Massachusetts law about bankruptcy

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

Report your bankruptcy filing to the Massachusetts DOR, Mass. Dept. of Revenue.
"Here you will learn how to report your bankruptcy filing to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR)." Includes types of bankruptcy filings and contact information.

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

Bankruptcy laws


MGL c. 235, § 34 Property exempt from execution


USC Title 11 Federal Bankruptcy Code 

11 USC 522 Exemptions

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)

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, U.S. Courts.
Bankruptcy Basics provides general information about federal bankruptcy laws and the bankruptcy process. It is not a guide for filing a bankruptcy case. Related videos are available as well.

Bankruptcy basics 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
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, U.S. 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, 2022. (eBook available here with library card)

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, 13th ed., 2023.

How to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, by Cara O'Neill, Nolo, 2022. (Updated 2023 eBook available here with library card).

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, 2022. (2023 eBook available here with library card)

A practical guide to consumer bankruptcy, MCLE, 2022.

Contact   for Massachusetts law about bankruptcy

Last updated: April 4, 2024

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