I often get consultation requests from adult children whose parents are facing foreclosure. As if foreclosure is not stressful enough already, the potential foreclosure for one’s parents is particularly difficult. Elderly parents facing foreclosure is a sensitive topic that requires appropriate action.
Overview of Foreclosure in Massachusetts
Massachusetts is a non-judicial foreclosure state. This means that a bank is permitted to foreclose a home without going to court, through the sending of legal notices to the homeowner and a public foreclosure auction.
For senior citizens, Massachusetts’s foreclosure process can present a real challenge. It is not uncommon for elderly homeowners to misunderstand these foreclosure notices and get overwhelmed by this situation. Adult children who are helping parents facing foreclosure often tell me that their parents had little recollection about the status of their mortgage loan and the start of the foreclosure process.
Options for Elderly Parents Facing Foreclosure
Elderly parents facing foreclosure need to carefully consider their options. For most homeowners, a loan modification is the best option for attempting to avoid foreclosure. This, however, is not always a viable option for senior citizens, who may be on limited income or not in a position to make loan payments for an extended period of time.
Most lenders, however, do consider a household member’s income when reviewing a borrower for a modification. Seniors who have adult children living with them and earning income may make a loan modification feasible.
Another option for elderly parents facing foreclosure is to simply sell the home. This is something to strongly consider if the home has significant equity in it. Rarely does a foreclosure give the borrower a good financial return from a home sale.
If these options are not feasible, it may also be possible to negotiate a deed in lieu of foreclosure, short sale, or other alternatives for avoiding foreclosure.
I’ve helped many Massachusetts homeowners avoid foreclosure, including elderly parents and senior citizens. If you or your parents need such assistance, contact me for a consultation.