Clarifying Governor Baker’s remarks of 3/25/2020

Auctions and evictions are still not stopped. Photo of MA State House

On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, Governor Baker announced that the Massachusetts Division of Banks is telling Massachusetts banks and credit unions to stop all foreclosure auctions for 60 days. Of course, the vast majority of foreclosures are not done by in-state Massachusetts banks.

For people who have mortgages with Massachusetts lenders, they’re told to be providing a forbearance of mortgage payments for 60 days. That means that for 60 days you can ask for and get a break from making payments. There won’t be any late fees or costs for an online payment. During the 60 days, they will not report any late payments to any credit rating agencies; that borrowers are given another additional 60 days to complete any trial loan modification you’re in the middle of paying on, and that if a servicer for a mortgagee closes their doors or cuts down their hours, they have to provide other avenues for borrowers to be able to manage their accounts and be in touch with them.

They’re requiring Massachusetts banks to reach out to borrowers and give them this information.

The Governor also announced that there will be new help eligible under the RAFT program for tenants and homeowners who are having problems making rent or mortgage payments.

We’re not sure how that interacts with foreclosure and post-foreclosure payment requirements, but are in the midst of researching it. We will post more information as soon as this has been clarified.


The Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL) is a coalition of over 60 housing counseling agencies, legal services groups, social service agencies, and community-based social action groups that have joined together to address the foreclosure crisis in Massachusetts. MAAPL collects and distributes timely information on the foreclosure crisis and its effects to the public and to its member groups, drafts and supports legislation that provides important protections to homeowners and tenants facing foreclosure and eviction, documents the impact of the foreclosure crisis on local communities, networks with related organizations throughout the Commonwealth, and provides tools and information to help people navigate the legal system and advocate on their own behalf more effectively when challenging a foreclosure or eviction in court
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