Homes for All - Massachusetts

Help

Did you receive an eviction notice or a summons to court? Have you been threatened with eviction or foreclosure? Are you behind on rent or mortgage and worried? Don't panic or leave. You have rights, and help is available. Contact an organization in your area for free information, support, and help.

Reminder: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LEAVE YOUR HOME if you receive a 14 day notice to quit or 30 day notice to quit (also called a notice to vacate). These notices usually come from a landlord or from a law office. They do NOT mean you actually have to leave. They only mean that after that time is up, the landlord has the OPTION to begin an eviction case in court. That process typically takes a very long time; if the landlord goes forward with a court eviction process you will still have opportunities to resolve the situation and stay in your home. See below for details.

Community groups that can help you

Information

  • Help paying your rent or mortgage

    If you qualify, the RAFT and ERMA programs can pay up to $10,000 to the landlord or lender. (People can qualify regardless of immigration status and with a wide range of incomes.) More info >>

  • Information about the eviction process and your rights

    You can only be evicted after a court process where you have a chance to present your side of the story and show why you should not be evicted. You have rights no matter your immigration status, and even if you are very far behind on rent. There are many steps to this court eviction process and it usually takes many months or longer. There will be opportunities to resolve the situation with an agreement that allows you to stay in your home. If it is not possible to work out an agreement that both sides like, you may be able to delay eviction for a long time or win your case and stay in your home. More info >>

  • Federal eviction ban

    There is currently a Federal government rule that prohibits eviction of tenants for nonpayment of rent. This rule is set to continue until at least December 31, 2020. For most tenants who are unable to keep up with rent, it is a good idea to complete the short required form to gain some extra protection under this federal eviction ban.

    1. fill out the form:
    2. after you've completed the form, send it to your landlord by mail, email, or text message and be sure to keep a copy for your records

    Note: you should not wait to receive a notice to vacate or summons to eviction court to send the form. (The form is available in other languages here.)

    Note: in most cases, the eviction process takes so long that an eviction case filed in mid October, 2020 would still be in process until well after December 31, 2020. But it is generally a good idea to file the form to gain the protection of the federal rule anyway.

  • Protect your legal rights with Answer and Discovery forms

    If you receive a summons to court, in most cases it is extremely important for you to fill out "Answer" and "Discovery" forms and send them to the court before the deadline. The deadline (called the "Answer date") is usually well BEFORE your first court date.

    Filling out Answer and Discovery forms and sending them to the court can make a HUGE difference and give you a much better chance of staying in your home. Sending in these forms may help you to negotiate a fair agreement that allows you to stay in your home, or to win your case, or to get the landlord's case dismissed (ended).

    The Answer form is a way for you to tell your side of the story and to protect your legal defenses. The Discovery form is a way for you to request information you need in order to defend yourself in court.

    To complete the Answer and Discovery forms, get help from one of the organizations listed above or from your local legal aid office.

    If you can't get help, you can use this easy online tool to do it yourself. Or you can download a printable Answer form and printable Discovery form to print and fill out. (If you are facing eviction after a foreclosure, use the regular Answer form and this specialized post-foreclosure Discovery form.)

    See this booklet for a more complete description of the Answer and this booklet for a description of the Discovery.

Get involved, take action

No one should face eviction or foreclosure or being unhoused, especially during a pandemic.

Take action to support the human right to housing right now. Please use this easy tool to send an email or to make a phone call to key officials in our state government. A sample message and contact info is provided - you just need to enter your name and address and click a button to send an email or make a call.

Our state government has the power to stop mass evictions and foreclosures RIGHT NOW by passing the Housing Stability Act. Raise your voice and demand they take action!

Legal advice

Please note that this website does not provide legal advice. Every case is different, and you should discuss your situation with a lawyer who is an expert in Massachusetts housing law.

Remember, in the United States a notario is NOT similar to a lawyer and is not legally allowed to provide legal advice.