COVID-19: Massachusetts Mortgage – New State Legislation Impacting Foreclosure Rights

The coronavirus pandemic that has swept the world has left many unemployed, led to a country-wide recession, and affected many people’s ability to work and earn an income. As a result, many homeowners have faced anxiety regarding their ability to make their mortgage payments on time or in full. Recognizing the potential catastrophe, the Massachusetts legislature passed a law on Monday, April 20, 2020 temporarily banning nearly all eviction and foreclosure proceedings throughout the state. Here’s what you need to know about the legislation and the state of foreclosure law in Massachusetts today:

Emergency Act Prohibits Most Foreclosures

Renters, homeowners, and business owners behind on their rent/mortgage payments as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak were granted emergency relief in April 2020 when Governor Charlie Baker signed into law an emergency compromise that temporarily banned creditors and mortgage lenders from publishing notices of foreclosure, exercising the right of entry, and initiating foreclosure proceedings, whether judicial or nonjudicial. 

As found in the legislation, the moratorium on foreclosure proceedings is to remain in effect until 120 days from the date of enactment (August 18, 2020) or 45 days after the state of Massachusetts has lifted the COVID-19 emergency declaration–whichever comes earlier. A state of emergency was declared on March 10, 2020; as of mid-June, 2020, the state of emergency declaration remains in effect.

What the Prohibition on Foreclosures Means or You

If you are a homeowner or a small business owner who is behind on your mortgage payments, you are currently protected from foreclosure via the legislation discussed above. In addition to a pause on foreclosure, evictions have also been temporarily prohibited in our state, so long as the eviction is “non-essential,” including evictions that would normally result from a foreclosure or for a tenant failing to pay rent. 

While plaintiffs have brought forth a lawsuit claiming that the law is a violation of both the U.S. Constitution and the Massachusetts Constitution, and has left the plaintiffs with no way to recover financial losses suffered as a result of tenants not paying rent, the Supreme Judicial Court has not yet weighed in on the topic. 

Get Help from a Knowledgeable Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney Today

If you have suffered financial harm as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and have been struggling to pay your debts, including your mortgage or rent, you may have questions about foreclosure, eviction, debt collection, and your options related to bankruptcy. At the law office of Deborah Gold-Alexander Attorney at Law, our lawyer has over 30 years’ experience helping clients like you navigate tough financial issues, including bankruptcy. To learn more about the current protections for debtors against foreclosure and eviction, as well as what you need to know about bankruptcy, call Deborah Gold-Alexander Attorney at Law today or send our law firm a message telling us more about your case. Our attorney provides personalized legal services that you can trust.