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Massachusetts Bankruptcy Exemptions

There are two ways to exempt assets you want to keep in Massachusetts Bankruptcies. You can use the Massachusetts General Laws, which we largely use when our clients have a home with equity. See our article on Massachusetts Homestead Bankruptcy Law.
 
The federal exemptions, however, are better for most other categories. What are the federal exemptions and how do we use them?

The following is a guideline to the federal bankruptcy exemptions:
 
► federal homestead – $20,200
any unused portion may be applied to – $10,125
► motor vehicle equity – $3,225
► household goods – $9,850
► jewelry – $1,225
► wild card – additional property – $925
► tools of trade – $1,850
► life insurance value – $9,850
► health aids
► social security
► VA benefits
► disability or unemployment benefits
► reasonable alimony
► most pension plans
► crime victim rewards
► dependent’s life insurance award
► personal injury claims – $18,450
 
How do we use these exemptions for our clients? We undertake a careful intake when a client engages our office for a personal bankruptcy. We review all assets and work with client to be sure their assets will fit under one or another category. If there is a problem, we work with the client to resolve it so that they will qualify for bankruptcy.
 
The federal bankruptcy laws are favorable to debtors. Thus, so long as we have documentary proof of our clients’ exemptions, they should be protected.