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Questions Answered by Christopher Tolley
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.

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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...
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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.

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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.

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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.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I sue neighbor for illegal activities bringing down home value?

Massachusetts absentee neighbor runs illegal boarding house. Has been cited by town several times but continues activities. I’m unable to sell home because buyers specifically mention the eyesore and illegal activity next door. Can I sue?

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Jan 3, 2022

Sounds to me like you may have something to go on. I would find a qualified attorney to explore your course of action in more detail.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If my mortgage is in default, can I sell part of my land?

We are back $5,000 and have an offer of $25,000 for a part of our land

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Nov 8, 2021

You would have to obtain the permission of your current mortgage holder. They may not be willing to accept a partial payment in exchange for a release of part of the mortgaged land, and they certainly will not give a release unless you are current on the mortgage payments. They also might want to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello, I'm have an issue with a landlord that is not returning a deposit and it has been well over 30 days.

It was a month to month lease. No Damages. She has retained a lawyer. I have reached out to him, given him details last week via a text, he has not not responded to my calls or messages.

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Oct 14, 2021

Massachusetts security deposit (if that is what you are talking about) law is very favorable to the tenant, but there are very particular aspects to the law. Go to masslegalhelp and read up on a landlord's obligation to return a security deposit (if that is what you are talking about) If... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: What steps should I take if being sued by debt collector? I received letter to appear in court. I owe a portion of debt.

I do not have means to pay amount owed. May I offer settlement to be paid over time?

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Sep 20, 2021

Certain forms of income are exempt from collection. If you only have exempt income, the debt collector cannot collect funds from you. Exempt income includes, but is not limited to Federal old-age, survivors and disability payments, Supplementary Security Income (SSI) for the Aged, blind and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I've been served papers re a credit card debt by mail with no date of service. Wondering how to calculate the 20 days.

I'm also confused about how to properly file the answer. I would appreciate some direction. Thank you.

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Sep 7, 2021

What is the date of the complaint you received? I would count the 20 days from that date. Your answer should contain numbered paragraphs corresponding to the numbered paragraphs of the complaint. You should also insert any affirmative defenses, such as, this is not my debt, I paid this in full,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it required in MA to test and de-lead an old property (1800s) before renting it out?

We have a property (1800s) that we want to rent out. However, the presence/absence of lead is unknown. As landlords, are we required to test the presence of lead (and de-lead if found) before we rent it out? Can we have the tenants sign an agreement that it has been informed to them that it is... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Jul 14, 2021

You are required to test for the presence of lead before you rent. You do not necessarily have to de-lead the property before renting, there are other ways to deal with lead paint. You cannot require tenants sign an agreement stating they accept the presence of lead on the property. This is a good... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a lawyer submit evidence in a case that's not presented in written complaint to the court
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Jul 13, 2021

Yes. In Massachusetts the complaint itself need be only a "(1) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and (2) a demand for judgment for the relief to which he deems himself entitled." A complaint need not contain the evidence necessary to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Merge an LLC and it's assets in NYC with an LLC in Ma..

Our family has a condo in NYC under the management of an LLC owned by my sister-in-law. We want to merge the NYC LCC and it's assets (condo) with an LLC in Boston, Ma. (owned by myself and my wife) and then close the NYC LCC. We will then do a 1031 Transfer for a property in the Boston area.... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Jul 6, 2021

There are several ways to approach this. You could register the MA LLC in NY and convey the NY condo. to the MA LLC. You could merge the two in both states, as you suggested, which would likely involve registering each LLC in the other state first. The above is not an exhaustive list of how to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If I am setting up a irrevocable living trust with 2 properties do I just complete and sign in front of a notary?

I was wondering if the properties in Mass have to be reregistered at some point or is there anything about the trust setup thats common I have never done this before. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on May 18, 2021

If the plan is for the irrevocable trust to own the properties, and the properties are real property, you need to convey the properties by deed from whoever owns them to the trust.

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: My tiny street is a right of way over other properties . Can my neighbors park on it obstructing our view and safety?

On a tiny private road only 15-20 feet wide, my neighbors (before my home) have been using it as a parking lot. It's not impassible, but it makes life difficult as we can't see down the street from our driveway due to the blockage, and now the kids have this reduced view when riding their... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Mar 10, 2021

Without knowing the rights of the owners who own property on the way, I am unable to state what right you have to direct your neighbor to park elsewhere. Common sense would dictate that if you have a right to unobstructed passage over the way, and if his vehicle is blocking the way, even partially,... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I am a real estate investor that has started to participated in bank listed auctions.

If the property is occupied by owner/tenant I have heard that if you are acquiring the property for possession you are allowed to serve and evict the individual with a 30 day notice. They may appeal the eviction which can be dragged out in court for up to another 30 days. I got this legal advice... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Feb 4, 2021

Eviction of former owners is handled differently from eviction of tenants. Former owners are tenants at sufferance not entitled to notice to evict but common sense dictates they be given a reasonable amount of time to leave. I do not usually give thirty days notice but it is not unreasonable. You... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Lemon Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Hi, I like know about consumer law. I want to know about my rights.

I bought a used car from dealership and during my purchase I was not told about the Defects that involve the actual operation of the car. Examples include the brakes, tires, and Blind Spot Detection system. I replaced the tires and brakes and pay to dealership worth($500) and they told me to go to... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Jan 22, 2021

You may be entitled to relief under the Massachusetts Lemon Law. I suggest you review the requirements here: https://www.mass.gov/guides/guide-to-used-vehicle-warranty-law. You should also visit: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/consumer-services-at-the-attorney-generals-officer The dealer has... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If I own two properties that abuts a paper road do I have more rights then my Neigbor?

I live in a private neighborhood my house has a separate piece of land that I pay taxes on and the paper road was designed for this piece of land. My Neigbor is trying to Claim the whole paper road as his front yard? He’s even trying to clear my half of the paper road from its natural brush so... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Jan 12, 2021

Under the derelict fee statute, G.L. c. 183, s. 58, title to property abutting a way carries with it either (i) ownership to the midpoint of the way, when the grantor retains land on the other side of the same; or (ii) ownership of the entire width of the way, when the grantor does not own land on... Read more »

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