Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency Notice

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Paying my mortgage

Produced by Greater Boston Legal Services and Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Created April 22, 2020

Keep paying your mortgage if you can.

If you cannot pay your mortgage

If you cannot pay your mortgage your lender cannot foreclose on your home until:

  • August 18, 2020, or
  • 45 days after the state of emergency ends,

whichever is sooner.

Ask for a forbearance plan.  Your lender must offer you a forbearance plan if you:

  • give your servicer a request for a forbearance, and
  • say you cannot pay your mortgage because of COVID-19.

If you get a forbearance plan, the payments you missed are due at the end of your mortgage term. They only have to give you a forbearance for 180 days. While you are in forbearance, your non-payment will not show on your credit report.  You and the lender can come up with a different plan if it is better for you. If your taxes and insurance are included in your mortgage payments your servicer should keep making those payments. But the amount they pay will be added to the end of your mortgage term.

The Massachusetts Division of Banks has more information about the law.

For landlords

You can use your tenants' last month’s rent to cover your expenses if you rent out 3 or fewer units in the building where you live.  But you have to:

  • Pay the money back, with interest, and 
  • Send your tenant a notice.

Use the Notice to Tenant of Advance Rent Payment.

Your tenants may be able to get money to help pay their rent. Share Where can I get help paying my rent? with them.

Money for your mortgage

You may get up to $4,000 to pay your mortgage from the RAFT program if:

  • You have low income, and
  • You are at risk of homelessness.

.Find where to apply by putting your town or city on the top of this page. Look for the non-profit that lists “RAFT” on the left-hand side of the page.  Then search Google for that organization.  Even though most non-profits’ buildings are closed, staff are still there to help.  Call or email if you cannot find how to apply on their website.

Taxes and condominium payments

Your town, city, and condominium association can still ask for payments. If you cannot pay, they must send you notices and go to court before they can foreclose on your home. Courthouses are closed until May 4, 2020 for non-emergency matters. A foreclosure is not an emergency matter.

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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