Court to Decide Whether Pre-Suit Demand Letter Required Under Consumer Protection Act, Chapter 93A
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is poised to decide what a consumer must do before filing a lawsuit against a business under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, called Chapter 93A.
Under Chapter 93A, a pre-suit demand letter is usually required before a consumer may sue a business. The demand letter gives the business 30 days to respond and make a reasonable settlement offer. No lawsuit can be filed until after this deadline.
A demand letter is not required, however, if the business does not have a place of business or keep assets in Massachusetts. In this case, the defendant, Nationstar Mortgage, a mortgage servicer, did not have a place of business in Massachusetts, but did have assets here.
The consumer in this case did not send a pre-suit demand letter. The issue for the court is whether the business must both not have a place of business and no have assets to be exempt from the demand letter requirement, or whether the business may just have either one.
The dispute here seems arcane, but it proves a larger point – a consumer should always send a pre-suit demand letter. Frustrated consumers are often hesitant to give a business an additional 30 days to respond, but the fact of the matter is that it avoids potential loss of rights later on.
The parties’ briefs are available online here: Moronta v. Nationstar Mortgage
Culik Law sends demand letters on behalf of Massachusetts consumers and has sued many major banks, debt collectors, and corporations for wrongs against consumers. If you’ve been wronged, contact us to see if we can help.