Understanding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Massachusetts

You’re in debt and are doing research online, so you’ve probably already encountered some general information about bankruptcy. But what do you need to know about bankruptcy if you’re filing in Massachusetts?

Before you dive into your Massachusetts research, make sure that MA law applies to your case. If you just moved to MA, your previous home’s law’s might apply to your Chapter 7 case. Check out this post for more information.

OK, back to Chapter 7.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is legal action that can be taken by individuals to wipe out their debts and get a new financial start. Chapter 7 is called “clean slate” bankruptcy because it is an effective tool for wiping out debt, but the rules vary by state as to what property you’re allowed to keep through the process.

For example, Tom Brady couldn’t file bankruptcy in Massachusetts and keep those lovely Super Bowl rings because they wouldn’t be deemed “exempt” under MA law. Those who qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be able to keep many of their assets as exempt, and in MA you may file Chapter 7 under either the federal exemptions or Massachusetts bankruptcy exemption laws.

Cost to file chapter 7 in Massachusetts

The chapter 7 filing fees in Massachusetts are $338, but that doesn’t tell the whole story of the real cost to file bankruptcy. Bankruptcy lawyers usually charge between $1,000 and $2,000 to file a chapter 7 case, in addition to the filing fee.

Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court Locations

Not sure where to file for bankruptcy in Massachusetts? The United States Bankruptcy Court District of Massachusetts has locations in Boston, Springfield, and Worcester. There’s also a Barnstable courthouse, but they do not accept pleadings for filing (those should be filed in Boston).

Here are the main bankruptcy court locations in Massachusetts.

Boston: United States Bankruptcy Court, John W. McCormack Post Office and Court House, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 1150, Boston, MA 02109, (617) 748-5300

Worcester: United States Bankruptcy Court, Donohue Federal Building, 595 Main St., Room 211, Worcester, MA 01608, (508) 770-8900

Springfield: United States Bankruptcy Court, United States Courthouse, 300 State St., Springfield, MA 01105, (413) 785-6900

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