If you are behind in mortgage payments you are in “default.” If you pay the bank * all the payments you missed, you can “cure the default”. The bank must send you a notice that says you have the right to pay the money you owe. The notice may use the word “arrears.” “In arrears” is another way to say that you are behind in your payments. This notice is called a Right to Cure Notice.
Both your mortgage and state law, MGL ch 244 s. 35A, say the bank must give you a Right to Cure Notice. The bank may send you, one Right to Cure Notice that meets both your mortgage and the law’s requirements. Or, the bank may send you two Right to Cure Notices.
They may send 2 notices at one time, or they may send the notices weeks apart. If the bank sends you both notices at the same time, you have up until the date that is furthest away to catch up on your missed payments.
- Your Mortgage says the bank must send you a Right to Cure Notice.
Usually in paragraph 22, your mortgage says, the “Lender” (Bank or Holder of the Mortgage) must send you a notice when you are in default. The notice must tell you that you are in default and that you have 30 days to cure the default.
The Right to Cure Notice says that if you do not get caught up on your payments, “cure your default,” the bank can begin foreclosure proceedings to take your house.
- The law - MGL ch 244 sec 35A says the bank must send you a Right to Cure Notice: The lender - the “mortgagee” must give you a Right to Cure Notice once every 3 years. Usually this notice says that you have 150 days to pay your missed payments or the bank can begin to foreclose. During the time you have the right to catch up on your payments, the bank cannot charge extra fees and penalties. But the bank may be able to shorten the 150 days to 90 days in two ways:
- If the bank has a face-to-face meeting with you, or a telephone conversation, and they make a good faith effort to work out an agreement to save your house:
- They do not have to offer a way to save your home, if it would be more profitable for them to foreclose. They have complicated formulas, that calculate if it is profitable. They have to do the math. The law calls this offering to “negotiate a commercially reasonable alternative to foreclosure”.
- The bank only has to try to find a way for you to keep your home. As long the bank makes a good faith effort, they can shorten the 150 days to 90.
Before 2008, the bank only had to send you a 30 day Right to Cure Notice. There was no Right to Cure law.
Between 2008-2010, banks had to send the 30 day Right to Cure Notice the mortgage required and a 90 day Right to Cure Notice the law required
After 2010, banks must send a 30 day Right to Cure Notice and a 150 day notice.
* When we use the word 'bank' we mean your lender. This could be a mortgage company a trust or even a person.