The latest buzz in Massachusetts housing law is a recent court ruling MA homeowners are entitled to 90-day notice to quit after foreclosure. We thought it would be helpful to offer some background to this issue and what it means to homeowners in MA. Here’s a quick overview.

MA Homeowner Rights After Foreclosure

Prior to this recent court case, any homeowner who occupies a property after it has been foreclosed was treated as a “tenant at sufferance”. Normal tenants in Massachusetts have a right to a certain amount of notice prior to eviction. This notice is known as a “notice to quit.” Tenants at sufferance have no such right, so they can be immediately evicted.

Precedent Setting Case in MA

In a recent court case, Lenders Commercial Finance LLC vs. Pestilli, the judge ruled that Pestilli, and occupant of a foreclosed property, was entitled to a 90-day notice to quit after foreclosure. The lender in the case had provided a 30 day notice to quit, even though they had no legal requirement to do so. This case was interesting because Pestilli’s attorney had not brought up or argued that point in the case. The judge independently made that ruling. Pestilli had contested the validity of the foreclosure, but the foreclosure was determined to have legally been conducted. The judge’s ruling has the potential to set a new precedent in Massachusetts foreclosure procedures.

Are MA Homeowners Entitled to a 90-day Notice to Quit After Foreclosure?

This case doesn’t change current MA foreclosure laws, but it does open the door for other homeowners to delay eviction proceedings. Others could use this case to argue that they should also receive a 90-day notice to quit after foreclosure. This would allow them to remain in a legally foreclosed property for more time. It provides an opportunity for foreclosed homeowners but a headache and delayed turnover time for lenders.