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Massachusetts Consumer Law Questions & Answers
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: https://www.mass.gov/file-a-complaint-of-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... 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.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Business Formation for Massachusetts on
Q: what do i do in this situation

i had work done on an bb gun and told them to limit it to a price of 200 $ and i had to pay 241 and it didn't work so i told them to take there parts out and give me my money back due to faulty parts

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Oct 24, 2017

If they do not comply sue them in small claims court. I assume you can document the instruction and read whatever you signed with respect to the repair.

1 Answer | Asked in Identity Theft and Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: How can I get the bill out of my name without filing a police report

My mother placed a utility bill in my name without my knowledge. The bill is over four grand. I contacted the company as soon as I found out but they said I have to file a police report. I do not want my mother to go to jail and I can not let her find out I am trying to take the bill out of my name... Read more »

David Humphreys
David Humphreys answered on Oct 2, 2017

Go to the FTC website, IDTheft.gov and download an ID Theft Affidavit. Present that to the utility company. If they harass you after you fill out the affidavit and provide it to them, get a solid consumer protection law firm to help you.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Civil Litigation, Contracts and Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Who and where should I file a lawsuit against a company that is not in my state?

I was wondering who I should contact or just to go through small claims court in regards to a travel agency that promised to refund me and is giving the run-around as to why they can't refund me, after already promising to do so. Any information is greatly appreciated.

Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on Aug 29, 2017

If you signed a contract with the travel agency (most likely for your original transaction, not the refund), that contract may contain a provision regarding consent to jurisdiction and governing law. If that provision exists, contact an attorney in the state described in that provision.

If...
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3 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Car Accidents, Consumer Law and Small Claims for Massachusetts on
Q: Is "property damage" a legal issue? A tow truck driver damaged my car.

A tow truck driver towed my car and damaged the front fenders, front bumper, and undercarriage when he tried to remove the equipment attached to my car. He and the owner of the company refused to pay for the repairs to my car, and I want to file a small claims suit against the company. I also have... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Apr 30, 2017

Were you illegally parked? How did the damage specifically occur? You may be able to sue them in small claims court for objectively unreasonable damage to your car during the tow. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Admiralty / Maritime, Consumer Law, Gov & Administrative Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: How can a state demand boat taxes and fee's from a boat owner who is not a citizen or legal resident of the state?

Massachusetts demands a boat excise tax and several fee's for using their waterways. Regardless the boat owner is not a citizen or legal resident of the state. This also means one cannot vote in the state because the person is not a citizen or legal resident. Examples Here: Boat excise tax; a... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Apr 18, 2017

In the same way you have to pay a highway toll when you're driving on the state roads, you'd have to pay boat taxes and fees for using the state's waters, regardless of residency/ citizenship. The state government is, proverbially, king of its castle. This is the basis of sovereign... 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.
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.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Mar 24, 2017

See: http://www.mass.gov/courts/case-legal-res/law-lib/laws-by-subj/about/securitydeposits.html

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.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Mar 6, 2017

See: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartIII/TitleV/Chapter260

See: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartIII/TitleV/Chapter260/Section2

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 Consumer Law and Small Claims for Massachusetts on
Q: If I was unable to pay a credit card & was expected to go to court, what court session would that be?
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Mar 1, 2017

You should be provided notice of any court hearings, assuming the opposing party has your address and you're not being evasive. 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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Legal Malpractice and Small Claims for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it Legal for Auto Repair shop to ask me only to pay cash for discount

Brought my car to Brake King, I had my credit card on me and they had signs they accept them. So they look at my car and the mechanic said I need ALL NEW ROTORS and Brake Pads which I think is a lie but nonetheless he says he can do it for 500 dollars OR if I pay him cash 300$ and then told me he... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Feb 20, 2017

There is no law against requesting payments in cash. See: http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/consumer-rights-and-resources/autos/lemon-laws/mechanics-of-auto-repair.html

If you suspect tax fraud, you can report it to the IRS. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If I am the account owner for my Verizon account, can I request transcripts of text messages with the content?

Do I need a court order or can I just do it myself?

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Feb 8, 2017

If you're the owner, you can request such transcripts. 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/... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can photocopies of coupons be used as evidence
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Feb 1, 2017

Photocopies of documentary evidence in lawsuits may suffice where the originals are not available. 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 practice... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy and Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I have student loan and some credit debt how can I reduce this or eliminate

I became unemployed and homless is there a way not to pay the loan considering situation

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jan 18, 2017

You might be able to file for bankruptcy. You might be able to use federal student loan forgiveness laws to not pay the student loan, depending on the type of loan and school you attended. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me on my law practice... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I bought a used car in a private sale that turned out to be a lemon - do I have any rights here?
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jan 14, 2017

Lemon laws typically apply to new cars purchased from dealers. Did you buy the car as-is, with no warranties? If so, you may be out of luck. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me on my law practice website. This answer does not constitute legal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Tried to buy Pats tickets online - they were fake. Should I alert state consumer affairs or just deal with the loss.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Dec 21, 2016

I would recommend reporting the incident in order to help put a stop to such practices. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me on my law practice website. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions, guarantees, or... Read more »

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