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Massachusetts law about bankruptcy

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on bankruptcy law.

Table of Contents

Best bets

Mass Dept of Revenue page lists the courthouses in Mass for filing bankruptcy, explains the various types of bankruptcy, and links to the Bankruptcy court below.

Filing for bankruptcy during the COVID 19 outbreak, Justia  

U.S. Bankruptcy Court: District of Massachusetts Full of great information and helpful resources, including:

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts COVID 19 updates including standing orders, news and guidelines 

Bankruptcy laws

Federal Bankruptcy Code: USC Title 11

Federal exemptions: 11 USC 522. Be sure to see revised exemption amounts: Increase of federal bankruptcy exemptions, other dollar amounts: April 1, 2019

Massachusetts exemptions: MGL c.235, § 34

Court rules and fees


Selected cases

Google Scholar: Federal cases 
Dates of coverage are a bit unclear, but it appears that you can search these cases:

  • All Supreme Court cases
  • Federal Appeals Court cases beginning with v.1 F.2d (1924)
  • Federal District Court cases beginning with v.1 F.Supp. (1932)
  • Bankruptcy Court cases beginning with v. 1 of Bankruptcy Reporter (1979)

Web sources

Bankruptcy, Nolo. Includes tons of information, including bankruptcy basics, deciding to file, types of bankruptcy, the filing process and procedures, and much more.

Bankruptcy basics, Videos from the Federal Judiciary
9 videos, about 5 minutes each. "These videos will give you basic information about the process, the relief it offers, and how to find the legal help you may need."

Chapter 13 bankruptcy: keep your property and repay debts over time, Nolo, 2020.
Includes information on filing, drafting a plan, filling out the forms, life after bankruptcy and more. Requires free library card for access.

Collecting debts owed by a bankrupt customer, Findlaw.
"All bankruptcies play out differently, but the steps a business needs to take to collect a debt from a bankrupt customer are usually surprisingly routine."

Federal bankruptcy exemptions, The Bankruptcy
Convenient list of federal exemptions with references to 11 USC 522

A guide for the self-represented debtor in a bankruptcy case, US Bankruptcy Court, District of Mass., April, 2016.
This 95-page manual is designed for someone filing for bankruptcy without an attorney. Includes detailed descriptions of the process, records necessary, forms to file, fees, and more.

How to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, Nolo, 2019
Includes step by step instruction and all the forms needed to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy. Requires free library card for access.

Increase of federal bankruptcy exemptions, other dollar amounts: April 1, 2019, National Consumer Law Center, 2019.
Covers adjustments for inflation in dollar amounts for federal exemptions, retirement accounts and more.

Massachusetts bankruptcy law 
Contains info, frequently asked questions and links to resources for bankruptcy in Massachusetts

New bankruptcy, Nolo, 2020

Print sources

Bankruptcy basics: A step-by-step guide for pro bono attorneys, general practitioners, and legal services offices, by John Rao and Tara Twomey, NCLC, 2013.

Bankruptcy practice in Massachusetts, MCLE, loose-leaf.

Collier on bankruptcy, 16th ed., Matthew Bender, loose-leaf. A 22-volume set covering all aspects of bankruptcy, including the Bankruptcy Code, rules, forms, etc.

Consumer bankruptcy handbook with forms, West, annual. 

Consumer bankruptcy law and practice by Henry J. Sommer, NCLC, 2020

A practical guide to consumer bankruptcy, MCLE, 2018

Strategies for creditors in bankruptcy proceedings, 5th ed., by Lynn M. LoPucki, Aspen, 2013 supplement



Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only


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Last updated: July 22, 2020