Massachusetts law about bankruptcy

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

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, or if you have a specific question, please contact our law librarians for assistance.

Table of Contents

Best bets

Bankruptcy, Mass.gov.
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:

Bankruptcy laws

Federal Bankruptcy Code: USC Title 11 including Small business debtor reorganization added in 2020.

Federal exemptions: 11 USC 522. See revised lists of exemptions as of April 1, 2022 in the Federal Register and here.

Massachusetts exemptions: MGL c.235, § 34

Court rules and fees

Forms

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)

In re Coughlin, 33 F4th 600 (2022)
The Bankruptcy Code unequivocally abrogates (overrides) tribal sovereign immunity, even though it never expressly mentions Indian tribes. Tribes are bound by restrictions regarding debt collection during bankruptcy.

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."

Bankruptcy glossary, U.S. Courts.
Definitions of bankruptcy vocabulary.

Bankruptcy information for consumers, Mass. Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.
When a retail store files for bankruptcy, the consumer becomes a creditor.

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 Site.com.
Convenient list of federal exemptions with references to 11 USC 522

Federal non-bankruptcy exemptions, Nolo.
You may be able to take advantage of certain other exemptions found outside the bankruptcy code to help you protect your property when you file for bankruptcy. 

A guide for the self-represented debtor in a bankruptcy case, US Bankruptcy Court, District of Mass., April, 2016.
This 88-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 protect your clients' cash and assets under new Massachusetts personal property exemptions, by Robert J. Hobbs and Hon. Carol J. Kenner, NCLC, 2011.
Terrific piece that explains changes in exempt property law with examples illustrating when rights should be asserted and plenty of cites to relevant laws.

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

Print sources

Bankruptcy litigation, West, loose-leaf.
Covers the fundamentals in detail in this three-volume set.

Bankruptcy practice in Massachusetts, MCLE, 2022.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy : keep your property & repay debts over time, by Cara O'Neill, Nolo, 2020.

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.

How to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, by Cara O'Neill, Nolo, 2022.

Moving for relief from the automatic stay in bankruptcy, 4th ed. MCLE, 2022.

The new bankruptcy : will it work for you? By Cara O'Neill, Nolo, 2020.

A practical guide to consumer bankruptcy, MCLE, 2022.

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Last updated: November 14, 2022

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