Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Massachusetts on Verge of Modernizing Exemptions

Massachusetts has some antiquated exemptions ($700 for a car!). These exemptions allow people to keep certain property when they are in debt. The Massachusetts legislature this week passed a long-awaited update. The bill now awaits the governor's signature. These changes will affect many people but, off the top of my head, two groups will most immediately benefit:
(1) People who have home equity and other property (such as paid-off cars) who need to file for bankruptcy.
(2) And people who own a car, are subject to debt judgments, and do not want their car to be seized by creditors.

Congrats to NACA and NCLC! They worked hard to lobby for these changes.

The full list of the new Massachusetts exemptions in the bill are here:

Money for utilities $75 $500
Furniture $3000 $15,000
Books $200 $500
Tools $500 $5000
Stock in trade $500 $5000
Provisions for family $300 $600
Fishing equipment $500 $1500
Sewing machine $200 $300
One computer & one TV none no stated dollar limit
Rent money $200 $2500
Cash or savings (execution) $125 $2500 on any day
Wages (execution) $125 greater of 85% of gross wages or 50 times min. wage per week
Automobile $700 $7500 wholesale, $15000 for disabled or elderly
Personal property none $1000 to $6000
Jewelry none $ 2500
Wages (trustee process) $125 greater of 85% of gross wages or 50 times min. wage per week
Bank account (trustee process) $125 $2500