Enforcing Massachusetts Judgments

As with any legal matter, the process of enforcing judgments is determined state by state. Here we take a closer look at how it is done in Massachusetts.

For starters, a judgment is a final order of a court that shows how much money is owed by one party to another. Here’s the important part. The court cannot enforce a judgment. It must be enforced by the creditor or the creditor’s attorney. Only an experienced Massachusetts debt collection attorney knows the ins and outs of Massachusetts law in terms of enforcing judgments and collecting money!

Massachusetts has a default statutory interest rate of 12% for judgments, starting from the original action, breach, or demand (what led to or started the lawsuit). The default rate controls unless the parties have an agreed interest rate in their contract. The interest rate can go up to the usury rate of 20%. Anything over 20% is considered usury, unless the creditor files certain documents with the Commonwealth.

There are three civil trial courts in Massachusetts that handle judgment enforcement. If the amount of money in question is less than $7,000, the case is handled in Small Claims Court. Any amount less than $25,000, goes to District Civil Court. When the amount is greater than $25,000, the case goes to Superior Court.

Judgments in Massachusetts are enforceable for 20 years and can be renewed by the court for another 5 years if the judgment is still not satisfied. At any time during the 20 years, a suit may be brought on the judgment and upon judgment entering in the second suit; the “new” judgment is enforceable for another 20 years.

Another benefit to hiring a Massachusetts debt collection attorney is that attorneys can view case information online. The general public has to go to the court and use the public access terminal, a time-consuming and laborious process.
Even after a case is won and a judgment has been obtained, an experienced debt collection attorney doesn’t just stop there. He or she will follow through by relentlessly pursuing the following (where applicable) in order to collect: Injunctive Relief, Sheriff Sales, Receivership, Ex-Parte Attachments, Post-Judgment Actions, Supplementary Process, and Rule 69 Depositions.

Don’t take chances when it comes to dealing with a deadbeat debtor! Hire an aggressive, experienced debt collection attorney who can not only win the case and obtain a judgment, but can actually collect your money! For information or to schedule a consultation, please call the offices of Alan M. Cohen at (508) 620-6900 or email us at alanmcohen@collections-law.com.

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