Massachusetts Foreclosure Process

I. Default and Right to Cure Notice

Homeowner defaults on mortgage loan payments.

Homeowner may receive collection calls or letters from lender.

Lender sends right to cure notice giving homeowner 150 days to bring mortgage payments current. (This period could be 90 days depending on the circumstances.)

II. Acceleration Notice

Lender will send an acceleration notice calling the entire balance due.

Notice will be sent by attorney for lender by registered or certified mail no later than 21 days before the date of foreclosure.

Lender may elect to send a notice of intent to sue for deficiency (the difference between the sale price and amount due on the mortgage). This notice must also be sent at least 21 days before the foreclosure sale.

III. Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Complaint

Lender must file a complaint under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act in Land Court stating lender's intent to foreclose and requesting a foreclosure judgment. This judgment will be recorded with the other foreclosure documents to convey title.

Homeowner/borrower must be served with a copy of the complaint and has 20 days to file an answer.

The only defense to the complaint is that the homeowner/borrower is in the military service.

IV. Publication of Sale

Lender must publish notice of sale in the newspaper. The notice is to include the following:

  • Identify the mortgage
  • Date, place, time of sale of the subject property
  • Description of property
  • Notice must be published once a week for 3 consecutive weeks before the sale, beginning at least 21 days before the sale.

V. Notice of Foreclosure Sale

Lender must send notice of foreclosure sale via certified or registered mail at least 14 days prior to the foreclosure sale.

VI. Foreclosure Sale and Record of Sale

The foreclosure auction must take place at the date, time and place specified in the notice of the foreclosure sale.

  • Sale must be conducted by a licensed auctioneer
  • High bidder wins
  • Parties execute a foreclosure deed; deed should be recorded at Registry of Deeds (accessible online).

VII. Post Foreclosure

Any excess proceeds from foreclosure sale must be paid to the homeowner.

If foreclosure sale did not pay off entire mortgage, lender may pursue homeowner for a deficiency judgment.

If Homeowner remains in the property, an eviction action may be required.