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Massachusetts law about reverse mortgages

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on reverse mortgages.

Table of Contents


St.2020, c.65, § 2 Until the end of the COVID-19 emergency, required counseling may be done by video conference or telephone

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.167E, s.7 Reverse Mortgage Loans

MGL c.167E, s.7A Reverse Mortgage Loan Requirements

MGL c.171, s.65C Credit Unions: Reverse Mortgages

MGL c.171, s.65C-1/2 Credit Unions: Reverse Mortgage Loan Requirements

MGL c.183, s.67 Limitations on Reverse Mortgages

Massachusetts regulations

209 CMR 32.33 Requirements for reverse mortgages

Federal regulations

12 CFR 226.33 Requirements for Reverse Mortgages

Selected case law

James B. Nutter & Co. v. Murphy, 478 Mass. 664 (2018)
A reverse mortgage did not contain the formal language of "statutory power of sale," but only said that the company could “invoke the power of sale and other remedies permitted by applicable law." The SJC held that, given that this was a reverse mortgage, and not a traditional mortgage, "where the lender cannot hold the borrower personally liable for the debt, and where the lender’s only recourse on default is to obtain repayment through a foreclosure sale," "the only reasonable and practical interpretation of the mortgage was that it incorporated the statutory power of sale."

Web sources

Approved reverse mortgage lenders and loan programs, Massachusetts Division of Banks
Lists approved lenders in Massachusetts followed by a list of inactive previously approved reverse mortgage lenders.

As reverse mortgages end, heirs are left with heartache, Nick Penzenstadler, USA TODAY Updated Dec. 23, 2019

Can a reverse mortgage be assumed by an heir to the property? SFGate

Foreclosure of reverse mortgages,
Information on when a lender or servicer can foreclose on a reverse mortgage

Home equity conversion mortgages for seniors, US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
Provides links to detailed information for seniors and lenders

If I get a reverse mortgage, can I leave my home to my heirs? Nolo

Industry guidance on reverse mortgage loans, Massachusetts Division of Banks 
"Information for banks, credit unions, and lenders seeking to make reverse mortgage loans in the Commonwealth."

Questions about reverse mortgages, National Council on Aging

Reverse mortgage loans, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, August 2019
CFPB provides general consumer information about reverse mortgages; the agency publishes Consumer Advisories, and has put together a Discussion Guide that reviews key concepts of reverse mortgages.

Reverse mortgage loans, Massachusetts Division of Banks
Provides information on issues to consider and steps that must be taken to get a reverse mortgage loan.

The reverse mortgage: pros and cons,
A reverse mortgage loan can help some older homeowners meet financial needs, but can also jeopardize their retirement if not used carefully.

Reverse mortgages, AARP
Discusses the advantages and disadvantages of reverse mortgages, how they work, and other options to consider.

Reverse mortgages, Federal Trade Commission

Reverse mortgages: An innovative tool for elder law attorneys, Carolyn H. Sawyer, 26 Stetson L. Rev. 617 (1996).

Reverse mortgages and elderly Americans: protecting the greatest asset from potentially misleading advertising practices, Eric J. Brenner, 80 Alb. L. Rev. 569 (2017)

Spouses not named on reverse mortgages are (sometimes) protected from foreclosure, Nolo

Toppling reverse mortgage abuse, Ingrid Evans and Daniel Oren, 53 Trial 30 December (2017)

What heirs need to know about reverse mortgages, Kiplinger

What to know about reverse mortgages: Seniors can qualify to tap into their home's equity, but beware of pitfalls, John Waggoner, AARP, October 29, 2019

Print sources

Advising the elderly client, West, chapter 7, § 27-33 Home Equity Conversions

Corpus juris secundum, 59 C.J.S. Mortgages § 667 Right to foreclose; effect of death of mortgagor – Reverse mortgages, March 2020 Update

Elderlaw: Advocacy for the aging, West, chapter 22, § 42-50 Reverse mortgages.

Estate planning for the aging or incapacitated client in Massachusetts, MCLE, loose-leaf. Chapter 15: Nationwide Reverse Mortgage Programs

Massachusetts Practice

Consumer law

  • v. 35A Chapter 8  § 36 Reverse mortgage loans
  • v. 35A Chapter 10 § 66-69 Reverse mortgage loans
  • v. 35A Chapter 10 § 76 Subsequent disclosures
  • v. 36A Chapter 28 § 55 Required disclosures – special information booklet

Elder law

  • v. 56 Chapter 4 § 20 Supplemental security income

Real estate law

  • v. 28 Chapter 9 § 28 Alternative forms – Reverse mortgages

Summary of basic law

  • v. 14C Chapter 14 §146 Federal Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act—Loan affordability and income verification

Mortgage lending, NCLC,  2019, Chapter 9



Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only


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Last updated: February 3, 2021