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Questions Answered by Christopher Tolley
1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims, Consumer Law and Collections for Massachusetts on
Q: are cases filed in Small Claims Court by Debt Collectors subjected to Massachusetts Rule of Civil Procedure 8.1 require

a detailed affidavit providing 1.

specific information about the debt, like the name of the original creditor, the name of the current debt owner, the date of the last payment, and the chain of ownership from the creditor to the current owner of the debt....

file an affidavit... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jan 26, 2023

I know of nothing in the rule addressing this specifically, but the references to complaint, clerk, district court, etc. lead me to believe Rule 8.1 does not apply to small claims. Also, small claims rule 2(b) contains its own verification of debt requirements for assigned debt.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Construction Law for Massachusetts on
Q: 780 CMR Sec 105.1 recently amended w/ stipulation all unpermitted work must be removed? Can you provide actual wording?

Also involved is 780 CMR Sect 114.1 Unlawful Acts, R114 Violations, can you provide actual wording, I cant find on Mass.Gov. I have spent hours looking. I appreciate any help.

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jan 17, 2023

It's in Chapter 1 of the code. Here is a link to Chapter 1: https://www.mass.gov/doc/780-cmr-ninth-edition-base-code-chapter-1-scope-and-administration-amendments/download

780 CMR 105.1 is on .pdf page 8. 780 CMR 114 is on .pdf page 21.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I withhold my broker's fee payment?

The home my broker found us has delayed our move-in date multiple times as they haven't gotten their BFD inspection. This possibility of delay was a clause in the lease and I was nervous about it but my broker told me that they only really put that clause in 'in case of natural disaster... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jan 10, 2023

If the possibility of delay was written into the lease there would be an argument that you assumed the risk of delay and therefore have no recourse for your losses due to the delay. You should examine any separate contract you may have with the broker as to whether and how his fee is earned. Maybe... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Banking for Massachusetts on
Q: Who or what type of law do I need for chase bank reporting my payment late without viable legal warrant. Who do I call?

Submitted a car payment to Chase Manhattan bank the same way I had previously got a confirmation receipt cheat code never was notified by Chase that the payment wasn’t received or did not go through so the next month I made the payment the same way and at that point was notified of the issues... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jan 4, 2023

If I understand correctly, you have made payments and submitted documentary evidence but Chase refuses to credit the payments to your account. Try contacting the Massachusetts Attorney General's consumer assistance division.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: What are my options when trying to remove myself from house deed?

My brother and I, inherited house. My brother has lived in the house for 3 years and not helping with property tax and yet to file yearly taxes, as he is the authorized rep of the estate. My name is on the house deed. How can I remove myself from any obligations as I am no longer financial able to... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jan 3, 2023

Contact your brother and advise him you no longer wish to own the property. Hire a lawyer to prepare a deed of your interest in the house to your brother. Ensure your brother agrees to accept a deed to the property. Have the lawyer record the deed with your brother's assent so that when the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Collections for Massachusetts on
Q: Is supplementary process required before requesting wage or bank garnishment?

Is supplementary process required before requesting wage or bank garnishment via trustee process? Will court allow me to skip the step of supplementary process and go straight to trustee process?

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Dec 27, 2022

I know of nothing requiring it. I have never had a judge deny a trustee process attachment because I had not pursued supplementary process first. However, allowing a trustee process attachment is within the court's discretion.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Collections for Massachusetts on
Q: Collecting on a civil judgment in Massachusetts.

I have a civil judgment in Massachusetts. I want to collect on the judgment by a wage or bank account garnishment, I understand I need to do a trustee process. Does that mean I have to file a second complaint (complaint on judgment) and pay court costs service of process fees again?

Do I... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Dec 27, 2022

Your can seek a bank account trustee process based on your current judgment. In order to trustee process wages, you have to institute a suit on the judgment.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: How can the owner of a single family residential house in Massachusetts remove an occupant who refuses to leave?

My friend, as an act of kindness, agreed to let a “friend” stay in his single family residence with him as a guest while she recovered from a surgery. During her stay, her own home was foreclosed on, so he let her stay longer and store her personal belongings at his house until she was able to... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Dec 27, 2022

Your friend will have to formally terminate his tenant's occupancy and evict her via a summary process action. I strongly suggest he retain the services of an attorney.

2 Answers | Asked in Construction Law and Contracts for Massachusetts on
Q: I have a builder building a home for me, they aren't addressing issues I have found but want their final payment.

Is it legal for me to with hold providing them the final check until they complete the issues I have with the home? I have asked them for over a week to come to the home and address the issues with me and they've ignored every email and text and say I'm going to be late on their payment... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Dec 6, 2022

I suggest you review the contract you have with the builder. It should state the circumstances under which the builder is entitled to full and final payment. It may give you a right to withhold payment pending completion of repairs per your request. Frequently building contracts have a provision... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: What kind of attorney(s) should i hire if i want to file a complaint in equity and sue in family court for contempt?

i am the child named in a judgment of divorce between parents and became a tenancy in common in properties with step-mother. i am now disabled and the sales will create financial complexities along with a host of difficulties. i have hired a real estate attorney & scheduled to meet soon but i... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Dec 1, 2022

Optimally you would hire a family law attorney with litigation experience.

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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 .

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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 »

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