The Supreme Judicial Court's ("SJC's") self-imposed limitation on applicability of Eaton v. Federal National Mortgage Association, 462 Mass. 569 (2012) should reduce to a trickle the once-steady stream of foreclosure-related claims asserting that a mortgagee must hold the underlying note in order to effectively foreclose in Massachusetts.
Last fall, in Bevilacqua v. Rodriguez, 460 Mass. 762 (2011), the Supreme Judicial Court (the "SJC") quashed the hopes of many that a "try title" action available by statute in Massachusetts would provide a mechanism to clear the title of a post-foreclosure owner whose predecessor failed to obtain a mortgage assignment prior to conducting a foreclosure sale. (See U.S. Bank National Association v. Ibanez, 458 Mass. 637 (2011) for discussion of this particular title defect.)
In Massachusetts, mortgage foreclosure has long been considered "non-judicial," meaning that it is unnecessary to initiate an action before a Court to foreclose, and there is no judicial oversight of foreclosures unless a mortgagor brings a claim based on alleged improprieties in the exercise of the power of sale.