in Mass, I had a judgement issued against me, a writ of execution granted in '91 to an unlicensed debt collection company that was later closed by AG. 2010 a sheriff showed up at my door w/the writ I knew nothing about & took my car, after selling the vehicle for $600 less then the debt was for & $4k less then market price, the sheriff & tow company split the proceeds of the sale, left full balance w/new collection company that bought the debt. and then the sheriff informed me they still had an active writ of execution against me which they will collect on eventually. my question is why does General Laws of Massachusetts - Chapter 235 Judgment and Execution. - Section 1 Repealed, 1973, 1114, Sec. 217 state a writ of execution is only valid for 5 years. or am I misreading this? oh and this was never my debt either
Yes, it sounds like there is a problem here; contact a consumer attorney for details.
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You should speak to an attorney that handles FDCPA claims and unfair collection practice claims. At first blush, what you are describing may not be illegal. An attorney will need to look at the specifics, but the 1991 judgment is likely valid. I am not sure what you mean by an "unlicensed debt collection company" but there have been some changes over the years concerning who needs to be licensed and some attorneys in the field have some disagreements on the issue, but with some changes in how laws are interpreted and cases that have come done today it is more clear.
There are exemptions as to what can be seized and sold by the sheriff (also called to levy) and your scenario raises a question for an attorney to look into.
As for the section you are asking if you are misreading it, I think you are. I am not sure what section 1 said, but there is likely a newer law that addresses the issue so the section was repealed. An execution is valid for 20 years, because the judgment is presumed satisfied at that time. This is only a presumption so steps can be taken to keep the judgment "alive" and get a new execution. If an execution is lost, or another one is needed, an alias execution can be requested. An alias execution is value for 5 years, so this may be what you are referring to.
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