Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency Notice

Help paying your bills

Produced by Greater Boston Legal Services and Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed May 2020

If you have trouble paying your bills

Your car

Even if you cannot make your car payments, your lender may not repossess your car from now until the date that comes sooner:

  • June 25, 2020, or
  • 30 days after the Governor ends the “State of Emergency” in Massachusetts.

If you fall behind on your car payments, call your lender. Ask if they have a program to help you delay some of your payments or lower them.

Your gas, electric, internet, phone and other utilities

Utility companies cannot shut off service to your home.  See Utilities and COVID-19.  During the COVID-19 crisis internet and cell phone companies have special plans.  

Your Credit Cards and Debts

Most out-of court debt collection should stop until at least the sooner of:

  • June 25, 2020, or
  • 30 days after the Governor ends the “State of Emergency” in Massachusetts.

See Debt Cases in Court to find out about cases already in court.

The Attorney General has ordered that no one should:

  • Garnish your wages, earnings, properties or funds.
  • Serve you with a "capias warrant" that demands you appear in court.
  • Visit or threaten to visit your house.
  • Visit or threaten to visit your job.
  • Talk to you in a public place, in-person, about your debt.

If anyone does any of these things, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 617-727-8400 or file a complaint online. If you lost your income, learn to be proactive about your bills. More help from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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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