Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Questions Answered by Christopher Tolley
2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it a breach of contract If a seller is not ready to close at the closing date stated on the buyer-seller agreement?
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Nov 18, 2022

Yes, although many real estate purchase and sale agreements permit the seller to extend the date for closing under certain circumstances even though the buyer may not agree to extend. You should review your purchase and sale agreement .

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Massachusetts on
Q: Can HOA covenant be forced on abutting parcel that is NOT part of the deeded covenants to the subdivision boundaries?

An abutter (private parcel, NOT part of the HOA/subdivision) wants to develop their adjacent lot for a single family home in Massachusetts. Certain people have suggested that this parcel may be forced to become subject to the HOA covenants, even though those covenants, maps and recorded deeds... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Nov 9, 2022

Based on your explanation of the situation, if the HOA documents do not describe the abutting property as part of the HOA, it is not subject to the HOA covenants. I cannot think of circumstances under which abutting property could be 'forced' to become part of the HOA unless there is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Collections for Massachusetts on
Q: I received a judgement from a lawsuit that a debt collector apparently did against me, but I never knew about it.

I recently received the judgement itself in their favor saying I never went to the court date, but I never knew about it. In addition to that, the address on the judgement I received is wrong as it is my sister’s house where I have not lived for over a year now. The debt collector is fully aware... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Nov 2, 2022

Take the judgment to the court that issued the judgment. Go to the Civil Clerk's office. Explain the situation to them and tell them you want to make a motion to vacate the judgment for all the reasons you described. Likely they have a form for you to fill out. Write your explanation as set... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Banking and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: My wife and I live in Massachusetts. Fifteen or so years ago she opened a bank account in her name only.

She named her brother as recipient of the account if she were to die. As community property, shouldn't the funds come to me? Is what she did legal/legitimate?

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Oct 28, 2022

Massachusetts is not a community property state. The entitlement to the proceeds of the account are governed by whatever bank account agreement your wife signed when she opened the account. If the agreement states her brother is to receive the funds in the event of her death, that agreement is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy and Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I am in need of a free bankruptcy lawyer for credit cards

I have been unemployed for over a year, and awaiting disability to be approved, and I need to file bankruptcy for credit cards I cannot pay. Are there any free lawyers I could qualify for?

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Oct 26, 2022

Try Greater Boston Legal Services. https://www.gbls.org/get-legal-help

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: I actually have 2 questions: 1.) Is it legal to lease out an apartment in an ALF to someone if the previous tenant who

lived there has already paid through the end of the month?

2.) In an ALF is it legal for the facility to take a bed that I purchased for my father and give it to someone else to use?

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Oct 26, 2022

As to question 1, the ALF agreement likely addresses the rights and obligations of the parties if an occupant vacates a unit for which he has already paid rent. The ALF agreement may also address the disposition of an occupant's personal property once the occupant vacates the unit. Also, you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: First time for me to rent out my extra room, I didn’t know I have to open escrow account, it’s over 4 months now. help.

Now the tenant try to take me to court for return security deposit

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Oct 13, 2022

You have to return the security deposit within 30 days of the end of the tenancy. If you failed to do so, or you did not comply with the security deposit statute in other ways, you may be liable for damages. This is a useful review of the law regarding returning security deposits :... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Products Liability and Small Claims for Massachusetts on
Q: Wheel adapter set bought through Amazon from this company and my rear wheel fell off while going 65. Want reimbursement

I’m not the only one this is happened to according to the reviews I imagine it was just poor quality material as I have pictures of everything. The bolt heads were sheared off. Minimal damage done to truck and nobody hurt, but money had to be paid for a rental and other expenditures.

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Oct 13, 2022

Forward a demand to Amazon and the company for a refund and all your expenses. Depending on how much is at issue and how much they offer, consider accepting a settlement to avoid the hassle of small claims and having to chase them to collect. Otherwise, if they refuse to pay or do not make an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Municipal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can one town foreclose if the property is in two separate communities and other town's taxes are current?

I bought a home that's 1/2 in 1 town and 1/2 in another - the dwelling is > 80% in Town A. Original mortgagee escrowed & paid property tax only to Town A. The mortgage has been transferred twice & modified once, & still the error wasn't discovered. Now, over 10 years in, I... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Aug 19, 2022

I think Town B probably has a right to foreclose on its lien but my guess is it has not done so because of the issues you raised. Whether Town B does or does not foreclose, I do not see any alternative but your #1. I do not see the value of ignoring Town B. You already have no equity in the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: I am living in a house that was just sold do the new owners have the right to do renovations in or outside of house
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jul 9, 2022

Normally once a landlord leases premises the landlord cannot make changes to the leased premises without the tenant's permission. Your lease may give the landlord the right to make changes. Generally a landlord is permitted to enter leased premises to make repairs at reasonable times' on... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a real estate seller trustee stop a sale after purchase & sale?

