Massachusetts Legislature Advances Eviction & Foreclosure Moratorium Bills

On April 2, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed an eviction and foreclosure moratorium bill (H.4615) to protect renters and home owners during the COVID-19 emergency. The bill prohibits all non-emergency residential and commercial evictions until 30 days after the end of the emergency declaration. It would prohibit all stages of evictions, including the sending of notices to quit, filing of new eviction cases, and executing a judgement for possession. The legislation also prohibits late fees or any negative credit reporting for not paying rent if the non-payment is related to the virus outbreak. The bill also prohibits any residential foreclosures until 30 days after the emergency declaration is lifted. H.4615 also allows reverse mortgage counseling to be conducting virtually during the emergency. For a summary of the House bill, click here.

On April 9, the State Senate passed its eviction moratorium bill (S.2631). The Senate bill prohibits all non-emergency residential evictions and foreclosures for at least 120 days, with an opportunity for the Governor to extend this time frame. The eviction moratorium also applies to tenants who are small businesses. The legislation also prohibits late fees or any negative credit reporting for not paying rent if the non-payment is related to the virus outbreak. The bill also prohibits any residential foreclosures during the bill's effective date. The Senate bill also directs lenders to provide homeowners forbearance for their mortgage payments, if the homeowner has been financially impacted by COVID-19. For a summary of the Senate bill, click here

Click here for a document comparing the House and Senate bills.

A conference committee has been appointed to resolve the differences between the House and Senate bills before sending the final legislation to the Governor. 

CHAPA has asked the conference committee to support a final bill that will provide strong protections for renters and homeowners. This would include provisions that would:

  • Establish a moratorium that lasts until at least 30 days after the COVID-19 emergency is lifted
  • A prohibition on both judgments and default judgments from being entered against tenants
  • Prohibiting the sending of a notice to quit in non-essential eviction cases
  • Directing financial institutions in Massachusetts to grant homeowners a forbearance on their mortgages 

Please reach out to members of the conference committee to join CHAPA in advocating for a strong eviction and foreclosure moratorium!

Senate:

House:

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