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Massachusetts Collections Questions & Answers

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

Christopher Tolley answered on Dec 14, 2018

There are extensive requirements for debt collectors seeking payment for old debts. A primer on consumer's rights in old debt collections is beyond the scope of an online question forum like this one. Also, the law in New York is likely different from that in Massachusetts. I have been advising... Read 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 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... Read 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 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 and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Collections, Consumer Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on

Q: If I owed money to my college, they sent it to collections and garnished my taxes, legally can they still collect the $?

Christopher Tolley answered on Apr 6, 2018

Usually a creditor can only collect what it is owed, so if the tax offset paid your debt in full, they should not be able to further offset any more refunds. The Department of Education has a good website that is easy to navigate and has a lot of information on questions like these:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Collections for Massachusetts on

Q: Parent received a large bill from the Rehab/nursing home she was in for a few months. Medicare paid their portion.

She was told she has to pay the balance. She has an annuity which is currently paying for the assisted living facility in Beverly. We believe when she runs out of money the assisted living will then go through medicaid for her monthly bills. Should we pay the rehab bill ($11K), try to negotiate... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Apr 5, 2018

Are you power of attorney for mother? Is mother competent at this point? If you are power of attorney for her you can try to negotiate with the rehab or you can set up a payment plan. Heep your records for the MassHealth Medicaid application.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Collections for Massachusetts on

Q: My son and daughter in law signed a financial agreement to repay me $150000 over a period of 20 years.

They have not made any payments, what can I do, they live in Boston. The note says that the house that they purchased from me is security for the loan. I am 72 and need the money to live on.

John Espinosa answered on Feb 16, 2018

If the note you hold is also secured by a properly recorded mortgage, then you can foreclose. If there is no mortgage then the only recourse would be to sue them for default of the loan. You should hire an attorney either way.

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Collections for Massachusetts on

Q: If a document has been misrepresented by a plaintiff, can the defendant convince the court to rule it inadmissible?

In summons for breach of contract, Plaintiff included a 95% illegible copy of the original agreement. Over 10 months I requested a better copy or to see the original. 3 times Plaintiff sent new reproduction but still illegible & said they were unsure if the original exists. I have 2 contracts from... Read more »

Jonathan R. Roth answered on Sep 5, 2017

You can argue that they failed to provide information requested in a timely manner and ask for its exclusion. There is no guarantee you will succeed. Likewise, seek permission to revise your answers to the Interrogatories based on the new legible copy. I believe you need to get assistance from... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Collections and Small Claims for Massachusetts on

Q: Company that sued in small claims court sold my account. Who do I owe?

Credit card company took me to small claims court for a balance owed. We agreed to terms and that payment is made through the law firm representing them. Lawyer at court instructed me where to send payment. When I called that office they claimed they don't accept payments and to use their... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on May 16, 2017

The entity that purchased the right to the money would be owed the money from you, but they'd have to provide you written proof of that right. Otherwise you won't know whether they're trying to scam you or not. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Collections and Juvenile Law for Massachusetts on

Q: Am I liable for my underage son's eBay and PayPal account balances

My 14 year old son secretly created an ebay and a paypal account. On the eBay account he sold a few items, the money was transferred to the PayPal account where he spent it on in video game purchases. He never sent the items and eBay issued the buyers a refund along with service charges which put... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Mar 30, 2017

Yes, you may indeed be sued for that. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Banking, Collections and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on

Q: Someone stopped payment on a check owed me

Roommate guaranteed me if I left by a certain date she would give me my deposit back then stopped payment on her check

Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Mar 24, 2017


If the security deposit was owed to you, you may be able to sue for failure to refund it in a timely manner. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best...
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1 Answer | Asked in Collections and Consumer Law for Massachusetts on

Q: If a debt is from 2011, could I still be liable for the debt if I go to the hearing?

I have received notice of a magistrate hearing from a collection agency for credit card debt back in 2011. My last payment was in August of 2011. Am I still liable? I'm not sure if I should go to this hearing or set up a payment plan that I can not afford.

Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Mar 6, 2017



You might be running very close to the SOL. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The...
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1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Massachusetts on

Q: Do I need to file a new Homestead Declaration to protect my home? Is Railraod Retirement safe from attachment?

Facing suit over defaulted private student loan my daughter defaulted on that I cosigned. My households only income is my husbands Railroad Retirement, which we live on. My home has a Homestead Declaration filed in 2003, I have since taken one equity loan in 2008 and married in 1997. Deed is still... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Oct 22, 2015

It appears that everything but the home is your husband's, so that should be ok. I wouldn't think that the homestead declaration would expire, so if the homestead exemption is unlimited, you should be fine.

1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Massachusetts on

Q: How do I make collections agencies and a local law firm STOP calling me? They refuse to correct a phone number error.

For more than 15 years, I have received phone calls for a person who has never lived at my address. I researched the person's name and discovered they have a very similar phone number (a simple transposition of 2 numbers). These calls have come from 7 different collections agencies and one... Read more »

David B. Levin answered on Aug 18, 2015

Talk to a consumer protection lawyer in your area. Though I can't draw any conclusions here, it is possible that the agency or agencies contacting you are in violation of one or more consumer protection statutes, and you may be entitled to damages in addition to putting a stop to the calls.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Massachusetts on

Q: Can a collection agency have you arrested?

Guy on the phone says that if I don't pay, they will send the police to my house.

I can't pay. What can I do?

David B. Levin answered on Jul 27, 2015

Contact an attorney. A collection agency that threatens you with arrest if you don't make payment arrangements with them or pay a civil debt in full is in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and possibly state consumer protection law as well. A local consumer protection attorney can... Read more »

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