The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Consumer Debt COVID-19 Information

Date: 
03/23/2020
Author: 
GBLS

Court cases:  

All debt collection cases (including small claims and civil cases) are postponed until no earlier than Monday, May 4, 2020.  That means if you have a case currently scheduled for any date before May 4, 2020, you should NOT go to court.   

NOTE: If a debt collector wants a telephone (rather than in-person) hearing before May 4, 2020, they must file something in court saying why it is an emergency. If the court agrees it is an emergency, you should receive notice of any new telephone court date by mail.  A debt collector might also ask you to agree to have your case heard earlier. You should not agree to this. 

You should receive notice of your rescheduled court date by mail.  If you don’t receive notice of a new date, you can look up your case file online at www.masscourts.org or call the clerk's office for the court your case is in.   

 

Out-of-court collection efforts: 

A debt collector can only force you to pay money by going to court. You should not agree to pay a debt collector any money you can’t afford right now.  You should also get legal advice before signing any agreement, even one that does not require you to make payments now.   

If a debt collector calls, and you do not want to speak with them, hang up the phone. If you have questions, or a debt collector is taking money from you right now and you want them to stop, call one of these numbers:  

  • Greater Boston Area-Eastern Regional Legal Intake at 617-603-1700 or 1-800-342-LAWS.  

  • MetroWest Area-MetroWest Legal Services at 1-800-696-1501 

  • Central and Western Massachusetts-Community Legal Aid at 855-CLA-LEGAL (855-252-5342) 

  • Southeastern Massachusetts-South Coastal Counties Legal Services at 800-244-9023 

  • Northeastern Massachusetts-Northeast Legal Aid at 978-458-1465 

You can also ask legal questions online here: https://mass.freelegalanswers.org/ or get help from the Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at (617) 727-8400 

 

 

 

 

 

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