Massachusetts Bankruptcy Exemptions

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Federal bankruptcy exemptionsavailable? YES

The references to Massachusetts statutes are to the Massachusetts General Laws.


United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts

Massachusetts Bankruptcy Attorneys


Massachusetts Bankruptcy Exemptions
Assets Exemption State Statute
Homestead Property debtor occupies or intends to occupy, including mobile home: up to $500,000. There are special provisions for owners over 62 or disabled, but the same total exemption. 188-1
  Debtor must record a homestead declaration before filing for bankruptcy in order to take a homestead exemption, unless the title to the property already contains a statement of homestead. 188-2
  The spouse or children of a deceased owner of a homestead may claim the exemption. 188-4
  Property of a married couple held by tenancy in the entirety: all may be exempt if only one spouse incurred the debt for purchases that were not necessities. 209-1
Insurance Disability benefits: up to $400 per week. 175-110A
  Life insurance/annuity contract proceeds: all if a clause in the contract forbid the use of proceeds to pay the beneficiary’s creditors. 175-119A
  Life or endowment policy/proceeds/cash value: all. 175.125
  Life insurance policy: all if beneficiary is a married woman. 175.126
  Group annuity policy/proceeds: all. 175-132C
  Life insurance (group) policy: all. 175.135
  Self-insurance for medical malpractice: all. 175F-15
  Fraternal benefit society benefits: all. 176-22
Miscellaneous Property owned by business partnership: all. 108A-25
Pensions Federal pension exemptions.  
  Public employee pensions: all. 32-19
  Private retirement benefits: all. 32-41
  Savings bank employee pensions: all. 168-41; 168-44
  Credit union employee pensions: all. 171-84
  IRAs, Keoghs, and ERISA-qualified benefits: all. 235-34A; 246-28
Personal Property Moving expenses for property taken under eminent domain: all. 79-6A
  Bank deposits: up to $2,500. 235-34
  Heating unit, clothing, beds and bedding: all. 235-34
  Books, including Bible: up to $500 total. 235-34
  Sewing machine: up to $300. 235-34
  Burial plots, tombs, and church pews: all. 235-34
  Cash to pay for fuel, heat, water, or light: up to $500 per month. 235-34
  Cash to pay for rent: up to $2,500 a month for those not claiming a homestead. 235-34
  Cooperative association shares: up to $100. 235-34
  Cash for food or food: up to $600. 235-34
  Furniture: up to $15,000 total. 235-34
  Motor vehicle: up to $7,500. 235-34
  Livestock and feed: up to 2 cows, 12 sheep, 2 swine, and 4 tons of hay. 235-34
  Deposits in a bank, trust company, or credit union: up to $2,500. 246-28A
Public Benefits Veterans’ benefits: all. 115-5
  Aid to families with dependent children benefits: all. 118-10
  Unemployment compensation benefits: all. 151A-36
  Workers’ compensation benefits: all. 152-47
  Public assistance benefits: all. 235-34
Tools of Your Trade Uniforms, arms, and other accoutrements: all necessary for trade. 235-34
  Fishing boats, tackle, and nets: up to $1,500. 235-34
  Materials for trade designed and procured by the debtor: up to $500. 235-34
  Tools, implements, and fixtures used for trade: up to $5,000 total. 235-34
Wages Wages: Amount not exceeding 85% of gross wages or 50 times the greater of the federal or Massachusetts hourly minimum wage. 246-28
Wildcard No exemption.  

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