Options for stopping foreclosure in Massachusetts generally depend on what part of the process the homeowner is in. Depending on the circumstances, a homeowner may be able to avoid a foreclosure and work out a permanent solution for saving their property.
Massachusetts Foreclosure Process
Massachusetts is a non-judicial foreclosure state. This means that a mortgagee can foreclose without going to court. Foreclosure occurs through a series of required notices and a public foreclosure sale.
Homeowners often confuse a Servicemembers’ case as a scheduled foreclosure sale. A Servicemembers’ case, which is often filed in Land Court, is a court proceeding to determine whether the homeowner is in the military service (active military service provides some foreclosure defense protections). A Servicemembers’ case is not a foreclosure sale, but it is a sign that the mortgagee is moving forward with the foreclosure process.
Stopping Foreclosure Through a Loan Modification Application
The submission of a loan modification application to a lender will generally put the brakes on a foreclosure sale. This, however, generally only occurs the first time the homeowner applies for this assistance. A lender may delay a foreclosure sale if the homeowner applies again for a loan modification, but this is not a guarantee.
The timing of a submitted loan modification application is highly relevant for stopping foreclosure. If a mortgagee has already scheduled a foreclosure sale, it is less likely that it will stop a sale if the borrower submits an application. However, the submission of an application before the scheduling of a foreclosure sale has a greater chance of stopping foreclosure.
Stopping Foreclosure Through a Court Order
Stopping foreclosure can also occur through a court order, namely, an injunction. An injunction is a court order that requires or prohibits a party from doing something. A court can issue an injunction prohibiting a mortgagee from moving forward with a foreclosure sale.
A court order is often necessary when a mortgagee has already scheduled a foreclosure sale. To stop a foreclosure, a homeowner will need to show that the mortgagee failed to comply with one of the many foreclosure requirements. A homeowner may also be able to stop a foreclosure on grounds that the mortgagee is acting unfairly, such as performing a foreclosure sale when a loan modification application is pending or when the homeowner is trying to sell the home.
If you need assistance with stopping foreclosure in Massachusetts, contact me for a consultation.