For many Massachusetts home owners, the risk of foreclosure has been daily concern in this weak economy. Although the foreclosure crisis has slowed in Massachusetts over the last year, many will still face this unpleasant reality in 2013. What many people don’t know is filing for bankruptcy can help stop the threat of foreclosure and resolve mortgage debt issues. There are some things that every home owner needs to know about how this process works.


Massachusetts foreclosures laws are one of the two types of foreclosure laws, judicial or non-judicial. In a judicial foreclosure, the mortgage lender must follow a series of steps before they can pursue a court order against a debtor in court to foreclose on the home. This process can take months to start, let alone, complete a foreclosure. In a non-judicial foreclosure, the lender does not need permission of the court before initiating a foreclosure proceeding. In some cases, the foreclosure process can be complete in 30-45 days. In Massachusetts most follow the judicial foreclosure process.

Regardless of judicial or non-judicial time frames are very important and a bankruptcy petition must be filed within the short window of opportunity to save the home. For the home owner, this means that taking action is crucial.

Another point to consider is how the bankruptcy process can actually help resolve mortgage debt. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, the debtor can keep their home if (1) they are not late on any mortgage payments, (2) have no equity in the home, or (3) can claim the home under exemption laws. Meeting any one of these requirements is highly dependent on the debtor’s unique financial situation. However, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can offer a much higher level of protection guarantee since any missed payments will become part of the repayment plan.

If you are facing foreclosure and foresee an issue with a mortgage call the Law Office of Brian R Lewis at 508-946-3323 and talk with an experienced Massachusetts bankruptcy attorney to learn what option is out there for you.