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MA - Where to Find Laws to Prep Small Claims Defense?


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Hello, I've received some great advice on this site and I'm in the midst of preparing my defense for a small claims case on Friday 2/28.

I'm having trouble finding the laws/statutes/cases which state:

1. Whether an Assignee has standing in court in Mass. without the OC present

2. Whether an Attorney operating as a CA is REQUIRED to be licensed in the state of Mass. and therefore, if the Attorney is not licensed, does that barr them from bringing forward a collections case in Mass. Small Claims

and 3. Where exactly do I find the Mass. Statute of Limitations for credit card debt?

Any help in Massachusetts is greatly appreciated! And I'm still looking...

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<blockquote>Originally posted by distressed

Yeah, I got that. I want to be able to quote the actual statute in court, should it come to that. Just want to make sure that I'm 100% prepared.

</blockquote>

The statute that states that credit cards are open ended accounts is in the Truth In Lending Act, section Z (I think, on the section). It's likely the defense will try to say that credit cards are written contracts, and you'll need to rebut that since the SOL for open ended accounts is generally shorter than for written contracts.

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I finally found the division of banks web site. You are right, Kream and Kream are not listed her to collect on a debt. I have a call into my lawyer and hopefully he can answer the questions as to whether or not K&K have a standing in the court in Mass. without the OC and whether or not they have to be liscensed. I hope that he calls me soon!

Mass. division of banks web site

http://www.state.ma.us/dob/

--------------------------------------

Licensee list for Mass.

http://www.state.ma.us/dob/liclist.htm

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You need to look under Civil Procedure or Civil Practice. Look under the Rules of Court as well. I'm in Calif. so I'm not familiar with MA law.

Try to find "Parties", "Plaintiffs", "Defendants", "Cause of Action", "Affirmative Defenses" as a start.

Cheers!

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Hey - Capepuffin - if you can find that out from your lawyer - and get the

corresponding law/statute/code I would be forever grateful!

Not all of massachusetts' civil codes / laws/ statutes are online and that's why

I'm having trouble finding the ones that apply to:

#1 whether an assignee has standing in court without the OC present

#2 whether an attorney operating as a collection agency is REQUIRED to

have a license to bring forth a suit in small claims court

#3 what exact Massachusetts statue is it that tells what the SOL is on old

credit card debt

I don't get much privacy at work, so I might have to take a couple of hours off

so I can make some phone calls. Shouldn't the local legal aid/bureaus be

able to answer these fairly easily?

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My lawyer has not called me back today hopefully tomorrow. I called the district court today and spoke with a clerk. She said that the assignee does have a standing in the court as long as the OC can be contacted by phone during the trial. She did not know about an attorney having to be liscensed to collect on a debt though. Chances are they will approach you before the trial,and ask for a conference and try and settle with you. As soon as my lawyer calls I will let you know. He is hard to get a hold of sometimes. Hopefully he will have the answers.

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#2 whether an attorney operating as a collection agency is REQUIRED to

have a license to bring forth a suit in small claims court.

I am going through something similar with defending myself in small claims. One of my defense points is under FDCA Section 803(6)-Litigation Attorney as "Debt Collector". This states that attorneys or a law firm that engage in traditional debt collection activities are covered by the [Act], which dose not exempt them from abiding by all FDCPA, FCRA and FTC laws. I take that to mean they have to follow all the rules for collection practices before trying to file suit for collection. They should validate and verify request to prove they are your debts first before filing in any court. Hopefully, your states laws read like CAL. in assignment practices. My state sucks because my our laws give the "creditors rights to assignment" and "transfer of creditors rights". Basically, the the creditor can transfer debts without the consent of debtor. TBut there are ways around the laws if you search long enough.

Good luck and let us know of your outcome.

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GENERAL LAWS OF MASSACHUSETTS

PART I.

ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TITLE XV.

REGULATION OF TRADE.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CHAPTER 93. REGULATION OF TRADE AND CERTAIN ENTERPRISES.

Chapter 93: Section 24. Collection agencies; license; bond; regulations.

Section 24. No person not being an attorney at law authorized to practice in the commonwealth, a bank as defined in chapter one hundred and sixty-seven, a national banking association having its main office in the commonwealth, or a person whose usual business is not that of a collection agency, who act as agent for such bank or national banking association for the purpose of collecting any accounts, bills or other indebtedness which arise from such person's usual business, or an agent or independent contractor employed for the purpose of collecting charges or bills owed by a tenant to a landlord or owed by a customer to a corporation subject to the supervision of the department of telecommunications and energy or the division of insurance in so far as said person collects charges or bills only for such landlord or supervised corporations, shall directly or indirectly conduct a collection agency, or engage in the commonwealth in the business of collecting or receiving payment for others of any account, bill or other indebtedness, or engage in the commonwealth in soliciting the right to collect or receive payment for another of any account, bill or other indebtedness, or advertise for or solicit in print the right to collect or receive payment for another of any account, bill or other indebtedness, without first obtaining from the commissioner of banks a license to carry on said business, nor unless such person or the person for whom he or it may be acting as agent has on file with the state treasurer a good and sufficient bond. The commissioner may from time to time establish such regulations pertaining to the conduct of the business as he may deem necessary.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Does this help?

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I'm confused too. That is a real piece of work. Look where the first period appears in that sentence.

With all the "double negatives", looks to me like an attorney can collect the debts mentioned without a license. Your courthouse should have a library which will have an "annotated code" Look up that section and you will find cases that interpret it. The caselaw should tell you what the legislature had in mind.

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