- Senior households, low-income families with infants, people with serious illnesses who cannot afford to pay their utility bills, tenants whose landlords are responsible for utility bills, and low-income people who would be without heat during the winter may be eligible for shutoff protection. Shutoff protection denies Massachusetts utility companies the right to turn off a person's electricity and other utilities during the cold months. If you meet any of the qualifications above you should learn more about your rights to be safe and warm this winter.
- For many seniors the equity in their home is their largest single asset, yet it is unavailable to use unless they use a home-equity loan. But a conventional loan really doesn't free up the equity because the money has to be paid back with interest. A reverse mortgage is a way of tapping into home equity without creating monthly payments and without requiring the money to be paid back during a person's lifetime. Instead of making payments the cash flow is reversed and the senior receives payments from the bank. Thus the title "reverse mortgage". However, before deciding on a reverse mortgage you must make sure that it is an attractive option for you and your family.
- Households with incomes up to 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines, or receiving one of several means tested programs, including LIHEAP, Food Stamps, TANF and SSI may be eligible for fuel assistance programs offered both by the state of Massachusetts and the federal government during the winter months. If you meet any of these qualifications and are interested in saving money on your winter heating bills - including gas, electricity, coal, wood, natural gas, propane, and kerosene- you should get to know your rights as a consumer.
- As a tenant in the State of Massachusetts there are many rights and responsibilities afforded to you. This is why it is very important to know what these rights and responsibilities are, and how to apply them in particular circumstances.
- As with tenants, there are also several rights and responsibilities afforded to landlords in the State of Massachusetts. Learning these are crucial to being a good, law abiding, informed landlord, and allows you to protect yourself from unruly tenants.
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