Case Conclusion Date:January 1, 1996
Practice Area:Bankruptcy / Chapter 7
Outcome:Judgment in favor of my client, saving his home.
Description:Client filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition owning a home and claiming the Massachusetts homestead exemption. Some of his debt had accumulated before he recorded his homestead, however, and the Trustee sought to prevent the use of the Massachusetts homestead against those debts because the Massachusetts statute explicitly protects the home only from debts acquired after the homestead is recorded. After a hearing before Judge Queenan, I was able to persuade the court that federal bankruptcy law trumps state law in this regard, and despite the specific language in the Massachusetts statute, it must be applied consistent with federal law which prefers that all creditors in a class be treated the same.