Massachusetts Bankruptcy Exemptions

Massachusetts bankruptcy exemptions do not make it mandatory for you to use only state-specific exemption. You have the option to use the federal set of exemptions instead of state exemptions. However, it is very important for you to understand that every bankruptcy case is a different one. Therefore, if you want to have an accurate picture on what types of properties you will be able to exempt, you must consult an experienced Massachusetts bankruptcy attorney. Following is a brief rundown on what the laws say about it.


A maximum of $125 on a weekly basis can be exempted under this category, but this exemption applies to only those wages that are earned but not yet paid.

Tools Of Your Trade

- A maximum of $500 (aggregate total) is exemptible for fixtures, implements, and tools that you use for trade.
- In addition to that, you can also exempt certain materials for trade that you designed and procured yourself; the maximum exemption limit is $500.
- Furthermore, Massachusetts bankruptcy exemptions also allow you to keep nets, tackle, and boat used for fishing up to a maximum value of $500.
- Arms, uniforms, and other accoutrements are also exemptible up to an extent that is required for trade.

Public Benefits

You can exempt 100% of five types of public benefits that include Public assistance benefits, Workers’ compensation benefits, Unemployment compensation benefits, Aid to families with dependent children benefits, and Veterans’ benefits.

Personal Property

Different types of personal assets and properties can be exempted in the following manner.

- Deposits in credit union, trust company, and banks – up to a maximum value of $500
- Feed and livestock – Four tons of hay, Two swine, Twelve sheep, and Two cows
- The maximum equity that can be exempted in motor vehicles is only $700
- Furniture items however can be exempted up to a maximum value of $3000 (aggregate total, not per item)
- Food or cash for food – maximum limit is $300
- A maximum of $100 in cooperative association shares
- If you are not claiming homestead exemption, you can keep up to $200 of cash per month to pay for rent.
- You can also keep up to $75 of cash per month to pay for light, water, heat, and fuel.
- Full exemptions for church pews, tombs, and burial plots
- A maximum of $200 value in sewing machine
- Up to $200 (aggregate total) for books (including Bible)
- Bedding, beds, clothing, and heating units are exemptible in full
- A maximum of $125 of bank deposit is also safe


100% Massachusetts bankruptcy exemptions are available for following types of pensions –

- ERISA-qualified benefits, Keoghs, and IRAs
- Credit union employee pensions
- Savings bank employee pensions
- Private retirement benefits
- Public employee pensions
- Federal pension exemptions


You can avail 100% exemption for Fraternal benefit society benefits, Self-insurance for medical malpractice, Life insurance (group) policy, Group annuity policy/proceeds, Life insurance policy (provided the beneficiary is a married woman), and Life or endowment cash/proceeds/policy. In addition to that, if you are receiving any disability benefits, you can also get that exempted up to a maximum amount of $400 on a weekly basis.


A maximum of $500000 of equity is exemptible in any property that you occupy or intend to occupy. The maximum limit remains the same for those who are either disabled or over 62 years of age, but there are certain special provisions for them.

Under miscellaneous category, Massachusetts bankruptcy exemptions allow you to keep all of the property owned by business partnership.

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One Response to “Massachusetts Bankruptcy Exemptions”

  1. dennis says:

    Very interesting and informative points. Massachusetts is one of the few states where you get the option to use the federal set of exemptions. Here one can select between the state exemptions and the federal set of exemptions. Bankruptcy is a very complicated process in itself, that’s why it is very important for you to select a well reputed lawyer for your case. Some fixed amount of wages will be exempted but it will be done for the wages which are not paid till then. Tools required for your trade, like boat, nets etc for fishing will be exempted up to a certain limit. Some specific material will also be exempted; tools can be exempted up to a maximum limit. Public benefits will be exempted 100 % like workers compensation, unemployment benefits etc. There are a lot of exemptions can be taken under the category of personal property. If you have nay deposits in credit union, trust the company and banks etc. You can get an exemption of some specified limit of the state of Massachusetts. If you want an exemption of food or cash for food you can get it exempted up to some certain limit.

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