Homeowners who have gone through a foreclosure often ask me what happens after a foreclosure sale. More specifically, these homeowners often ask if they need to leave their home right away after a foreclosure auction sale. The answer is no. Even after a foreclosure sale, the new owner is required to perform an eviction of the occupants remaining in the foreclosed property.
Overview of a Massachusetts Foreclosure
Massachusetts is a non-judicial foreclosure state. This means that a bank does not need to go to court to get permission to foreclose (unlike states like New York and Florida). A Massachusetts foreclosure requires sending a number of required notices, publishing a foreclosure sale notice, and holding a foreclosure auction. If done correctly, the bank (or third-party buyer) becomes the record owner of the property. While ownership of the home changes after a foreclosure sale, possession does not. The new record owner is required to bring an eviction case against the former homeowner(s) residing in the foreclosed home.
What happens after a foreclosure sale? The bank (or third-party buyer) must file an eviction against any persons who remain in the property. This eviction, known as a summary process action, is generally filed in a District Court or Housing Court. In these cases, the homeowner has the opportunity to defend against the new owner’s claim to possession by alleging that the foreclosure was not performed correctly.
An important point to note for homeowners in such a case: you do not need to leave the home until the court orders you to do so. The new owner must obtain a judgment from the court allowing them possession of the home. Until this is done, the new owner cannot forced you out of the property under any circumstances.
What Should You Do After a Foreclosure Sale?
If you have gone through a foreclosure of your home, contact a foreclosure defense attorney for a consultation, regardless of your intentions for the home. In other words, even if you plan to leave the home, it is still worth speaking to an attorney. An attorney can help determine if you have a defense against the foreclosure. Even if you plan to leave the home, a foreclosure defense attorney can assist you with resolving any liability you may have against the new owner and possibly get you relocation assistance.