MA Protections of Cash Value Life Insurance

19 Oct MA Protections of Cash Value Life Insurance

There is great pride in being from a state, a commonwealth, with a very, very long history like Massachusetts, but the laws are old and not always updated or cured of antiquated language. Take cash value life insurance, for example. The statutes are simply beyond comprehension of all but the most diligent students of statutory language, and I commend Judge Henry J. Boroff for his accomplished decisions of Shloss and Chevalier cited below.

The three primarystatutes protect cash value where (1) the policy prohibits assignment (GLM c 175 sec 119A; In re Shloss, 279 B.R. 6 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2002), (2) where there has been no change from an original beneficiary and the original beneficiary is not the debtor’s estate (GLM c 175 sec 125; In re Chevalier, 330 B.R. 21 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2005), or (3) where the beneficiary is a married woman even if later divorced, but not when the beneficiary is a child or a married woman as trustee for a child (GLM c 175 sec 126; In re Shloss, 279 B.R. 6 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2002).

“Neither party raised, and thus this Court does not address, whether this gender-based distinction passes muster under the Equal Protection Clause of the 11th (sic) Amendment.” (Noting the original sec. 126 protected both married and unmarried women, but it was amended to protect only married women.) In re Shloss, 279 B.R. 6, 15, n. 11 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2002).

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L. Jed Berliner practices exclusively in consumer bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, and related consumer protection litigation such as credit card defenses and suing debt collectors. He established his Springfield, MA practice in 1988. Attorney Berliner is a regular and active contributor to the Bankruptcy Law Network, the Bankruptcy Roundtable, and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, three specialized consumer bankruptcy forums on the Internet, and is an informal mentor to regional practitioners. He is recognized by his peers as an expert in consumer bankruptcy issues. He thoroughly enjoys being rated "excellent" in his client surveys.

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