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What You Need to Know about Debt Collection Matters in Massachusetts
As a creditor, you want to seek payment for your goods and services as promptly as possible. Payments should always be delivered on time to ensure business goes smoothly and without a hitch. However, some unfortunate things can happen, and it is vital that you proceed with caution, especially in Massachusetts.
Debt collection is a process that can become quite complicated if you do not know what you are doing. The federal and state regulations have provided some form of protection to the debtors so that they can safeguard themselves against ill practices when collecting payments from them. Therefore, you need proper guidance and counseling, so you do not subject yourself to unfair and deceptive acts of a collection. Such illegal practices can lead to a judicial valuation of punitive damages, along with fees for the attorney and recovery for the other party’s emotional distress.
As a result, more and more debtors look to the courts for help and to the office of the Attorney General whenever they feel that a creditor is collecting their debts unethically.
Massachusetts Laws Involved for Debt Collection
The problem with many debtors is that they typically promise they will pay you what they owe at a specific time. However, when that day comes, they do not honor it. Even with a guarantee, it becomes difficult to come up with a solution to push these individuals or companies to pay you.
While you can decide to seize their property or take the matter to the courts, it is not always the right solution. After all, you will need these customers in the future, and you also have to take what they owe your business. More importantly, you have to consider every step of the debt recovery procedure follows the state laws.
Federal vs. Massachusetts Fair Debt Collection Policies
Massachusetts, like every other state, has laws concerning debt collection. Some of the rules are entirely different from other places in the United States, which is why you should pay close attention. Specific points, including the Massachusetts Fair Debt Collection Policies, should be noted. Under such policy, the state limits the actions of debt collectors, creditors, and agencies when it comes to going after their debtors.
Unlike the Federal Fair Debt Collection Policies, the version for the state provides debtors and borrowers more rights with specific guidance on how to protect themselves against unlawful means of taking payments from them. There are precise details regarding the prohibited practices of creditors and agencies that the borrowers can report right away:
– Communicating with other people other than the borrower or the debtor, such as a family member or an employer
– Sending embarrassing letters and calling on the phone using obscene language
– Making threats to merely scare the debtor, such as arresting him or her for non-payment in which the creditor does not truly intend to execute
– Simulating judicial processes to convince the debtor that he or she is in trouble with the law
– Excessive communications, such as calling before eight in the morning or after nine in the evening
Even requesting for a postdated check can be reported to the authorities. As long as it is deceptive and unreasonable, a debtor can maintain his or her financial security as prohibited by the Statutes.
Types of Debt
The Statutes cover the debt incurred primarily for family, household, and personal purposes. Therefore, if it is consumer debt, it will not be covered by the law. Examples include condominium fees and other charges, unpaid rents, automobile loans, and everything that came from personal usage.
Civil debts have a statute of limitation of six years, meaning that the creditor can only collect the debt within that specific period. It starts from the time when the debtor last paid for his or her loan. This restriction is applicable to both oral and written agreements.
It is always possible to capture a property so that a business can recover from the debt owed by another company. However, some items are not allowed for seizure and are protected by Massachusetts and federal laws once again. These items include clothing, domestic appliances, and furniture. Massachusetts law explicitly adds cemetery plots to the assets that cannot be held. On the other hand, livestock and books may be sold; however, there is a cap on the value of these items.
Finding the Debtors
You need help in searching for your debtors, but the laws are making it extra complicated for you to talk to them. Some may have even stopped communicating, which further makes matters worse. In this case, you require the help of a reliable Massachusetts debt collection attorney. While you can collect the debts alone, the entire process can be quite overwhelming, especially with the laws associated with it.
You want to make sure you are doing everything by the books, and the right attorney will help guide you to recover the money owed to you without going against the rules. This way, you protect your rights, your financials, and your reputation as well.
A dependable Massachusetts debt collection attorney will provide you with regular updates whenever the debtor responds to the messages. Some debtors may have a few offers, and you have the right to accept or reject them at any given time. What is significant is that you are well aware of what is happening between the agency or the attorney and the borrower.
When finding the person or company that owes you money, you should proceed prudently. It is essential that you comply with the applicable federal and state debt collections regulations and statutes. Your action and conduct toward the debtor should be fair and honest. As much as possible, communications should be written down clearly with all the exact statements to document what has transpired.
Only a competent Massachusetts debt collection lawyer can help you prevent the assessment of punitive damages. If you need guidance, you have come to the right place. We have the professionals who will assist you in your situation so you can get back what is rightfully yours.