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Creditors and Debt Collectors

Produced by Mariah Jennings-Rampsi, South Coastal Counties Legal Services, with funding from American College of Bankruptcy
Created June 2012

The Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act protects you from harassment from creditors, their lawyers and debt collectors. (M.G.L. c. 93A, §2(c), 940 CMR 7.00)

Creditors and collection agencies cannot:

  • Call you at home more than twice within 7 days, for each debt;
  • Call you at anyplace other than your home more than twice in any 30 day period, for each debt;
  • Call you at work if you ask them not to call;
    • If you ask them not to call you at work they cannot call for 10 days.  If you want them not to call you at work at all, write to them within 7 days after you talked to them.  In the letter, tell them not to call you at work;
  • Charge you for long distance calls (or other costs).
  • Threaten to take legal action if they are not planning to take you to court;
  • Use profane or obscene language;
  • Visit your home at times other than regular waking hours.
  • A creditor can only visit you once in any 30 days for each debt.  They can only visit you more than once if you give permission for additional visits;
  • Send collection notices in envelopes that show you owe a debt.  For example, they cannot mail you postcards or have descriptive return addresses;
  • Tell anyone about your debt. This includes your friends, neighbors, relatives, or employers.

Creditors and collection agencies must:

  • Identify both the name of the creditor and the name of the person calling;
  • Only call you during normal waking hours. The creditor or collector may only call you between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. If you are awake at different times of the day, tell the creditors when you are awake. They can only call you during the hours you have told them you are awake;
  • Contact your attorney, if you have told the creditor or collection agency to contact your attorney and not you.

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