My wife and I live in Massachusetts, and our house is in foreclosure. The sale is coming up soon. I’d like to know if we can get the house back if the foreclosure goes through. I heard from a friend that the homeowner gets the right to repurchase or “redeem” the house after a foreclosure in some states.
In some Massachusetts foreclosure cases, the homeowner gets the right to redeem the home after the foreclosure sale. But if your foreclosure is like most in Massachusetts, you won’t be able to get the home back afterward.
You do, however, have up until the foreclosure sale occurs to pay off the full amount of the unpaid loan, which will stop the foreclosure. Paying off the debt before the sale is also called “redeeming” the home.
The majority of foreclosures in Massachusetts are nonjudicial. In Massachusetts, you don’t have a right to redeem after a nonjudicial foreclosure. (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 244, § 18; ch. 183, § 21). On the other hand, you do get what's called an "equitable right of redemption" before the sale happens. So, you can redeem the home before the sale by paying off the full amount of the loan.
If the foreclosure is nonjudicial—remember, most are—and you don’t redeem the home or take some other action to stop the foreclosure before the sale, you won’t get another opportunity to save the house.
If your foreclosure is judicial or by possession, which is a rarely used foreclosure process in Massachusetts, then you would get the right to redeem the property after the sale. (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 244, § 18).
To redeem, you’d have to pay the total amount owed on the mortgage, including interest, attorneys' fees, and costs. (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 244, § 19).
If you can’t afford to redeem the home before the sale (or after the foreclosure, if you get the right to redeem), other potential loss mitigation options include:
Look into alternatives to foreclosure as soon as possible.
To find the statutes that discuss the right to redeem in Massachusetts, go to Part II, Chapter 183, and Part III, Chapter 244 of the Massachusetts General Laws. Statutes change, so checking them is always a good idea. How courts and agencies interpret and apply the law can also change. And some rules can even vary within a state. These are just some of the reasons to consider consulting an attorney if you’re facing a foreclosure.