Massachusetts law about debt collection, debt collection training.#Debt #collection #training

Massachusetts law about debt collection

MGL c. 93, s. 24: Licensing of collection agencies

MGL c. 93, s. 49: Debt collection in an unfair, deceptive or unreasonable manner. Outlines prohibited activities in debt collection

MGL c.235, s.34: Property exempt from execution

Massachusetts regulations and administrative opinions

209 CMR 18 Conduct of the business of debt collectors and loan services

940 CMR 7 Debt collection regulations

Federal law

The primary federal law governing consumers’ rights in debt collection.

Selected case law

A debt collector does not have to tell a debtor that interest may accrue. A debt collector can continue to contact a debtor to seek “voluntary repayment of a time-barred debt.”

Web sources

  • The Attorney General’s Guide to Fair Debt Collection, Mass. Attorney General

A brief guide outlining your rights under fair debt collection laws

  • Consumer Advisory-New rules reduce predatory debt-collection practices, improve consumer protections, Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, 2011
  • Debt Collection, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • “Did you know that debt collectors generally can’t call you after 9 p.m.? Learn about debt collection, harassment, and more by searching or browsing.”
  • Debt Negotiation Firms ,

    Provides sensible approaches to paying off your loans as quickly as possible. Requires library card for access

  • I Have Debt – Help!, Mass. Legal Help, June 2012
  • Great resource covers rights and responsibilities, credit reports, debt collectors, going to court, What can I do about my bills?, Which debts do I pay first? and more.
  • If a Creditor Takes you to Court for Unpaid Bills, Mass. Legal Help, June 2012

    Covers everything you need to know about being sued for debts, with all the steps in the process

  • Is there a statute of limitations on billing for bad debts?, Archived page by former Attorney General

    “There is no statute of limitations on billing for bad debts, but there are statutes of limitations for filing lawsuits and for reporting the debts to the credit reporting agencies. Although these do vary depending upon the type of debt, in general there is a six year statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit to collect upon a debt, and a seven year statute for reporting bad credit. It is rarely a good idea to decide not to pay a good debt if you are relying wholly on the statute of limitations, because there are more complicated issues involved, including when these may be tolled, or extended, or even when the statutory period has begun to run. But for your question, even if the statute of limitations has run, as long as a collector follows the debt collection rules and is not harassing you, they may continue to make reasonable collection efforts, short of going to court.”

  • Paying the Debts of a Deceased Relative: Who is Responsible?, Findlaw

    “After a relative dies, the last thing grieving family members may expect are calls from debt collectors asking them to pay their loved one’s outstanding debts. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, a surviving relative usually has no legal obligation to pay the debts of a family member who has died. In fact, the rights of surviving relatives are covered by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you.”

  • Solve Your Money Troubles: Get Debt Collectors Off Your Back , Nolo, 2013

    Includes information on secured debt, negotiating with your creditors, student loans, credit cards, bankruptcy and more. Requires library card for access

  • Substantive Defenses to Consumer Debt Collection Suits, Mass. Legal Services

    “Extensive materials from a training on defending debt collection suits. Topics covered include: Interviewing clients and evaluating cases, Collection case procedures in district court, Supplementary process.” Includes “an overview of the law as well as forms and sample pleadings.”

  • Time-Barred Debts: Understanding Your Rights When It Comes to Old Debts, Federal Trade Commission

    Important information about your options if a debt collector contacts you about an old debt.

  • Vehicle Repossession, Federal Trade Commission

    Not specific to Massachusetts, includes general information on what happens if your car is repossessed, including details such as what happens when a creditor sells your car, what happens to your personal property inside the car, and more.

  • Consumer Rights for Domestic Violence Survivors in Massachusetts, National Consumer Law Center, 2011 (see additional resources below)

    “The information in this packet is intended to help you: Separate your finances from your abuser; Deal with any existing debts; Stay financially independent in the future and avoid traps and scams; and Get more help and information with these issues.”

  • How to Protect Your Clients’ Cash and Assets under New Massachusetts Personal Property Exemptions, by Robert J. Hobbs and Hon. Carol J. Kenner, NCLC, 2011 (see additional resources below)

    Terrific piece that explains changes in exempt property law with examples illustrating when rights should be asserted and plenty of cites to relevant laws

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