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Massachusetts Consumer Law Questions & Answers
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 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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Consumer Law, Contracts and Entertainment / Sports for Massachusetts on
Q: Fitness training company charging me for services that were not provided. What are my options?

I signed up for personal fitness training with a company for 6 months from Dec-2019 to May-2020 ($600 for each month & 10 sessions each month). No services were provided between Mar 2020 to May 2020 due to COVID. The company was not reachable on phone during that time for cancellation enquiry.... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Oct 9, 2020

Most lawyers' rates would make legal representation impractical. Look carefully at your contract and see what your options are. Contact your credit card company and have them stop the automatic payments. I suggest you consider filing a small claims suit yourself. If nothing else, it will get... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My father passed away & left properties - if he for some reason still owes a mortgage - am I as a heir responsible?

I never co-signed for any loans! The properties are in Puerto Rico!

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Oct 6, 2020

If you did not sign for the loans, you cannot be held personally responsible. I assume the Puerto Rico mortgages, if any, are like Massachusetts mortgages, that empower the lender to sell the property to satisfy the debt, and in most cases if you wanted to stop the foreclosure sales payment... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Criminal Law and Juvenile Law for Massachusetts on
Q: At a private business can photos be taken without the consent of the employee's

At a private business in MA, a neighbor who has been harassing the employees continues to come down every weekend to take pictures of minors while they work. She says it is for going after the owner for tax reasons however, the minors have stated to her that they do not consent to being filmed. Is... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Oct 2, 2020

There are a few issues here, so the answer rather depends. IF a neighbor can see from her property or a public street and take pictures it is probably legal. If she must trespass to take pictures then it may be a criminal trespass. It also sounds like harassment that may or may not fit the law on... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Business Law and Civil Litigation for Massachusetts on
Q: The plumber who is fixing my boiler has been in and out over 3 weeks. If i hire someone else instead, do I have to pay?

It's been 3 weeks without hot water, the plumber I called keeps not showing up, or he will just suddenly show up at 8pm. He hasn't fixed my boiler in three attempts. No paperwork has been signed, and he hasn't really communicated the problem. If i hire someone else to fix my boiler,... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Jul 16, 2020

If you have not agreed on the work he is to perform and what you are required to pay him, you do not have a contract. He may have a right to compensation for his visits but it would be up to him to show what he did and the basis for any compensation he claims to be entitled to. I suggest you hire a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Divorce, Employment Law and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: What can I do to recover damages? Anything?

My now ex wife worked with me in my business. She ended up having an affair with one of our employees. During her deposition she did not admit to a relationship with the employee but as soon as our divorce was final he moved in and made it public through social media. She has posted damaging... Read more »

Tanesha R Wright
Tanesha R Wright answered on Jun 14, 2020

As counsel has already stated if she's making defamatory statements about your business that is an issue outside your divorce. However, I do think there are issues you could address in your divorce on other matters. First, would be a potential modification if you are unable to make payments... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Civil Litigation and Constitutional Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Does the Governor of Massachusetts have the legal authority to order me to wear a mask because of the coronavirus?

Doesn't this order infringe on my constitutional rights?

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on May 17, 2020

Constitutional rights are balanced with public health interests in these settings. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Bankruptcy, Consumer Law and Contracts for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I reopen a CH 13 BK from years ago as its related to CURRENT litigation?

This CH 13 BK and adversary proceeding was handled by an attorney I hired (and who is now deceased). I ONLY started digging into the facts because the opposing attorney brought it up There are strong possibilities that not only was FOTC committed, but also, the judge's order was not complied... Read more »

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison answered on May 5, 2020

You can try. The reopening fee is $260.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: In MA if you receive a notice to appear in court to mark docket satisfied is it important that I go?

It was for a debt paid off very difficult for me to get there. Thank you

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Mar 6, 2020

I do not see why you have to go to court in order to have the debt marked satisfied in full.Normally my office just sends the paperwork to the court indicating the debt has been paid. I suggest you call the clerk's office to get clarification as to the necessity of your appearance. You could... Read more »

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... 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... 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...
Read more »

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 »

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