Questions Answered On the Air:
If my landlord sells his house, will my written lease continue to be valid?
Yes, if your landlord sells his house, the new owner would be required to honor your written lease agreement. Within 45 days of the transfer, the new owner must notify you that the security deposit has been transferred and that s/he has the possession of it. The notice must be written and must contain the new owner's name, business address, business telephone number, and the same information for any agent. Upon the sale and transfer, the landlord must transfer the last month's rent to the new landlord with accrued interest. The new landlord must give you written notice of the transfer within 45 days of receipt. Your new landlord would not be able to change any of the terms of your original lease agreement, including the amount of rent or your security deposit until your original lease expired.
I am having some additional work done on my home. I have a contractor that has started working on the job and now they want to raise the price after signed a written contract. This doesn't seem to be right.
No, both you and the contractor are bound by the terms of the contract. Remember before you sign a home improvement contract that it should contain a detailed description of the work to be completed, the materials to be used, an estimated beginning and end date, and the total price. If you agree to additional work that is not in the original contract, the total price may increase; otherwise, the price should not change.
A contractor cannot collect in advance more than one-third of the total charge for the project, unless there are special-order materials needed for the job. The contractor also cannot demand final payment for the work until the contract is fully performed to your satisfaction, so be sure to examine the work done before making payment.
I bought an item last week in Macy's and now the product is being sold for a lower price. Do I have the right to ask for the new "sale" price? Also, the big department stores always seem to be running the same sale. This doesn't seem right to me.
To address your first question, there is no law requiring the store to refund the difference in price if you buy an item at the regular price and it goes on sale soon after. However, many stores will give you a refund out of good will. Some stores have a certain timeframe where consumers can receive the price difference. In terms of your second question, Massachusetts law stipulates that stores cannot have the same item on sale for more than 45% of the 6 month period following the first sale date.
Questions Not Answered On the Air:
I bought a rebuilt transmission and it has broken twice. Now the seller refuses to give me my money back or a new transmission. What can I do?
When an item purchased is defective, you can choose a repair, replacement or refund. This right is contained in the Implied Warranty of Merchantability law. Since the seller is being uncooperative, you may want to write him a 30 Day Demand Letter. The letter must outline your complaint, the harm you suffered, and how you want the problem resolved.
The merchant must make a good faith response within 30 days, or it could subject him/her to triple damages and attorney's fees. The 30 Day Demand Letter serves to encourage the merchant to negotiate and settle the claims out of court. It also establishes the amount of monetary damages you can recover if the charges are proven in court. For more information on the 30 Day Demand Letter, please go to http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/consumer/shopping/resolve-a-problem/demand-letter.html
My bank called to tell me that someone has been fraudulently using my checking account. Since then, then bank has closed my account. Will closing a checking account have a negative affect on my credit?
No, closing a checking account will not have a negative affect on your credit. But, you should definitely take precautions to ensure that the fraud has not affected your credit in other ways. Since you are a Massachusetts resident, you are entitled to one free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus yearly. You should check your credit report for any false information. Further, you should contact your other credit cards to make sure that they have not been fraudulently used. The contact information for the credit bureaus are:
To Report Fraud:
To Report Fraud:
To Report Fraud:
For information on correcting your credit report or any other information on credit and debt issues, please go to http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/consumer/finance/credit-and-debt/credit-and-debt.html
Should I buy an extended warranty on my vehicle?
The choice of whether to buy an extended warranty is completely up to you. Such warranties are meant to provide extra protection, past the original warranty. You should carefully look at what is covered in the extended warranty, and decide if you feel those areas need additional coverage.
My credit report shows that I filed for bankruptcy. This is untrue. What can I do?
If there is incorrect information in your credit report, you may ask the credit reporting agency to investigate. The agency must investigate your claim within 30 business days by asking the creditor in question to review its records, unless the agency believes that the dispute is "frivolous or irrelevant." The credit reporting agency must correct, complete, or delete any information that is erroneous, incomplete, or unverified ( M.G.L. c.93, §58).
Additionally, negative information that is more than seven years old cannot be included in your credit report. There are several exceptions to this rule; the main one is bankruptcy, which may be reported for up to ten years ( M.G.L. c. 93, §52).
If you disagree with the results of the credit bureau's investigation, you have the right to prepare a brief statement that explains your version of the dispute. The credit reporting agency will then include this statement with your credit report each time it sends out the report ( M.G.L. c.93, §58).