If you struggle with debt you cannot afford, you can go through the bankruptcy process and keep many of your assets. Massachusetts law establishes exempt property that you can retain in a bankruptcy filing. 

Review the common property exemptions that may apply if you decide to pursue a bankruptcy as a solution to mounting debt. 

Home and auto exemptions

You can keep up to $500,000 in equity in your primary residence. To protect this equity, you must submit the Massachusetts homestead exemption. Otherwise, $125,000 is the home equity exemption limit. 

Massachusetts also allows you to retain an automobile worth up to $7,500. The state doubles this exemption if you have a disability or are older than 65. 

Household items

Other Massachusetts bankruptcy exemptions include: 

  • Clothing and bedding 
  • Heating units and appliances 
  • Up to $500 a month for utilities 
  • Up to $15,000 in furniture 
  • Books of up to $500 in value 
  • Jewelry of up to $1,225 in value 
  • Up to $2,500 in a checking or savings account 
  • One computer, one television and one sewing machines 

Wages and business items

Exemptions in this category include: 

  • 85% of your annual wages or 50 times the state minimum wage 
  • Boats and fishing equipment used commercially 
  • Up to $5,000 in tools used for trade 
  • Up to $5,000 in business supplies, materials and inventory 
  • Military uniforms, weapons and supplies 

You can also use up to $5,000 in unused exemptions to protect other property. While you can choose federal exemptions over Massachusetts exemptions, federal bankruptcy law generally has much lower asset limits.