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Massachusetts State Exemption List

Federal and State Exemptions Allowed

In the state of Massachusetts, you can choose either the federal bankruptcy exemption list or the State of Massachusetts Bankruptcy Exemption List. There may be certain federal supplemental exemptions you can use if you choose the Massachusetts Bankruptcy Exemption List. All exemptions should be discussed with your Massachusetts Bankruptcy Attorney.

Massachusetts has created bankruptcy exemptions to allow you to maintain enough public benefits, wages, personal property and insurance to start over after filing bankruptcy in Massachusetts. There may be certain residency requirements to use the State of Massachusetts Bankruptcy Exemption List.

The following table will outline the Massachusetts Bankruptcy Exemptions. Some of your property or assets may not have a matching exemption.

Exemptions Exemption Amount Statutes
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
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
Miscellaneous Property of business partnership 108A-25
ERISA-qualified benefits 235-34A, 246-28
  Private retirement benefits 32-41
  Public employees 32-19
  Savings bank employees 168-41, 168-44
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

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
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