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Exemptions allow Massachusetts debtors to keep key property

Many people who are overwhelmed by financial challenges fear that if they file bankruptcy they will lose all their possessions. This is not the case. Both Massachusetts and federal law provide bankruptcy exemptions which protect important personal property from seizure by creditors or liquidation in bankruptcy.

The purpose of the bankruptcy laws is not to penalize the debtor, but to help them get back on their feet financially. The law recognizes that a person needs certain personal property to maintain their dignity and earn an income, and that allowing creditors to seize this property would be counterproductive. It is very hard for most people, for example, to hold down a job if they don't have a car or a place to live. Similarly, allowing creditors to repossess the tools of a person's trade will make it much harder for that person to recover financially.

Bankruptcy exemptions include the homestead exemption, which shields up to $500,000 in equity in a debtor's house. Automobiles, tools used in a trade or business, retirement accounts and other personal property are also exempt from creditor action in bankruptcy.

A debtor in Massachusetts can choose between the different sets of exemptions provided by state and federal law. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help a debtor choose the exemptions that are most advantageous in his or her personal situation. You can find more information at our bankruptcy exemptions web page.

At the Law Offices of Kenneth E. Lindauer we help people in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire negotiate the complex world of personal bankruptcy proceedings. We understand the fears and worry that result from severe financial stress, and we are committed to helping our clients find the debt relief solution that works for them.

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