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Massachusetts Collections Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Massachusetts on
Q: If a magistrate orders you to pay an amount by a certain date or he will hold you in contempt and you send in paperwork

Showing wife is under Massachusetts income protection law and your indigent can the magistrate still hold you in contempt?

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Oct 20, 2023

If a magistrate orders you to pay a specific amount by a certain date, and you submit paperwork showing that your wife is protected under Massachusetts income protection laws and that you are indigent, it's possible that the magistrate may reconsider the order. Magistrates often have the... View More

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... View 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 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 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... View 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... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Banking and Collections for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a creditor for a deceased person take money from a joint bank account

I am a joint owner of a bank account with my mother who recently passed. There is not a lot of money involved. She passed with several thousands of medical bills. Can they take the money in the joint account?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 2, 2024

* If the bank account was jointly owned between you and your late mother, the creditor generally cannot take money from the account to pay off your mother's debts. Here are some key points:

* Joint bank accounts typically have a right of survivorship. This means that when one owner...
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1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a finance company go after any non-family members for collection of money owed after death?

My sister passed away. She has no spouse or children. She purchased (through Financing) a car weeks before her death. If repossessed, can the finance company go after any monies due to non-immediate family (niece / nephew) beneficiaries of an insurance or annuity policy?

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Feb 15, 2024

Insurance proceeds payable to a named beneficiary pass outside probate and are therefore not reachable by creditors. I assume the same is true for an annuity.

2 Answers | Asked in Collections for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I go about getting a judgement on a family member that took a large loan and has refused to pay back or contact

I loaned her a loan for 40.000 dollars. To be paid back in 35 days. She has completely ignored all contact with me and is refusing to discuss the matter. She is in the process of selling the home she shares with her husband. Through a divorce that is in process. We want to be able to get something... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Feb 2, 2024

You should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to proceed with collection. If the only asset the debtor has is the house you may want to consider seeking an attachment on the property before it is sold so that the debtor will have to pay you from the sale proceeds.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Collections for Massachusetts on
Q: City gave notice of unpaid property taxes (2 years old) that were already paid during closing to be paid by certain date

Or they'd put a lien. I paid the dues in time with confusion from city that once I find the evidence of payment during closing, I'd get reimbursed. I did find that evidence and provided it to them. Treasurer confirmed in email to refund the amount I had paid earlier. It's been almost... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Mar 6, 2023

If you have submitted al the materials necessary to show you paid, the refund should be forthcoming. Are you otherwise current on your real property taxes? If not, that may be the hold up. Otherwise, keep after them.

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law and Collections for Massachusetts on
Q: I filed motion to dismiss in MA but no ruling thus far. 30 days passed. No answer from the plaintiff or court. Options?

how do I ask the court to grant the motion? there is a binding arbitration clause in the contract and I filed a motion to compel arbitration and dismiss the case.

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Feb 23, 2023

You have to set your motion for hearing. Your judge may have a website with procedures, or you can call the clerk's office for help.

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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... View 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 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.

1 Answer | Asked in Collections, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a person sue me for non-payment after refusing to give me the bill?

After a break up I spent some time living with my Nana. Our agreement was I’d work in lieu of rent in her shop, but pay utilities in the house I occupied since it’s normally empty. The utilities were in her name. After events ranging from abusive, to manipulative, to straight out slanderous I... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Nov 18, 2020

You appear to understand and agree that you owe the bill for March. However, if you do not know the amount to pay, you cannot pay it. Your Nana would have to show you knew the amount you had to pay, that she asked you for the money, and you refused to pay.

1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Massachusetts on
Q: I made a partial payment on a time barred loan but it had it reversed in less than 2 minutes. Can they still sue me?

Hi, so I had a debt collector who called me seeking a payment. After negotiating back and forth I was going to make a payment on the account only to realize that would restart the loan. I did make a payment of $50 but had it reversed immediately and it doesn't show up in my banking account

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on May 11, 2020

If the debt is otherwise time-barred, the creditor would have to file suit against you and allege that your reversed payment was agreeing to pay the debt. Based on what you say, you do not appear to have agreed to repay the debt.

Also, the creditor has to have informed you that the debt is...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Collections for Massachusetts on
Q: Judgement against me from 2007 for credit card debt.

Had no idea I had this against me, my husband use to take care of our finances and now he is deceased. A collection agency wants $7400 for a $2900 judgement. What can I do? Would like to clear this up but don't have $7000.

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jan 29, 2020

If you want to respond aggressively, go into the court and file a motion to have the judgment vacated because did not receive notice of the case in 2007 (if that is true).

If you are willing and able to pay, tell the collection agency what you said above, that your husband handled your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Massachusetts on
Q: Plaintiff has filed a voluntary dismissal without prejudice. Can I file an objection?
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jan 13, 2020

If your objection is that the dismissal is without prejudice I do not think a judge will allow it. A dismissal with prejudice is an adjudication on the merits. Judges are reluctant to dismiss with prejudice when there has been no engagement on the issues of the case. (I assume the case has not... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Collections, Contracts, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Massachusetts on
Q: does a homestead act on a home in mass prevent a contractor collecting money if homeowner refuses to pay final bill

I completed a foundation replacement on a property to stop the house from collapsing and the home owner is refusing to pay there final bill even tho the job passed all state inspections upon completion

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jan 2, 2020

The Homestead Act itself does not. It may impact your ability to lien the house, however.

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents, Collections and Small Claims for Massachusetts on
Q: Received a "over-pay notice" for insurance check cashed

Good morning,

I was in a vehicle crash in July, 2019. I was not at fault so my damage was paid for by the person at fault. My insurance though sent me a check for damage as well, So i cashed it after they sent me a letter saying it does NOT have to be used for my vehicle. I am now receiving... View More

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Nov 5, 2019

It sounds like your insurance carrier, either in the course of its investigation or in an audit, discovered the double payment - both from themselves and from the other driver. Either on your own or through a Massachusetts attorney, you could ask the carrier if they would be willing to consider... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Small Claims and Collections for Massachusetts on
Q: I am being sued for credit debt from midland funding ,it is a old sears account,I would like to know what steps to
Stuart Gregory Steingraber
Stuart Gregory Steingraber
answered on Dec 14, 2018

If you have any defenses to the lawsuit, you must assert them in your case or the plaintiff will win by default. Some defenses include: Statute of Limitations has passed and therefore the debt in unenforceable; you don't owe the debt because it was incurred in someone else's name and you... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a court take my social security disability for a debt judgement. Even if it my only source of income
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jul 30, 2018

Unless the debts sought to be collected are child support, federal taxes or student loan repayments you owe, the answer is no. The issue is for you to be proactive, since the court may give the creditor a bank account attachment or order you to make payments because they are unaware your income or... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Collections, Consumer Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I owe 4 months condo fee and add late fees send me letter that is going to collection agency what action should I take

The condo association charge late fees from the last year plus 4 months condo I owe and I'm in hardship and selling the house What should I do ? Please any advice is great appreciate!

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Apr 23, 2018

Most condominiums in Massachusetts have provisions for charging late fees, attorney's fees and expenses of collection. Six months of past due common area fees are a lien on the unit prior to any first mortgage. Because of this, and because Massachusetts cases have held that common area fees... View More

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