- 2012 Amendments to Massachusetts Attorney General's Debt Collection Regulations Require Creditors and Debt Collectors To Validate Debt. Massachusetts law protects debtors against unscrupulous debt collectors by requiring creditors and debt collectors to validate the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed and give notice of the availability of debt verification if requested in writing within 30 days of receipt of the initial communication from the debt collector. Debt verification requires the debt collector to produce copies of all documents bearing the debtor's signature, alls tatements showign payments, cretits, balances and charges and a copy of any judgment against the debtor. Violation of the Attorney General's Debt Collection Regulations are an automatic violation of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93A, which provides for an award of treble damages and attorney's fees. Debtors must request validation and verification of the debt within 30 days of the initial communication from the debt collector to preserve these rights.
Loan Fraud Inquiry Said to Focus on Used-Car Dealers. Federal and State authorities are now investigating "liar loans" created by used car dealers to enable otherwise unqualified buyers to qualify for used car loans they cannot afford. Click this link to read the story.
- "Debt Collection Cases dismissed." The Law Office of Barbara L. Horan has won favorable rulings in fifteen (15) debt collection cases brought by debt buyers against debtors in the Small Claims session of the Brockton District Court. The cases were dismissed when the debt collectors were unable to prove that they owned the debts or the amount of the debts they were attempting to collect.
- "Motion for Relief from Bankruptcy Stay granted." The U.S. Bankrutpcy Court for the District of Massachusetts recently allowed a motion filed by the Law Office of Barbara L. Horan requesting partial relief from Chapter 13 bankruptcy stay filed on behalf of a New York company that had filed a state court suit against a former franchisee for breach of a franchise termination agreement. The Bankruptcy Court judge ruled that the creditor's state law claims for post-petition breach, fraudulent inducement, and an injunction were not covered by the bankruptcy stay and should be resolved by the New York state court in which the claims were pending.
- "Case dismissed." In April, 2010 a caterer-driver working at Logan Airport slipped and fell from a lift while servicing an aircraft, injuring his wrist and ankle. The plaintiff filed a workers compensation claim. Shortly thereafter, following an investigation by the plaintiff's employer, the plaintiff was terminated for failing to follow the company's safety protocol, which failure caused injury. The plaintiff sued his employer, claiming he was wrongfully terminated and that the employer's conduct constituted unlawful retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim. On September 27, 2011 Federal District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf granted the employer's motion to dismiss. Attorney Horan researched, drafted, and filed the motion, arguing first that because the terms of the plaintiff's employment had been governed by a collective bargaining agreement, any wrongful termination claim was pre-empted by the Labor Relations Management Act, 29 U.S.C. section 185(a), and second, that the plaintiff's complaint failed to make an adequate claim under the LMRA. The Court refused to allow the plaintiff to amend his complaint, ruling that because the plaintiff had not exhausted his rights under the collective bargaining agreement, he could not pursue a claim under the LMRA, and thus that the proposed amendment would be futile. Joseph Bates v. Sky Chefs, Inc., C.A. No. 1:10cv11395-MLW (D. Mass. 2011).
- "Case dismissed." The Law Office of Barbara L. Horan recently won dismissal of a small claims collection action filed by insurance company against a firm client. The insurer's case was dismissed six months after it was filed because the insurer had failed to properly serve the defendant with notice of a hearing, a necessary element of due process. Arbella v. Loud, Massachusetts Trial Court Small Claims Division, Docket No. 201150SC000124.
Items of General Interest
Q & A with Attorney Horan on Avvo
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