My wife and I made an offer on a house and signed a P&S. We discovered the property is in a trust and only trustee #1 signed the P&S. My attorney reviewed the trust and concluded only one trustee is required to sign. She conferred with the bank’s attorney and he came to the same... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jun 6, 2022

This is not the type of straightforward question well suited to a question and answer online forum. It appears there are issues with the trust and the trustees' powers that are specific to this situation. In other words, there is no standard answer to your question. I strongly suggest you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: What does "full possession of the premises" mean in an MA real estate contract?

To us, "full possession of the premises" means we get the keys and can occupy the house. Our attorney said it just means the seller must move out and not reenter. How would one have full possession with no keys to the house?

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jun 6, 2022

The phrase refers to the fact that you have a legal right to possession and the seller no longer has such a right. It does not address the practical issue of how physically you enter the property. Getting you the keys is something the real estate broker usually deals with.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Criminal Law, Traffic Tickets and Car Accidents for Massachusetts on
Q: Canceled license plates are being used by someone else in another state.

I was in a car accident last year my insurance company considered my car totaled and I canceled the plates in April of last year before they took it. They had messed up when the tow company was coming so my plates were still in my car and I told the insurance guy I just needed an hour before... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on May 25, 2022

Unfortunately I suggest you obtain the services of a New York attorney experienced in this type of law because you are going to have to convince a judge that you are not responsible for the tickets based on your circumstances described above. You can also keep attempting to dispute the tickets... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Banking for Massachusetts on
Q: Regarding an indorsement of a promissory note, does the "no space" test only apply to the originally printed side?

Does the "no space" test include using the backside of the original promissory note for an indorsement if that side of the paper is blank? Is there a citation for the actual wording of the "no space" test?

A "no space" test is showing that there is no room on... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on May 9, 2022

Please explain what you mean by the "no space" test.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Lemon Law and Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I sue a well reputable bmw dealership for selling me a car for lemon law back around 2018?

I purchased pre-certified 2015 bmw 535xi when it has 55k miles on it and now the car only has 62k miles on it in 2022. it broke down on me yesterday. It's barely driven for all these years and it breaks down (possibly the drivetrain).

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Apr 4, 2022

I think you may be out of luck. From the Massachusetts Lemon Law website:

Your Vehicle's Term of Protection

Your used vehicle has a set time frame during which it is eligible for repairs!

You vehicle is eligible for mandatory repairs if the defects occur during your...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for Massachusetts on
Q: can i sue a well reputable debt collector for saying a credit card company is going to file a lawsuit against me?

MCM contacted me saying one of the debts i owe to a credit card company is now in collections but the guy threatening me that the credit card company is going to file a lawsuit against me, he didn't say if he had proof or anything and made me pay fast.

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Apr 1, 2022

Debt collectors are not supposed to threaten to file suit unless they actually intend to do so. However, if you owe the money and you are inclined to pay you may want to treat this as an opportunity to make a settlement favorable to you.

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and International Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Marriott hotel sublet the event hosting time slot paid my me to another party. Want to sue Marriott.

Marriott hotel in Kolkata, India was booked by us for a day to host my brother's marriage. Marriott sneaked in two more parties in our time slot before our events began and hence we could not decorate our event properly since other parties were still present. The time slot assigned to us was... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Feb 7, 2022

Where did you sign the contract, in the US or in India? What does the contract say, (the terms and conditions may be online) do Indian or US laws apply? You can always write a demand letter to Marriott in the US. he worst they can do is say no.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Collections and Lemon Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If I have a duplicate title to my vehicle and the spot for lien holder is empty could there still be a lien on my car?

The rmv website says no lien holder and on my title it only says my name and information nothing about a lien holder could there still be a lien holder on my vehicle?

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jan 28, 2022

If this is a passenger vehicle, according to Massachusetts law, if there is no lienholder on the title, the secured party's interest, if any , has not been properly perfected and there is no lien on the vehicle.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I owe real state taxes for the city of Methuen MA Can I set up a payment plan are there any options

The total real state taxes with fees and penalties is around 30000, can a payment plan be in placed so I don’t loose my home and also be on time with my current tax bill

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jan 7, 2022

Contact the tax collector, explain your situation, and see if you can arrive at a payment plan.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a deal be made with the city of Methuen if you owe taxes on real state

I was having a rough couple years domestic violence, health ,unfortunately , I owe real state taxes for the city of Methuen they want to foreclose on my property can I make a payment plan is there anything I can do , my situation has change and I’m able to pay the taxes moving forward and setting... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jan 7, 2022

Contact the tax collector, explain theyour situation, and see if you can arrive at a payment plan.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.