The court can order you to sell "assets" from your "bankruptcy estate".
Your assets are everything you own.
Your bankruptcy estate is a big bucket that holds everything you own. This includes things that are not in your control or at your house but you still own, like the car you own that your child is using at college. It also includes things you own part of like the right to your grandmother’s house after she passes away if there is a deed saying you will get it.
The money from selling your assets goes to pay your debts. But some assets are “exempt”. The court cannot order you to sell them.
Federal Law and Massachusetts State Law are different. They each have a list of exempt assets, but the lists are not the same. You must pick one of the lists. You can only use the Massachusetts State exemptions if:
- You lived in Massachusetts for the last two years, or
- 2 ½ years ago, you were living in Massachusetts and you continued to live here for another 180 days.