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Massachusetts Bankruptcy Exemptions

Federal Supplemental Exemptions can be used in conjunction with your Massachusetts exemptions and can be viewed here.

In Massachusetts, you may choose to use the Federal Exemption set instead of your state exemptions.

You may also want to visit your local federal bankruptcy court web site:

Also see Massachusetts bankruptcy forms.

ASSET

EXEMPTION DESCRIPTION

LAW SECTION

HOMESTEAD

Property you occupy to $100,000; if over 65 or disabled, $200,000 (joint owners may not double)

188.1, 188-1A

 

Must record homestead declaration before filing bankruptcy

188-2

 

Spouse or child of deceased owner may claim homestead exemption

188-4

 

Property held as tenancy be the entirety may be exempt against non-necessity debts

209-1

PERSONAL PROPERTY

 

Bank deposits to $125; food or cash for food to $300

235-34

 

Beds, bedding and heating unit; clothing needed

235-34

 

Bibles and books to $200 total; sewing machine to $200

235-34

 

Burial plots, tombs and church pew

235-34

 

Cash for fuel, heat, water or light to $75 per month

235-34

 

Cash to $200 per month for rent, in lieu of homestead

235-34

 

Cooperative association shares to $100

235-34

 

2 cows, 12 sheep, 2 swine, 4 tons of hay

235-34

 

Furniture to $3,000; motor vehicle to $750

235-34

 

Moving expenses for eminent domain

79-6A

 

Trust company, bank or credit union deposits to $500

246-28A

INSURANCE

Disability benefits to $400 per week

175-110A

 

Fraternal benefit society benefits

176-22

 

Group annuity policy or proceeds

175-132C

 

Group life insurance policy

175-135

 

Life or endowment policy, proceeds or cash value

175-125

 

Life insurance annuity contract which says it’s exempt

175-125

 

Life insurance policy if beneficiary is married woman

175-126

 

Life insurance proceeds if clause prohibits proceeds from being used to pay beneficiary’s creditors

175-119A

 

Medical malpractice self-insurance

175F-15

MISC.

Property of business partnership

108A-25

PENSIONS
also see wages

ERISA-qualified benefits

235-34A, 246-28

 

Private retirement benefits

32-41

 

Public employees

32-19

 

Savings bank employees

168-41, 168-44

PUBLIC BENEFITS

AFDC

118-10

 

Aid to ages, disabled

235-34

 

Unemployment compensation

151A-36

 

Veterans’ benefits

115-5

 

Workers’ compensation

152-47

TOOLS OF TRADE

Arms, accouterments and uniforms you’re required to keep

235-34

 

Boats, fishing tackle and nets of fisherman to $500

235-34

 

Materials you designed and procured to $500

235-34

 

Tools, implements and fixtures to $500 total

235-34

WAGES

Earned but unpaid wages to $125 per week

246-28