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Below is a list of referrals that SCAS regularly uses depending upon the situation.


Mediation/Arbitration

Harvard Mediation Program (Default Referral)

  • (617) 495-1854

Cambridge Consumers' Council

  • Serves Cambridge residents or businesses
  • Primarily consumer affairs
  • (617) 349-6150

Community Dispute Settlement Center

  • Serves Charlestown, Waltham, Woburn & Cambridge.
  • Mediation services available in the evenings.
  • Sliding scale fee
  • (617) 876-5376

Home Improvement Contractor Arbitration

  • Run by Office of Consumer Affairs
  • Request must be received no more than 24 months after contract was signed
  • Sliding scale fee
  • (617) 727-7755

State-Run Lemon Law Arbitration

  • Run by Office of Consumer Affairs
  • Request must be made within 18 months of purchase
  • (617) 727-7780

American Arbitration Association

  • (617) 451-6600

Lawyer Referral Services

Boston Bar Layer Referral Service

  • (617) 742-0265

Mass Bar Lawyer Referral Service

  • (617) 654-0400

Worcester Lawyer Referral Service

  • (508) 752-1131
  • Lawyer referral service for Worcester County - (800) 622-9700

LARC (Legal Advocacy and Resource Center)(at GBLS)

  • Primary SCAS referral organization
  • Deals with Housing, Family Law, Public Benefits, Employment Issues and Consumer Issues
  • Does not deal with Criminal Law, Immigration Law, or out of state cases.
  • (617) 603-1700

GBLS (Greater Boston Legal Service)

  • Home to dozens of legal advocacy groups.
  • Primary SCAS referral - call switchboard, briefly explain situation, operator will transfer you to appropriate group.
  • (617) 371-1234 (switchboard)

Other Small Claims Referrals

MA Attorney General's Office Consumer Hotline

  • (617) 727-8400 or
  • (888) 283-3737

Better Business Bureau

  • (508) 652-4800 or
  • (800) 4-BBB-811

Executive Office for Consumer Affairs & Business Regulations

  • (617) 973-8700

Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (at Harvard Law School)

  • Provide free civil legal services to low-income residents of Suffolk and Middlesex counties.
  • Primarily civil law
  • (617) 495-4408

Cambridge/Somerville Legal Services (at GBLS)

  • Serves low-income citizens, especially immigrants
  • Conflict resolution and legal aid
  • (617) 494-1800 or
  • (617) 603-2700

Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Website

  • Information about all types of MA laws with great tips on how to protect your legal rights.

NOLO

  • Primary SCAS referral for clients with internet access.
  • Website with info on everything citizens need to know to handle their own legal problems (small claims and other)

General Legal Help

Legal Services Center (at Harvard Law School)

  • Deals with housing. Usually refer clients to LARC first.
  • (617) 522-3003

Western Mass Legal Service

  • Providing legal services to areas of Western Mass.
  • Housing family, disability, elderly government benefits
  • (413) 781-7814

Consumer Council of Worcester

  • Deals with consumer issues and mediation for Worcester area.
  • (508) 754-1176

Merrimack Valley Legal Services

  • Serves Merrimack Valley
  • Deals with family law, housing, income maintenance and elder law.
  • Lowell: (978) 458-1465
  • Andover/Lawrence: (978) 687-1177

Neighborhood Legal Services

  • Serves low-income residents of Essex County
  • Housing, family law, employment law, domestic violence, elder law
  • Website has list of lawyers for each MA county.
  • (781) 599-7730

Community Legal Services & Counseling Center

  • Legal Assistance, primarily for domestic violence issues, housing, disability benefits and immigration.
  • (617) 661-1010

Credit/Debt

Division of Banks

  • Call if problems with collection agencies.
  • (617) 956-1500 ext. 501
  • (800) 495-2265 ext. 501(in state only, toll-free)

Equifax

  • One of three major credit reporting companies.
  • 2 others below -must call all 3 for credit reports
  • (800) 685-1111

Experian

  • 2nd major credit reporting agency
  • (888) 397-3742

Trans Union

  • 3rd major credit reporting agency
  • (800) 916-8800

Consumer Credit Counseling

  • Credit Counselors for debt, credit & housing
  • (617) 426-6644

Federal Trade Commission

  • Regulates all credit rating agencies
  • Will address consumer complaints
  • 1-877-382-4357

US Bankruptcy Court

  • Boston: (617) 565-8950
  • Worcester: (508) 770-8900

Collections

Collections Information Online

Housing/Landlord-Tenant

Board of Health

  • Is in each town
  • Inspects tenants' presmises for habitability violations.
  • Website has phone numbers for each town's department and board

Fair Housing Hub

  • Housing discrimination
  • (617) 994-8300 or
  • (800) 827-5005

Tenant Advocacy Project (at Harvard Law School)

  • (617) 495-4394

Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership

  • (617) 859-0400

Inspectional Services Department (ISD)

  • Do homeinspections for suspected violations of the State Sanitary Code, including no heat. Can write up violations and summon landlord to court.
  • (617) 635-5322

Finding a Business

MA Division of Corporations

  • For the legal name of a corporation
  • (617) 727-9640

Town Clerk's Office

  • To see if there is a certificate for business.

Licensing Agency

  • If the business requires a license to operate, their address etc. can be found through the agency.

Moving and Storage

Transportation Division of the Department of Telecom & Energy

  • In state moving rates and overcharging
  • (617) 305-3559

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

  • Moving company problems across state lines
  • (617) 494-2770

Utilities

Consumer Division of MA Telecommunication & Energy

  • (617) 305-3531

Miscellaneous Referrals

ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)

  • Handles civil liberties cases
  • Pro-bono representation for nationally important cases
  • (617) 482-3170

Committee for Public Council Services

  • (617) 482-6212

Lawyershop

  • Links to legal organizations and lawyers all over the US
  • Links provide contact info and general legal info

Homeowners Rehab, Inc.

  • Provides low-income loans to Cambridge residents
  • (617) 868-4858

Family Help Desk

  • PBH Program at Boston Medical Center
  • Helps with food stamps, public assistance, childcare, housing
  • (617) 414-4349

The Cambridge Multi-Service Center for the Homeless

  • Offers a broad range of services to persons who have lost or are at risk of losing their housing
  • (617) 349-6340

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