MA LEGISLATURE ISSUES MORATORIUM ON EVICTIONS AND FORECLOSURES
The Massachusetts legislature has enacted
providing for a Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures During the COVID-19 Emergency,
effective April 20, 2020 (the “Act”).
The Act prohibits certain actions relative to non-essential evictions of residential dwelling units and small business premises units as those terms are defined by the Act.
For purposes of a non-essential eviction for a residential dwelling unit, the Act prohibits landlords or owners of property from terminating a tenancy or sending any notice, including a notice to quit, requesting or demanding a tenant of a residential dwelling unit vacate the premises.
The Act further prohibits the enforcement of actions for summary process, the enforcement or levy upon an execution for possession for non-essential eviction of a residential dwelling unit or a small business premises unit, the imposition of late fees for non-payment of rent, or the negative reporting to credit reporting agencies for non-payment of rent.
The Act tolls any deadlines or time periods for actions by any parties to a non-essential eviction for a residential dwelling unit or a small business premises unit, whether such deadline or time period was established before or after the effective date of the Act. Any deadline or time period that is tolled under this subsection of the Act shall begin to run upon the expiration of said subsection. (see below)
The Act prohibits a creditor, mortgagee or person having estate in the land mortgaged, a person authorized by power of sale pursuant to M.G.L. ch. 244, §14 or right of entry or the attorney duly authorized by a writing under seal or the legal guardian or conservator of such mortgagee or person acting in the name of such mortgagee or person, for purposes of foreclosure of a residential property as defined in M.G.L. ch. 244, §35B that is not vacant or abandoned from: (i) causing notice of a foreclosure sale to be published pursuant to M.G.L. ch. 244, §14; (ii) exercising a power of sale; (iii) exercising a right of entry; (iv) initiating a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure process; or (v) filing a complaint to determine the status of a mortgagor under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
The above provisions shall expire 120 days after the effective date of this act or 45 days after the COVID-19 emergency declaration has been lifted, whichever is sooner; provided, however, that the governor may postpone such expiration in increments of not more than 90 days; provided further, that the governor shall not postpone such expiration to later than 45 days after the COVID-19 emergency declaration has been lifted.
The Act further requires a creditor or mortgagee to grant a forbearance to a mortgagor of a mortgage loan for residential property as defined in M.G.L. ch. 244, §35B if the mortgagor submits a request to the mortgagor’s servicer affirming that the mortgagor has experienced a financial impact from COVID-19 which forbearance shall be for not more than 180 days. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a creditor or mortgagee shall not be required to grant a forbearance to a mortgagor of a mortgage loan for a residential property if the mortgagor’s request for such forbearance is made after the expiration date set forth above.
CATIC will not insure title to property that evidences violations of any of the provisions of the Act.
Please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Underwriting team to assist you with any of your underwriting questions. As always, our entire Massachusetts staff is available to assist you in any way that we can. Please