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Massachusetts Consumer Law Questions & Answers
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 Consumer Law and Civil Litigation for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I RENEW a Massachusetts civil capias warrant issued in a home contractor award case that will expire in 2 months.

The warrant is evidently good for 1 year during daylight hours only. I have proof of defendant's continued address occupancy (signatures on USPS postal receipts within last 2 months), but is otherwise very good at dodging the sheriff. Person would be greatly happy when this expires, as could now... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Dec 13, 2019

You have to file a written motion for a new capias, mark it for hearing, give notice to the debtor, and surrender the old capias.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: purchased 4 shoes for $1650 and shipped to a friend for $2235, all 4 are fake, I got refunded for 1, what should I do?

The seller is based out of California, I live in Massachusetts, my friend who these were shipped to lives in New York, I bought the 4 pairs mid August, after getting in the shipment we found out 1 was fake right away, I refunded my friend $950, after waiting 3 weeks the seller sent a compensation... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Sep 30, 2019

Keep after the seller online and by text, but if he/she does not respond, file a small claims complaint and seek multiple damages under G.L. c. 93A, the Massachusetts unfair and deceptive acts statute. The clerk may be willing to help you fill out the small claims form. If/when you get a judgment,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Small Claims for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I have clarification on abandoned vehicle law and who has rights in my situation?

I live in MA and was going to sell a vehicle to a person who lives in RI. The title has yet to be sent to me by the previous owner who lives out of state. The vehicle has been sitting in the garage of the RI resident for 8 months. Since the title is not in my name and no agreement was signed, am I... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 16, 2019

This question cannot be answered completely without first seeing the title to the car--the title that you do not have yet. In the meantime, you certainly must know that you cannot lawfully sell the car to anyone without owning it; right?

Then your next task is either get the title from...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Civil Litigation for Massachusetts on
Q: Is This a case of fraud and Grand Larceny?

The tow and storage fees services at Lynch (Manoli's) Towing are unfair after my vehicle was towed there after a car accident when my steering-wheel locked on April 26, 2017 ! I contacted an employee at Lynch Towing about the prices for tow storage and I was told inaccurate prices on two occasions... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 6, 2019

Neither. This is a contractual issue. Based on your facts as stated, you have known that your car was towed and secured behind locked gates since April 26, 2017--the date of the accident. Right?

You have also known since May 5, 2017 that the towing company charged a $455 towing fee, and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Estate Planning and Insurance Bad Faith for Massachusetts on
Q: Is there recourse for being wrongly denied life insurance?

I was denied life insurance because they stated I was in an alcohol rehab center. I have never had any issues with alcohol or drugs and have never been in a rahab center

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Mar 18, 2019

One option is to seek insurance through a different carrier. If you need insurance and wish to avoid delays in obtaining coverage, valuable time could be lost in pressing the issue with the original carrier.

Tim Akpinar

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can child support garnish both of my full-time jobs paychecks if I'm paying in full from the first jobs paycheck
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Feb 20, 2019

If you are paying all that is required of you from one paycheck, it does not make sense that more money would be taken out of your second paycheck. For example, if your total pay from one job equaled the amount you are currently being paid from your two jobs, and you were paying the total amount... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I am trying find if there is a law in Massachusetts that says you cannot charge for services not rendered.

I was charged for extra services on a product that the services were not completed.

Zachary Alan Waksman
Zachary Alan Waksman answered on Feb 9, 2019

Massachusetts’ consumer protection statute (Chapter 93A) forbids charging for services not rendered. The law calls this an unfair or deceptive practice. If you prove it to have happened and that you suffered damages, you will be entitled to double or treble damages plus attorneys fees. Some... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Consumer Law, Civil Litigation and Elder Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can assessment of damages hearing be brought by condominium assoiation under rule 55b2 if no default?

Condo Association was denied preliminary injunction for rules violation in hearing 11/ 9/16. In Summary Judgment Hearing 11/9/17 Count I re violation was denied but allowed Count II for assessment of damages hearing. They applied under rule 55(b)(2) with Issuance of Notice to Sell (per MGL c.254... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jan 9, 2019

One concern may be whether her assets are going to be the subject of a lien and collections efforts. Another concern would focus on her estate after she passes: would judgment creditors seek reimbursement at that time? More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Do gift certs expire in Mass?
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Nov 24, 2018

It has to have a term of at least seven years. It has to have the issuance date and the expiration date on it. If it has no expiration date, it is good indefinitely. This applies to electronic cards. There are websites with more specifics, I suggest you check them to make sure whatever you have... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I have some old debt from 2008 - can a collector garnish my wages?
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Nov 6, 2018

In order to obtain a wage attachment, the creditor must have a judgment against you. The creditor is required to file a new lawsuit based on the judgment and appear before a judge to ask permission for a wage attachment. The creditor is required to give you written notice of the time date and place... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: State MA - Servicer refuses full payment to cure loan default, Wired payment to their attorney, He sends personal check

This is regarding stopping a foreclosure. the funds are on hand to bring the loan current but the Servicer and their Attorneys are misleading my elderly mother. they are using dirty tricks to delay or even block her from curing her loan, The servicers attorneys were contacted and on 3 occasions... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Aug 2, 2018

Call the attorney general's office or the Massachusetts banking commissioner. Both have units that deal with this type of behavior.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: This new local business in my area has an aggressive marketing campaign that includes calls and tons of voicemails. I've

asked them to stop but they won't. Can I sue them?

Adam Savett
Adam Savett answered on May 30, 2018

The short answer is probably.

There is a federal law, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA, that makes many types of calls illegal.

Largely it depends on the type of call (e.g. robocall vs live), the nature of the number called (e.g. cell vs landline vs business number),...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Hi i just received a letter from a collections agency about a credit card from 7 years ago im in rhode island
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on May 8, 2018

Where it has been 7 years collection of the debt may be barred by the Rhode Island or Massachusetts statute of limitations. In Massachusetts for credit card debts the limitations period is 6 years. I'm not a Rhode Island attorney but the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is generally... 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
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
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 Contracts and Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: i was denied access to a gym as someone guest because i owe a account there even though i have been there plenty times

it does not say in the contract that a platinum members guest can not have access to the gyn if a previous account is owed. i also was just there 2 days ago and had no issue, but i feel like because im colored and have tattoos they singled me out. they denied me access to the gym even though i had... Read more »

John Espinosa
John Espinosa answered on Mar 17, 2018

If you think it is discrimination you could file a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination:

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Consumer Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I have to allow the lawyer to take the estate funds or can I create an estate account myself, is there a law?

Informal, under 450,000. Assets ( house sale, insurances, property) no contest. One credit card and he already lost track of a disbursement, can I as executor pay what’s owed to who?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Feb 2, 2018

You would be setting up an estate bank account with an estate tax payer ID and you can arrange to have the attorney copied with bank statements.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Consumer Law and Personal Injury for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I go about finding if somebody has homeowners insurance and whether I would be covered

I was helping a friend put shingles on his roof and the board where I had my footing wasn't nailed down enough I was sitting down and I went sliding down the roof I broke my ankle in two spots I have to wear a cast for 18 weeks and they may have to go back in to remove fractured bones I also broke... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Dec 8, 2017

Consult a member of the Mass Academy of Trial Lawyers --they give free consults. If you need names of such persons in Eastern Mass give me a call.

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