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Mortgage Review Board

These frequently asked questions will help to familiarize you with the Mortgage Review Boards and the appeal process.

The Mortgage Review Board provides an independent review process for any mortgage applicants who believe they were denied a mortgage because of the property location. All Massachusetts mortgage lenders must inform denied mortgage applicants of their right to appeal the denial.

What types of loans are eligible for review by the Mortgage Review Board?

Any denied mortgage for a 1 to 4 family first mortgage or refinance in Massachusetts is eligible for review by the Mortgage Review Board. The mortgage must also be for an owner occupied property.

What happens once I file an appeal?

The Commissioner of Banks appoints an employee from the Division of Banks (DOB) to be Mortgage Review Board's Administrative Secretary.

  1. The Administrative Secretary contacts the lender requesting copies of your entire loan package be sent to the DOB.
  2. Your loan package is presented for review at the Mortgage Review Board's next scheduled meeting.
  3. You are notified by mail of appeal decision.

Who serves on the Mortgage review Board?

Seven members appointed by the Commissioner of Banks serve on each Mortgage Review Board.

  • 3 members are community representatives
  • 3 members are employees of mortgage lenders
  • 1 member is a member of the public

At least 5 of the members of each Mortgage Review Board must either live or work within the region of the property location.

How many boards are there?

Massachusetts law states that there must be four regional Mortgage Review Boards.

  1. Boston Metropolitan Area Mortgage Review Board
    • includes Suffolk, Essex, Middlesex, and Norfolk counties
  2. Southeastern Mortgage Review Board
    • includes Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties
  3. Central Massachusetts Mortgage Review Board
    • includes Worcester County
  4. Western Massachusetts Mortgage Review Board
    • includes Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Berkshire counties

What happens during the Review Board meetings?

Members of the Mortgage Review Board review each mortgage loan denial to determine if the basis of the denial was property location. Based on the information presented, members vote to agree with the denial or to recommend the lender reconsider the loan denial.

Will I have an opportunity to go before the Mortgage Review Board when my loan is reviewed?

Neither the applicant nor the lender is present during the Mortgage Review Board meeting. You can submit written material related to your application. These written materials will be included in the presented loan package. The decision is based on the information contained in the loam package and any other relevant information presented by you or the lender.

How long does the appeals process take?

The Mortgage Review Board reviews most appeals within 45 days of receipt.

What happens if the board votes to agree with the lender's decision to deny my mortgage application?

This ends the matter at the Mortgage Review Board Level. Massachusetts law allows you the ability to seek judicial review of the decision. You may also choose to bring a civil action under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 183, section 64.

What other rights do I have if I still feel that my application was unreasonably denied?

If you still believe you there was discrimination based on the property location, or on a basis that is arbitrary or unsupported by a reasonable analysis of the lending risks associated with a residential mortgage, you may bring a civil action in the district court or housing court (where applicable) of the county the lender is located in.

If you believe that your loan application was denied on a prohibited basis (i.e. on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ethnic origin, sex, marital status, age, income derived from public assistance, sexual orientation or handicap) you may proceed independently of the Mortgage Review Board by contacting the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

How do I contact the Mortgage Review Board?

If you have additional questions about the Mortgage Review Board or the appeal process, contact the Division of Banks (DOB). You may also write to the DOB at the address below.

Administrative Secretary
Mortgage Review Boards
Division of Banks
1000 Washington Street, 10th Floor
Boston, MA 02118-6400