Massachusetts Laws on Wage Garnishments, Statute of Limitations on Debt and Bankruptcy Property Exemptions

MAXIMUM INTEREST RATE:  Legal: 6%  Judgment: 12%  Contract: 12%


Open account (credit card):  6 years
Contract: 6 years
Domestic Judgment: 20 years
Foreign Judgment: 20 years

BAD CHECK LAW DAMAGES:  Amount due, plus litigation costs and protest fees plus $100 to $500


The State of Massachusetts has exempted the property and income below from seizure by the bankruptcy court to pay creditors.  Massachusetts allows you to use either the state exemptions below or the federal exemptions.

Real Estate:  Property used as residence up to $100,000; if over 62 years of age or disabled, then up to $200,000 (must officially record homestead declaration before bankruptcy filing) [188-1, 188-1A and 188-2]
Personal Property:  Cash or bank deposits to $125, bibles and books up to $200 total, boats, tackle and nets of fisherman up to $500 total [235-34]; burial plots, tombs and church pew, unlimited amount [235-34]; cash for fuel, heat water or light up to $75 per month [235-34]; cash for rent up to $200 per month in lieu of real estate exemption [235-34]; food or cash for food up to $300, furniture up to $3,000, and automobile up to $700 [235-34]; beds, bedding and heating unit, unlimited amount [235-34]; clothing, amount needed [235-34]; tools, implements, fixtures used in business up to $500 total and materials used in business up to $500 total [235-34]; sewing machine to $200 [235-34]; cooperative association shares up to $100 [235-34]; two cows, 12 sheep, 2 swine, and 4 tons of hay [235-34]
Debt Statutes  > Massachusetts
Insurance / Annuities:  Life insurance annuity contract if contract states it is exempt, unlimited amount [175-125]; fraternal society benefits, unlimited amount [176-22]; disability benefits to $400 per week [175-110A]; group life insurance policy, unlimited amount [175-135]; life insurance policy if beneficiary is married woman, unlimited amount [175-126]; life insurance proceeds if policy prohibits proceeds from being used to pay creditors, unlimited amount [175-119A]; group annuity policy or proceeds, unlimited amount [175-132C]; life or endowment policy, proceeds or cash value, unlimited amount [175-125]; medical malpractice self-insurance, unlimited amount [175F-15]
Miscellaneous:  Business partnership property [108A-25]

Pensions / Retirement plans:  Private retirement benefits, unlimited amount [32-41]; public employees, unlimited amount [32-19]; retirement benefits, unlimited amt [235-34A and 246-28]; savings bank employees, unlimited amount [168-41 and 168-44]
Public Benefits / Entitlements:  Veterans' benefits, unlimited amount [115-5]; workers compensation, unlimited amount [152-47]; aid to families with dependent children, unlimited amount [118-10]; aid to aged and disabled or general public assistance, unlimited amount [235-34]; unemployment compensation, unlimited amount [151A-36]
Wages:  Earned but unpaid wages to $125 per week [246-28]; seaman's wages, unlimited amount [246-32(7)]