Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Massachusetts

I have a situation I would like to talk to you about and maybe you can lend me some insight.

Asked about 23 hours ago - Dracut, MA

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ēLandlord / Tenant

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I have a situation I would like to talk to you about and maybe you can lend me some insight.

I have a landlord that I have owed money to from a previous resident address. We had to move from that location because first I was laid off and we could no longer afford the rent. I contacted the landlord and told her of the situation and she said to pay her back when we can. The total balance owed was $1,600 for 1 month worth of rent. It has been since a year and we have been able to pay her $800 up until this point. Beginning in April of last year my wife lost her job and thatís why we were unable to make the total payment. During the course of this year we have been in contact with the previous landlord but for the past 4 months, she has been having police officers come to my home address and asks to meet my wife to exchange the money owed. We were contacted in June and my wife was asked to meet with the officer to hand over the money towards what we owe.

I contacted my Ex-Landlord in June and informed her that I am in the process of getting money together to make a payment toward what we owe and as soon as I have it I will send it VIA Money Order. She contacted me last night and said that the police officers want to bring me in if I canít make a payment. My situation has not changed in the right direction. My wife is still unemployed and I cannot get any money to my Ex-Landlord until Sept. 1st. I want to contact her back today but I am not sure of what direction or precaution I should take. I am getting aggravated because if there was something we could do we would. I have 2 kids and I am the only one bringing in money. We have all the intention to pay off the debt completely but are in fear of the unknowing. We are good people and never want to wrong anyone.

Please forgive me for bothering you of our situation but I am in need of your advice. This is an incredibly personal matter.

Sincerely & Thankfully


Asked on 8/16/13, 7:09 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Unless you bounced a check I see no reason for the police to be involved. Do you know why the police are involved in the first place?

Have you been charged with passing bad checks?

The first thing I would want to know is why the police are involved unless they are serving a writ or attachment.

I would contact the police and provide them with a money order for as much as you can now and then tell them when you expect to make your next payment until the $800 is paid-off. You need to make sure that there are no other charges being made for the collection.

If there is a complaint for bad checks, you should contact a criminal attorney asap.

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Answered on 8/16/13, 7:51 am
Alan Pransky Law Office of Alan J. Pransky

Even if you bounced a check it is not a crime because the contract was not created when you delivered the check. Either there is more to this story than you are stating which would justify police involvement or the police are behaving improperly (maybe friends of the landlord). Even if you bounced a check which is a crime, the police don't collect money. If the police are trying to collect back rent owed to the landlord you should file a complaint about the police officers. The complaint can be filed with the chief of police of the town you live in. If there is no reponse from the chief, you can file a complaint with the state police and the District Attorney. You may also wish to consult an attorney about the police action.

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Answered on 8/16/13, 8:57 am


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