What is Supplementary Process In Massachusetts?

21 Oct What is Supplementary Process In Massachusetts?

Massachusetts has a procedure that allows a judgment creditor to apply for “supplementary process” in order to examine a debtor about his property and ability to pay the judgment. See M.G.L. c. 224, § 15. This is very popular way to collect consumer debts in Massachusetts.

Several law firms specializing in debt collection routinely obtain court judgments against consumers (many by default) and then commence supplementary process proceedings. A debtor is then forced under threat of issuance of a bench (capias) warrant to attend the proceedings.

Once at the court hearing, a debtor is often urged to work out a payment plan with the judgment creditor. Due to the coercive power of the arrest warrant (which only can issue if a debtor skips a supplementary process hearing) the procedure is very effective in producing agreements to pay. If no agreement is reached, a debtor is examined by the Court which may order a payment amount or choose to continue the hearing to another date if it is convinced that the debtor can not pay any of the debt.

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