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.
Help paying your rent, mortgage, or utility bills
Tenants behind on rent or utility bills may qualify for help from the RAFT program and homeowners behind on mortgage payments may be able to get assistance from the HAF program. Note: you can qualify regardless of immigration status and with a wide range of incomes. More info for tenants >>
More info for homeowners >>
Information about the eviction process and your rights
Free legal help is available, click here to find assistance.
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 >>
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.
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.