Foreclosure Law in Massachusetts

In Stoneham, Massachusetts, foreclosure is a process through which a lender that issued a mortgage loan retakes possession of the property that was bought with the mortgage in the event that the borrower has defaulted on his or her payments.

When consumers have to deal with foreclosure, it almost always involves a home. The bank will normally take possession of the house, and then sell it at auction, to try to encompass the balance of the mortgage. Banks typically want sell the property quickly, for as much money as possible.

In every U.S. state, including Massachusetts, a borrower has a right to a judicial sale of their foreclosed property. A judicial sale is just an auction supervised by a court. The purpose of this is to make sure that the lender takes reasonable steps to sell the home for the highest possible price, and to ensure that the homeowner has an opportunity to bid on the house, if he or she is able. It is in everybody's interest for the bank to get the highest price possible for the house, even the borrower's. If the house fetches a higher price than what's left on the mortgage, the buyer can keep what's leftover. On the other hand, if it fetches less, the buyer might have to pay the deficiency.

In a large number of states, but not all of them, mortgages are a type of loan identified as a "non-recourse loan." While the regulations governing these loans are complex, it most essentially means that, once the house is sold, and the sale price doesn't cover what the borrower owes, the lender can't go after the borrower for the remainder. They simply have to take the loss.

How to Possibly Avoid Foreclosure in Stoneham, Massachusetts

Communication between you and your lender is perhaps the most significant way to prevent foreclosure. Ignoring the issue is guaranteed to be counterproductive. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to dealing with lenders.

Throughout all this, you should remember one thing: the bank doesn't really want your house. After all, banks aren't real estate speculators, they're mainly money lenders. They stand to make a great deal of money if you are able to make your mortgage payments until it's paid off. They're likely to make much less if they're forced to sell your house.

It's possible that your lender is willing to negotiate a plan that results in temporarily-lower payments on your mortgage, particularly if this means that they will be able to get some payments, instead of none at all.

Some buyers in Massachusetts, when none of the above options have worked, resort to a "short sale." This includes selling a house which is about to be foreclosed, typically for less than its market value. If the house sells for less than what's left on the mortgage, the homeowner is relieved of the duty to pay the balance. If you have decided that you have no hope of making your mortgage payments, and foreclosure seems inevitable anyway, this might be the way to go.

Can a Stoneham, Massachusetts real estate attorney help?

If you are worried that your Stoneham, Massachusetts house is going to be foreclosed, and want to try and stop this, a reliable real estate lawyer can help.