3 Things to Know About Mass. Consumer Protection Laws

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Here are three things that every Massachusetts resident should know about the state’s consumer protection law.

1. Where to find the law

The law is found in Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93A.  Section 2(a) of the chapter states that

Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared unlawful.

What constitutes “unfair or deceptive acts” is outlined by the Attorney General’s Office in 940 CMR 3.00.

2. How to Use the Law – 93A Demand Letter

According to section 9 of M.G.L. c. 93A, anyone who has been harmed by a business’s “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” may send a letter to the business demanding compensation for the harm.

If the business ignores the demand letter or refuses to make a reasonable settlement offer, the consumer may win double or treble damages if the matter goes to trial.

In other words, if the business loses at court, the judge or jury may require the business to pay up to three times the amount of the consumer’s claims.

The demand-letter process is outlined on the state’s website.

3. The Law’s Connection with Debt Collection

Any violation of federal debt collection laws is automatically a violation of M.G.L. c. 93A.

As stated in 940 CMR 3.16

An act or practice is a violation of M.G.L. c. 93A, § 2 if…it violates the…Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act.

If you have any questions about M.G.L. c. 93A or any of the state’s consumer laws, please contact me at justin@jrmccarthy.com.

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