Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed September, 2021

Need help paying your mortgage?

RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition) and ERMA (Emergency Rent and Mortgage Assistance) programs.

RAFT and ERMA are rental assistance programs that can help you pay your mortgage, utilities and moving expenses.

If you are eligible, you can get up to $10,000 to pay overdue or future mortgage payments

To apply, find your local agency or call 800-224-5124.

Local assistance

Contact your local community action program or your local government’s Housing Division to ask about local mortgage assistance programs. You can also check the Emergency Rental Assistance Programs Database and get information about other local resources from your regional housing agency.

Call you your mortgage servicer

If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, your mortgage company can agree not to foreclosure on you for a short time. This is called a forbearance. Find out more about CARES Act forbearance options from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Call your mortgage servicer, the company where you send your monthly payments. Look at your monthly mortgage statement to find your mortgage servicer’s phone number and mailing address. It is important to contact them as soon as you can. Missed payments can cause fees and hurt your credit for years to come.

Need help with your utilities?

Utility companies can disconnect customers for nonpayment unless special protections apply. Special protections apply for people with a serious illness, infants, and seniors. Contact your utility company or municipal utility directly to apply for these protections.

Help is available to pay for utilities, fuel, phone, and internet. See a pdf from National Consumer Law Center about Covid utility help. Learn more in Utilities.

Need help with food?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program is a monthly benefit to buy food. During the pandemic, all households who get SNAP get the maximum amount for their household size. As of January 1, 2021, a family of 3 can get about $615! Learn more and apply:

For help with emergency food resources, contact the Project Bread Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333.

See How do I apply for SNAP?

Need help with cash?

You may be able to get cash assistance through the Transitional Aid for Families with Dependent Children program (TAFDC) or Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled or Children program (EAEDC) if you have very low or no income and:

  • have children,
  • are pregnant,
  • are 65 or older, or
  • have a disability.

For more information and to apply, visit DTAConnect.com or call your local DTA office. See What is TAFDC? or Basic EAEDC Rights.

Stimulus Payments

The Federal Government is giving people money with Stimulus Payments (“Economic Impact Payments”) and tax credits. This money is not just for people who need to complete tax returns because of the amount of money they make.

Sign up if you:

  • Did not get stimulus payments for you or your dependents,
  • Have no or low income,
  • Have never applied for taxes or not applied in recent years, Or
  • Have a child who may not be in the IRS’s records.

If you make $57,000 a year or less, you can get free help to sign up from findyourfunds.org.

Worried about foreclosure? Learn more in Foreclosures

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

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