Massachusetts law about reverse mortgages: Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM)

Laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on reverse mortgages.

Most reverse mortgages today are Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs), which are federally insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Non-HECM reverse mortgage loans may have different requirements and features.

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

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.167E, § 7 Reverse mortgage loans
Includes requirement for 7 day right of rescission.

MGL c.167E, § 7A Reverse mortgage loan requirements

MGL c.171, § 65C Credit unions: reverse mortgages

MGL c.171, § 65C-1/2 Credit unions: reverse mortgage loan requirements

MGL c.183, § 67 Limitations on reverse mortgages

Massachusetts regulations

209 CMR 32.33 Requirements for reverse mortgages
"Compliance with 12 CFR 1026.33 constitutes compliance with 209 CMR 32.33."

Federal laws and regulations


12 USC § 1715z-20(j) Insurance of home equity conversion mortgages for elderly homeowners


12 CFR 226.33 Requirements for reverse mortgages (Federal Reserve Board)

12 CFR 1026.33 Requirements for reverse mortgages (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

24 CFR 206.1-2.6.211 Home equity conversion mortgage insurance  

Selected cases

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

General info, pros and cons

Approved reverse mortgage lenders and loan programs, Mass. Division of Banks.
"The only reverse mortgage insured by the U.S. Federal Government is called a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), and is only available through an FHA-approved lender."

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

Reverse Mortgage lending for banks, credit unions, and lenders, Mass. Division of Banks.
"Information for banks, credit unions, and lenders seeking to make reverse mortgage loans in the Commonwealth."

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

Reverse mortgage loans, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
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. Download Know your rights and responsibilities.

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.


Foreclosure of reverse mortgages,
Information on when a lender or servicer can foreclose on a reverse mortgage. "The opportunity to request a delay expires May 31, 2023, and no delay period may extend beyond November 30, 2023."

Heirs and spouses

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

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage information regarding non-borrowing surviving spouses, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development 
"Upon the death of the last surviving borrower, the balance of the HECM loan becomes due and payable. At this point, the non-borrowing spouse may not withdraw any unused loan funds; however, FHA mortgage insurance premiums, and service fees will continue to accrue on the unpaid principal balance."

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

Reverse mortgages: Foreclosure protections for nonborrowing spouses, Nolo.
Reverse mortgage rules might be able to protect you if your spouse passes away, but you aren't named as a co-borrower on the mortgage.

What heirs need to know about reverse mortgages, Kiplinger.

Print sources

Corpus juris secundum, 59 C.J.S. Mortgages § 667 Right to foreclose; effect of death of mortgagor – Reverse mortgages, August 2023 update.

Elderlaw: Advocacy for the aging, West, chapter 22, § 42-52: Reverse mortgages.

Estate planning for the aging or incapacitated client in Massachusetts, 5th ed., MCLE, loose-leaf. Chapter 15: Nationwide reverse mortgage programs.

Massachusetts elder law, 2nd ed., LexisNexis, (2019). Section 14.06: Reverse mortgages.

Massachusetts Practice:

  • vol. 56 (Elder law), annual, Thomson/West, § 4:20. Proceeds from reverse mortgage loans are exempt from being countable for SSI eligibility purposes.

Mortgage lending, NCLC, 2019, Chapter 9.

Contact   for Massachusetts law about reverse mortgages: Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM)

Last updated: September 26, 2023

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