If you are having trouble covering all of your bills, and considering bankruptcy, you might wonder about some of your precious property such as a home or a vehicle, or sentimental possessions like the military uniform you received from the government or the book that your father gifted you on your seventh birthday. The good news is that, like all states, Massachusetts has its own set of bankruptcy exemptions rules and, you can take advantage of and retain those worldly possessions. The excellent news is if you are married and currently living in Massachusetts then both of you can file jointly for exemptions and claim the full amount separately, informally referred to as “doubling.”
First, lets start with your real property (real-estate). If you are living in Massachusetts for more than 40 months, you can claim homestead protection which allows you to keep up to $125000 of the equity in your home. The law also states that you can increase the amount to $500000 if your homestead protection is declared and complies with the Massachusetts law. In addition, disabled individuals or elderly landlords of 62 years or more can receive exemptions up to $500000 each, but not more than $1000000 in aggregate. Call if you have questions relating to keeping your home, as well as the equity you may have in it.
Personal Property Exemptions
Let's move onto the next big thing – your personal property. Here, you can get exemptions for a lot of your personal properties but at a smaller amount than the previously noted homestead protection. For example -
- Any income you have that is put towards recurring necessity purchases, such as food, rent, clothing, entertainment (clubs and recreation), etc., can fall under the exemptions.
- You can claim exemption for jewelry worth up to $1225
- For Bibles and books up to $500
- For fuel cost up to $100
- For motor vehicles up to $7500. A thing to note here is that if the motor vehicle is owned by an elderly or disabled person then he/she can receive exemptions up to $15000.
Last but not the least, you can receive $600 worth of exemptions for food and $2500 per month in house rent instead of a one-time lump sum noted in the homestead protection section.