Massachusetts law about mortgage loans, brokers and lenders

Laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on mortgage loans, brokers and lenders.

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Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.183, § 61 Escrow and interest on escrow accounts

MGL c.184, § 17B Mortgage loan application; required statements and information

MGL c.184, § 17B 1/2 Variable or adjustable-rate subprime loans for first-time home loan borrowers

MGL c.255E Licensing of certain mortgage lenders and brokers

MGL c.266, § 33 Larceny; false pretenses relating to contracts, banking transactions or credit

MGL c.266, § 34 Larceny; inducement to part with property

MGL c.266, § 35A False material statements or omissions during or in connection to mortgage lending process

MGL c.277, § 62C Jurisdiction over violations of § 35A of chapter 266

Massachusetts regulations

209 CMR 41 Licensing of mortgage loan originators

209 CMR 42 Licensing of mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers

209 CMR 54 Mortgage lender community investment

940 CMR 8 Mortgage brokers and mortgage lenders
Defines prohibited unfair and deceptive advertising practices and "expand[s] the scope of previous home improvement loan regulations to apply to all mortgage loans."

Federal laws and regulations

15 USC 6801 et al. Disclosure of nonpublic personal information
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act requires financial institutions – companies that offer consumers financial products or services like loans, financial or investment advice, or insurance – to explain their information-sharing practices to their customers and to safeguard sensitive data. It was recently updated to include cybersecurity.

12 CFR Appendix F to Part 225, Interagency guidelines establishing information security standards
Set forth standards pursuant to sections 501 and 505 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (15 U.S.C. 6801 and 6805). These Guidelines address standards for developing and implementing administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of customer information.

Selected cases

Bank of New York Mellon vs. Timothy Morin & others, 96 Mass. App. Ct. 503 (2019)
Reversed summary judgment in favor of plaintiff bank, over issues of material fact including whether foreclosure protections applied and if the lender took all reasonable steps to avoid the action.

Thornton vs. Thornton, 97 Mass. App. Ct. 694 (2020)
A “payable on demand” mortgage without reference to a maturity date remained enforceable for thirty-five years from the recording date. Expiration of a statute of limitations is no bar to recovery under a mortgage, so long as the underlying debt remains unpaid.

Wells Fargo Bank v. Comeau, 92 Mass. App. Ct. 462 (2017)
Provides extensive discussion of the doctrine of equitable subrogation.

Web sources

Home refinancing FAQs, Mass. Secretary of the Commonwealth.
Also includes the booklet Why should I refinance, and when does it pay to do so?

Loans and mortgages, Mass. Division of Banks.
Learn more about lending products and services that may be available to you in Massachusetts, including pay day loans, pawn brokers, adjustable-rate loans, debt collection and more.

MassHousing mortgages
The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency is an independent, quasi-public agency created in 1966 to support affordable housing opportunities for Massachusetts residents. Find out about mortgage loans, down payment assistance and homebuyer benefits offered through this agency.

Mortgages, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Learn about how to get a mortgage, understand statements, what to do if you are not able to pay, know your rights, and how to file a complaint.  Includes definitions of key words.

Mortgages and assignments, Lowell Registry of Deeds. 
Explains how mortgages are recorded and the difference between a mortgage and a promissory note.

Nationwide mortgage licensing system, Conference of State Bank Supervisors.
"The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) is a web-based system that will allow state licensed mortgage lenders, mortgage brokers, and loan officers to apply for, amend, update or renew a license online for all participating state agencies using a single set of uniform applications." Verify a financial service provider here.

Prepare for cybersecurity regulatory expectations, Mass. Division of Banks.
Find out about regulations governing information security and expectations for financial institutions and non-depository institutions.

Understanding your mortgage loan, Mass. Attorney General’s Office.
Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about mortgage loans and links to resources.

Print sources

Consumer law, 4th ed. (Mass Practice v.36A), Thomson Reuters, 2021 with supplement.
Sections 28:41 Required disclosures for all mortgage loans and 28:42 Counseling of certain subprime borrowers.

Lender liability law and litigation, Matthew Bender, loose-leaf.

Mortgage lending, NCLC, 2019.

Mortgage servicing and loan modifications, Rao, John, Second edition, 2023. National Consumer Law Center, [2023]

Real estate law with forms, 5th ed., (Mass. Practice v.28-28B), Thomson West, 2016 with supplements, Chapter 9 Mortgages.

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Last updated: September 6, 2023

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