If you are the new owner – whether you are a bank or consumer – of a recently foreclosed property, you may have the unfortunate task to evict the former owner of the property. Many times, people try to stay on a property after a foreclosure. The process to lawfully get them off the property is known as post foreclosure eviction.
Sandonato Law practices law in three specific areas: business law, real estate, and landlord tenant law. Each of these practices informs the other and allows Marco Sandonato to comprehensively represent his clients. Sandonato Law can help you make sure you evict a tenant at sufferance lawfully and with minimal interruption by the legal system.
What is a Massachusetts Post Foreclosure Eviction?
A post foreclosure eviction is actually two processes:
- a foreclosure; and
- an eviction.
When a homeowner fails to make payment or otherwise fails to comply with the mortgage contract, the bank may foreclose on the home. After the home has been foreclosed but the former owner remains on the property, an eviction action may be necessary to lawfully remove the former owner or tenant from the property.
To be clear, even when a foreclosure has occurred, former owners or tenants cannot be forcefully removed from the property until and unless the new owner – the bank or another purchaser – goes through the housing court system to obtain a judgment in favor of eviction. The former owner or tenant will have the opportunity during the eviction action to defend against the new owner's claim to possession – a common defense alleges that the foreclosure was not lawfully conducted.
What is the Process to Start a Post Foreclosure Eviction in Boston?
Typically, former owners or tenants who remain on a property after foreclosure are considered tenants at sufferance. As such, they are not entitled to notice prior to the commencement of an eviction action. In these cases, the new owner should be able to bring a summary process action immediately in a District Court or Housing Court. But a case from 2017 questioned this general rule.
In Lenders Commercial Finance LLC v. Pestilli, 16-SP-03779, Justice Anne Kenney Chaplin of the Southeast Housing Court found that a third party purchaser at foreclosure was required to issue a 90-day notice to quit to the former owner or tenant. Bank of America had actually foreclosed on this home in 2011, but the owner Mr. Pestlli refused to leave the premises. Eventually, Bank of America sold the property to Lenders Commercial Finance LLC, which issued a 30-day notice to quit to Mr. Pestilli even though such a notice is not necessary for a post-foreclosure eviction. But then, in a surprising turn of events, the Judge held that a 90-day notice to quit was required under M.G.L. c. 186, § 12.
This ruling went against long-standing Massachusetts case law and goes to show that these cases can be complicated and legal counsel by an experienced attorney is important before starting a post foreclosure eviction action.
Who Should You Contact for Direct, Smart Legal Representation for Post Foreclosure Evictions in Boston?
If you have purchased property and the former owner or tenant remains on it, contact Sandonato Law immediately. He will review your case, provide your best options, and help you move toward a successful outcome.