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John F. Skinner III
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John Skinner’s Answers

104 total


  • Can a individual person put a lien a someone's property in Massachusetts?

    I have been helping my daughter pay her mortgage to keep her children in their home, I can show on paper that I have taken funds from my IRA to help. Do I have a right to put a lien on her property so if she has to sell I will get my money before...

    John’s Answer

    Do you have a right to do that now? Probably not, given what's described here. Would it be possible for you to visit an attorney's office and have the proper paperwork drafted, duly executed, and filed to establish some protection for you, whether in the form of a lien, or otherwise- absolutely! Consult with a local lawyer, expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred to $1,000 altogether. You should also know that your daughter would likely have to be friendly and cooperative for this to work out in this way. If she became an adversary, your payments could be viewed as mere gifts, and attempting to ascertain a lien by legal action would end up costing several thousand, and would likely be ill-advised.

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  • How do you sue a collections company when they are using a spoofed number?

    A collection company has been calling me from a spoofed number including after 11PM on weeknights. The number is spoofed to my cell phones area code and the message is pre-recorded. The company keeps denying they own the number/made the calls. Doe...

    John’s Answer

    Presently, "spoofing" is only clearly illegal when it is used to perpetrate a fraud or commit a crime. Which is colossal failure of our government to protect consumers because if criminal is perpetrating a fraud- good luck holding them accountable! Although you could make an argument under State law that these practices are unfair and deceptive, again, you need to know who it is that is committing these acts. My first thought is that it is a scam collection company and not a legitimate collection agency. I would recommend that you save any voicemails you've received from them, and send them to a consumer protection attorney for review. We do that routinely for our clients at no cost to them and would welcome any evidence you have. Alternatively, let us know what the pre-recorded messages say. And, finally, you should ask them to send you verification of the debt in the US mail. If they do that, then you will have documentary evidence of company name and address.

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  • Credit card debt

    last month, a creditor, a debt collection law firm, the case manager called me and he said that they are calling to ask of the account and I Ask if I will be sued and he said not yet and Citizens bank hasnt authorized them to. I Said can make p...

    John’s Answer

    Yes, this question comes up weekly. We do not know what another person or company is going to do or when. If you have debts, you should contact a local lawyer who knows what your State and Federal Fair Debt Collection rights are and can help advise you in this situation or assist you with negotiating settlement. We routinely provide this type of service and if your rights have been violated our work is performed at no cost to you based on the fee shifting provisions of the law.

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  • This is a request concerning a debt collection in N.H..

    For collection on a financial judgment in N.H., on a married individual, can I enforce the collection on him & his wife, as a married couple since N.H. is a community property state?

    John’s Answer

    New Hampshire is NOT a community property state.

    You should enforce the Judgment against the person you have a Judgment against. As a practical matter, that might result in some financial detriment to the other spouse, but in general, you can't enforce a Judgment you have against one spouse, on the other spouse, if they were not named in the original suit which resulted in the Judgment.

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  • I havent heard from this debt collector in a w hile

    I havent heard from this debt collector in a while!! longer than usually are they going through the process to sue me? how many creditors sue for debts? also what if I havent paid the debt in like over 2.5 years?

    John’s Answer

    This question comes up a lot. Almost all creditors will either sue, or sell the debt to someone else who will sue.

    If you are being harassed by debt collectors it is important for you to consult with an attorney right away. Do not delay! If you wait to ask for help until you are being sued, it may be too late to get free help. We routinely help consumers, at no cost to them, deal with debt collectors.

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  • Can a company double dip on a past due bill?

    I have a past due bill with Dish Network. They put it into collections and I have made arrangements to send in $20 per month until the bill is paid in full. The amount of the bill is $391.00 (not an earth shattering amount). I found out this morni...

    John’s Answer

    An attorney would have to review the details of exactly what is going on here but it is very possible that you do have unfair debt collection practices afoot, which may entitle you to up to $1,000 in damages under Federal Law or perhaps $200 under NH State law.

    We routinely provide free review of this type of situation.

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  • How much can a collection agency harass a person?

    I have an overdue bill from Dish Network. I know that I owe this. They put it in collections and I get at least 4 calls a day from this agency. I've talked to several people, most of them want what I can't afford. Three days ago, I spoke with a su...

    John’s Answer

    This could be illegal harassment entitling you to up to $1,000 plus attorney's fees. We would have to conduct a free review of the specifics of the situation to answer further. I routinely handle enforcement of fair debt rights.

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  • Credit card debt

    a credit card debt I have in collections 600 dollars they said if they cant come to an arrangement it will be reviewed by a manager then what happens? and if I say I cant pay on a settlement I made for late this month then I may have to owe the wh...

    John’s Answer

    You have rights! If they were too pushy, or misleading, your fair debt collection rights may have been violated and you may therefore be entitled to up to $1,000 in statutory damages, and to have the defendants pay your attorneys fees. We enforce State and Federal consumer rights on a routine basis at no cost to our clients.

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  • My husband and i were out of work. I had breast cancer and my husbamd had l fell behind on our mortgage payments. The ciizens

    Bank will not work with us. They want 30 thou. for for back mortgage.. We had fiied bankrupsy. Now thats done and they want us out of our house we had built 17 yrs. ago. in 30 days. What can we do ?please help asap!

    John’s Answer

    We routinely conduct free unofficial reviews to see if homeowners might qualify for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). We would also like to learn more about any unfair or deceptive acts or practices employed by the Bank or mortgage servicer as we could potentially use evidence of that in a foreclosure defense lawsuit. To answer your question, there may be things that you can do, but we would need to know more about your situation to properly advise you.

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  • Can a lawyer threaten a sheriff sale if they haven't sent any paperwork?

    I own a townhouse and owe money to the condo association. There are also noise complaints which are unfounded. My wife received a call from a lawyer representing the association and said if we don't pay at least $500 in the next 7 days they will s...

    John’s Answer

    I agree with my colleague that more information is needed. However, I would also add that one main piece of information I would like to have is WHO this alleged attorney is and from WHERE are they calling. The kind of threat you described is common among unscrupulous debt collectors who in fact may be impersonating an attorney! In which case, we may be able to help at no cost to you under the fee shifting provisions of consumer protection law. We routinely handle such cases.

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