Massachusetts Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy laws and resources vary from state to state. The following page provides information and resource links for the state of Massachusetts.



If you are not looking for information regarding Massachusetts, please use the links on the left to find information for your state.



Bankruptcy Courts - Location and Contact Information

Massachusetts bankruptcy courts consist of two divisions. Generally, the debtor’s county of residence will determine which division the bankruptcy petition is filed. It may also be determined by the location of the debtor’s principal place of business or principal assets.

DIVISION STREET ADDRESS MAILING ADDRESS TELEPHONE
Eastern
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
1101 Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Federal Building
10 Causeway Street
Boston, MA 02222

Same (617) 565-8950
Eastern
Div. @
Hyannis
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Barnstable Town Hall
376 Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
1101 Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Federal Building
10 Causeway Street
Boston, MA 02222
(617) 565-8950
Western
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Donahue Federal Building
595 Main Street,
Room 211
Worcester, MA 01608

Same
(508) 770-8900
Western
Div. @
Springfield
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Federal Building and Courthouse
1550 Main Street
Springfield, MA 01103

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Donahue Federal Building
595 Main Street,
Room 211
Worcester, MA 01608

(508) 770-8900

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Massachusetts Bankruptcy Laws and Exemptions

Massachusetts Exemptions

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows individual debtors to exempt certain property from creditor claims based on exemptions under either federal law or state law. Exemptions vary from state to state. Some states have adopted their own set of bankruptcy exemptions that are used in place of the federal exemptions. However, other states give debtors an option to choose between either state or federal exemptions.

Massachusetts bankruptcy law allows residents to use either the federal set of exemptions or state exemptions.

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Click the following links for common bankruptcy exemptions pursuant to Massachusetts law: homestead exemption, personal property, retirement accounts.

Contact a Massachusetts bankruptcy lawyer for more information regarding Massachusetts bankruptcy exemptions.

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Massachusetts Means Test

The new bankruptcy laws enacted in 2005 also require that debtors pass a means test before filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There are two ways to pass the means test:

1. the debtor's annual income (calculated using the average gross income for the six month period prior to filing) must be below the state median. Census Bureau statistics for state median income by family size can be found here (for cases filed between April 1, 2013 and April 30, 2013).

2. If income exceeds the median income, individuals may still file Chapter 7 bankruptcy based on results of Form 22A: Chapter 7 Statement of Current Monthly Income and Means-Test Calculation. .

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Massachusetts Credit Counseling and Debtor Education Agencies

Pursuant to the new bankruptcy laws enacted in 2005, individuals who file personal bankruptcy (with limited exceptions) in Massachusetts must:

1. take a credit counseling course from an approved Massachusetts credit counseling provider within six months before filing bankruptcy; and

2. complete a debtor education course from an approved Massachusetts debtor education agency prior to receiving a bankruptcy discharge.

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Massachusetts Personal Bankruptcy Attorneys

To find Massachusetts bankruptcy lawyers in your area, you may want to contact your local county bar association or the Massachusetts Bar Association:

Massachusetts Bar Association
20 West Street
Boston, MA 02111-1204
(617) 338-0500

Based on income, free bankruptcy advice and representation may also be obtained from the following organizations: Contact the Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service.

If you are concerned about the representation provided to you by a Massachusetts bankruptcy attorney, contact the Attorney and Consumer Assistance Program of the Office of the Bar Counsel:

Attorney and Consumer Assistance Program
The Office of the Bar Counsel
99 High Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02110
(617) 728-8750

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Resources for Massachusetts Bankruptcy Laws

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts - administrative and procedural information for Massachusetts bankruptcy filings

Office of the U.S. Trustee for Region 1 - oversees the administration of Massachusetts personal bankruptcy cases and case trustees

Massachusetts Bar Association - information about the Massachusetts bar, membership, ethics, continuing legal education, and resources for the public.

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