Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency Notice

Homeowners

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Created April 22, 2020

Statewide moratorium on foreclosures during the COVID-19 emergency

On April 20, 2020, Massachusetts passed an emergency law to stop foreclosures during the COVID-19 state of emergency. 

I am a homeowner or a landlord. How does this moratorium protect me?

  • Lenders cannot foreclose on owner-occupied 1-4 family residential properties.
  • If you ask your lender to “pause” mortgage payments because you have been affected by COVID-19, lenders must agree to put you in a “mortgage forbearance” program.
  • The forbearance program can last up to 180 days, and fees, penalties, and interest should not accrue during that time. All missed payments should be added to the end of the loan.
  • If you are a homeowner and you are in mortgage forbearance, your lender is not allowed to report negative remarks to any credit reporting agency.
  • If you are a landlord you may use your tenants' last month's rent to cover expenses, but you must repay these funds with interest.

How long does the moratorium last?

The moratorium is in effect until August 18, 2020 or until 45 days after the Governor lifts the state of emergency, whichever comes first.

The Governor can extend the end date of the moratorium so that it does not end before the end of the state of emergency.

My mortgage is owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae

If you have a Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae mortgage on a single-family home, they will not foreclosure until at least August 31, 2020. 

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