Watches Are Protected Tools of Trade in Massachusetts

16 Oct Watches Are Protected Tools of Trade in Massachusetts

Sometime we need to struggle to find ways to protect assets. For example, the Massachusetts exemptions protect up to $500,000 of home equity and all qualified retirement funds but they are downright penurious for other assets. Among my favorites are “Two cows, twelve sheep, two swine and four tons of hay; . . . “One pew occupied by him or his family in a house of public worship; . . . and “One sewing machine, in actual use by each debtor or by his family, not exceeding two hundred dollars in value.” Creativity and tenacity are key.

I was able to dig up a hoary and grizzled decision from over 100 years ago, where a federal court in Massachusetts ruled that a bankrupt cabinet maker, required in the ordinary course of his employment to keep the time of himself and other workmen, was entitled to have his watch exempted. In re Coller 111 F 503 (1901, D Mass)

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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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