Massachusetts law about mortgage foreclosure

Laws, regulations, cases and web sources on mortgage foreclosure law.

For information about municipal tax takings, see Massachusetts law about property taxes.

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, or if you have a specific question, please contact our law librarians for assistance.

Table of Contents

COVID-19 relief information

Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) 
The Massachusetts Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) is a federally funded housing assistance program to help homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • "After June 30, 2023: Mass HAF will no longer accept new applications. Please submit your application as soon as possible. Beginning on July 1, 2023, the state-funded Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program will become available to low-income homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure. At that time, eligible homeowners may apply for RAFT through the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities’ Emergency Housing Payment Assistance Portal."

Learn about forebearance, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
If your loan is backed by HUD/FHA, USDA, (see 9/27/21 announcement), or VA, you may request an initial COVID hardship forbearance as long as the COVID-19 National Emergency is in place. On October 13, 2022, the Secretary of HHS extended the National Public Health Emergency for 90 days until January, 2023. If your loan is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, there is not currently a deadline for requesting an initial forbearance. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides information on how to request forebearance.

Best bet

Mortgage lending and foreclosures, Mass. Attorney General.
Information about preventing foreclosure, the loan modification process, foreclosure-related scams, and frequently asked questions regarding resources for mortgage and foreclosure assistance. If you are having an issue with your mortgage lender, you can file a complaint with the AG’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division.

What happens when the bank forecloses, MassLegalHelp, 2013.
Helpful information for homeowners facing foreclosure. Links to information about the various steps in the foreclosure process.

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.183, § 27 Disposition of proceeds of foreclosure

MGL c.244 Foreclosure and redemption of mortgages

MGL c.260, § 33 Limitation of actions: obsolete mortgages
See also:

Massachusetts regulations

209 CMR 56 Foreclosure prevention options (with form for notice) (Division of Banks)

940 CMR 25 Foreclosure rescue transactions and foreclosure-related services (Office of the Attorney General)

Federal law

12 CFR X Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection

Selected cases

Web sources

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

Frequently asked questions on 150/90 day right to cure notice, Mass. Division of Banks.
If you are behind in mortgage payments you are in “default.” If you pay the bank all the payments you missed, you can “cure the default”. The bank must send you a notice that says you have the right to pay the money you owe.  Helpful information on requirements for a right to cure notice.

Very basic information about avoiding foreclosure, avoiding foreclosure scams, and refinancing a mortgage. From an official federal government website.

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.

Home foreclosure and debt cancellation, IRS.
Provides critical information on the tax consequences of foreclosure and debt cancellation, with links to forms. See also Mortgage forgiveness tax break extended through 2025 by Amy Loftsgordon, Nolo.

Land Court Servicemembers cases resources
Military status can provide certain protections from foreclosure.  Learn about the process and protections provided.

Making home affordable, US Treasury Dept. & US Housing and Urban Development Dept. 
Explains eligibility for federal programs for refinancing and modification of mortgages, including a self-assessment tool.

Massachusetts foreclosure laws and procedures, Nolo.
Learn about foreclosure procedures in Massachusetts, including what notices you’ll get and the steps the foreclosing bank must follow. Detailed information from a legal self-help publisher.

Print sources

Crocker’s notes on common forms, 11th ed., MCLE, loose-leaf, Chapter 10, Foreclosure of mortgage.

The foreclosure survival guide : keep your house or walk away with money in your pocket by Amy Loftsgordon, Nolo, 2021. (eBook available here with library card).

Home foreclosures: including reverse mortgages, tax liens, condominium liens, land installment sales, and seizure of manufactured homes by Geoff Walsh, National Consumer Law Center, 2019.

Massachusetts mortgages, foreclosures and workouts, 7th ed., MCLE, loose-leaf.

Real estate law with forms, 5th ed. (Mass. Practice v. 28) Thomson Reuters, 2016 with supplement. Chapter 10, Mortgage foreclosure.

Contact for Massachusetts law about mortgage foreclosure

Last updated: May 22, 2023

Help Us Improve with your feedback