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Recent Blog Posts

A creditor in my chapter 13 filed a claim, what should I do?

8 May 2014 Answer: Do not panic as claims are a normal part of the process.  However, it is very important to, and you must if you want to preserve your rights, object to the entire claim or the amount of the claim, if you have adequate grounds. Claims establish the “rights of a creditor […]

What is the statute of limitations for a slander/defamation claim in Massachusetts?

2 May 2014 Answer: Three years from when you know or with reasonable diligence should have known the harm done and the identity of the defamer. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently decided the case of Harrington v. Costello.  467 Mass. 720 (2014).  It is a current expression of the law on timing and the […]

Can a settlement agreement be binding even though it is not in writing and contingent on future events?

5 April 2014 Answer: Yes. In general, people have a misconception about the legal value of oral statements and seem to discount them.  This includes statements made in furtherance of settlement agreements, which are discussed here.  The legal reality is that oral statements can be the basis for binding agreements, and settlement agreements in particular. […]

Right to cure foreclosure defense under M.G.L. chapter 244 section 35A in Massachusetts, an update.

23 March 2014             A significant and potent weapon in the arsenal of foreclosure defense litigants and attorneys was curtailed greatly earlier this month by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts with its decision U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Schumacher.  The question was whether Mass. Gen. Laws c. 244 § 35A was one of the statutes […]

My privacy rights in Massachusetts may have been violated; is the inappropriate release of my private/confidential information to one person enough to substantiate a valid claim?

3 March 2014Answer: Yes, in Massachusetts release to one person is enough.  But keep in mind the release still must be deemed: 1) serious or substantial; and 2) unreasonable.  Mass. Gen. Laws. c. 214 Section 1B.   The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts was asked the certified question from a federal court the following: Can […]

I believe that my privacy has been violated in Massachusetts, do I have a legal claim and are there legally recognized damages?

24 February 2014 Answer:  Quite possibly and quite possibly. Massachusetts provides a statutory “right against unreasonable, substantial or serious interference with . . . privacy.”  Mass. Gen. Laws c. 214, § 1B.  The superior court of Massachusetts is granted with jurisdiction to decide such matters.  Id.  Equitable relief, such as an injunction, is available under […]

After my chapter 13 plan is confirmed, what happens if an asset I have increases in value and I want to sell it and use the proceeds?

3 February 2014 Answer: The whole picture changes and you have to account for the increase in the asset’s value, among other things, so you may want to think very hard before taking that path. Your chapter 13 plan is moving along and your plan has been confirmed, that means it has been accepted and […]

What do I do if I have a claim against someone/something, but I do not know who/what he/it is?

4 January 2014 This may sound funny to someone not in the situation, but it does happen; someone or something did something to you, but you are not able to identify them, at least at this time.  For many people, they simply give up since they are unable to name the actual entity that conducted […]

How do I prepare a demand letter pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 93A?

13 December 2013 There are many requirements to a demand letter (and we will touch on only one of them in this post).  The point to keep in mind is that it is not just a letter, it is a unique, special letter that if done properly triggers the obligations and protections afforded by the […]

I filed for bankruptcy and my credit union has frozen my bank account and seeks to “set off” the funds because of an outstanding balance on my credit union credit card, what can I do?

2 December 2013 There may be hope.  Initially, we will cover some history on the subject.  Although it seems credit unions and bank have not tried this much in Massachusetts, in the past a credit union generally had a right to administratively freeze a bank account to prepare to seek a set off to collect […]