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Do I have to make all my post-petition mortgage payments to my bank during a chapter 13 case to receive my discharge?

1 October 2016 Answer:  When you are curing an arrearage on your mortgage through your chapter 13 plan, probably. Initially, one needs to understand the basics.  Many people file a chapter 13 plan to “cure” an arrearage (the amount a homeowner is behind) on their mortgage and save their home.  A debtor in a chapter […]

How to draft a complaint to file in the Massachusetts district court.

7 September 2016 There are many considerations and requirements when drafting a complaint.  (Keep in mind, we are discussing the district court, not small claims.)  Some are very basic, such as using a legal caption, numbered paragraphs, an acceptable font size, and a logical format.  The order typically goes: an introduction (optional), followed by the […]

Will the restrictions in my non-compete agreement be dischargeable in bankruptcy?

20 August 2016 Answer:  Maybe, it depends on the language of the agreement and the judge deciding the issue. Initially, one needs to understand the basics, which is that rights against others are generally either equitable on the one hand, or legal (or at law) on the other.  Roughly speaking, equitable rights are those which […]

If I am accused of some wrong doing, especially a crime, or something that is not true and hurtful to my reputation, should I deny it or should I simply not say anything?

4 July 2016 Answer:  This brings into play the evidentiary idea of admission by silence, which in criminal law parlance is known as pre-arrest silence, and falls under the evidentiary topic known as prior inconsistent statement.  It also can arise in civil contexts, especially defamation cases, when a defendant raises a defense that the statement […]

Can I exempt my house in bankruptcy if I pay for it but it is in someone else’s name?

1 July 2016 Answer:  Maybe, if the facts are right and you are willing to accept some risk. Recently in the case of In re Sullivan a debtor was successful in claiming the Massachusetts homestead for a condo that was in her family member’s name.  In re Sullivan, Case No. 15-30544, (Bankr. Mass. May 2, […]

Should I attempt to make an offer of settlement under Rule 68 of the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure?

22 June 2016 Answer:  An offer of settlement under Rule 68 is a tool to consider using, however, if you do considering using it be very careful you understand it very well because you may be stuck paying a settlement amount you thought you did not offer. For example, recently in the federal case of […]

Am I required to amend my schedules with newly acquired assets during a chapter 13 bankruptcy?

7 February 2016 Yes, you are required under bankruptcy law to do so, especially in Massachusetts where post-petition assets become part of the bankruptcy estate. Another very good reason to list assets acquired post-petition in a chapter 13 is to avoid falling victim to the doctrine of judicial estoppel. Judicial estoppel exists to protect the […]

Do I need to have damages to have a valid legal tort claim in Massachusetts?

Answer: Yes, in some form, examples being actual damages, injury in fact, or the invasion of a legally protected interest under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act. It is often that people believe that they have been wronged and the question arises, but do you have damages? For the most part, unless you have damages, you […]

If I am not paid by an employer that is an LLC, do I have a claim against the manager of the LLC personally in addition to the LLC itself?

18 January 2016 Answer: You might. The Massachusetts Wage Act is a sweeping statute that imposes personal liability on officers of corporations for non-payment of wages in addition to the corporate entity itself. Most recently, that liability was formally expanded to managers of LLC’s as long as they are considered a “person having employed in […]

Some concepts to expect to face in a Massachusetts housing court eviction case.

When facing an eviction case, there are some typical legal concepts that will be in play that could change the course of events. These concepts that will be discussed herein along with some practical items first. When faced with an eviction, tenants usually fight back by raising counterclaims. This is easy enough to do as […]