90 days under this section.

Under Section 35B, effective November 1, 2012, certain mortgagors have the option to have their finances analyzed during a 150 day right to cure (which can be the same cure period as for Section 35A above), in order for a determination to be made whether or not they may be eligible for the right to modify granted under this section.  Mortgagors eligible for relief under this section are those who have mortgage loans on residences of one to four units, with one of them occupied by the obligor under the loan, which meet certain specific requirements relating to the loan as originated.  These loans include many that have been characterized as sub-prime.  Notice and response requirements under this section are intricate, as are the analysis required by the lender and the conditions of any required offer of a loan modification or other alternatives.

Pursuant to Section 35C, effective November 1, 2012, a creditor must be either the holder of the mortgage note or the authorized agent of the note holder prior to foreclosing a mortgage.  In connection with the foreclosure, the creditor must execute and have acknowledged an affidavit certifying compliance with this section, based upon a review of the creditor’s business records, and record such affidavit with the applicable registry of deeds or land court district.

Contact Frank Ravinal with questions about current mortgage foreclosure requirements.