Massachusetts has enacted a separate State law and regulations that substantially expand upon the protections of the FDCPA. The Massachusetts state law contains state-specific licensing requirements. It also contains extensive protections against unfair, deceptive, and harassing collection practices.
The regulations associated with the Massachusetts state law apply to all creditors – even original lenders – not just debt collection agencies. The regulations contain strict limitations on contact with debtors: collectors in Massachusetts cannot contact a debtor more than twice in a seven-day period using a home phone, cell phone, or other personal telephone number, and cannot contact a debtor more than twice in thirty days using other telephone numbers. Collectors are also barred from causing a debtor or anyone else from incurring communications charges, such as text message fees.
The Massachusetts law and regulations also mandates extensive disclosures by the collector, and bars many fees associated with collections which are typical in other states. Also unlike many other states, Massachusetts specifically bars any attempts to collect debts older than the relevant statute of limitations.
Victims of violations of Massachusetts' debt collection laws can bring a lawsuit to enforce their rights, and can recover up to three times their actual damages, as well as attorneys' fees and costs. This combination of state law and the FDCPA makes the residents of Massachusetts well-protected from abusive collection practices. If you believe that a collector has behaved inappropriately while attempting to collect a debt from you in Massachusetts, our attorneys can help you to determine whether the FDCPA or Massachusetts law provides you with a legal remedy.
To learn more about the FDPCA, go to Federal Debt Collection Practices Act.
Mass. General Law, Part 1, Title XV, Chapter 93, Sections 24-28 & Section 49.