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3 tips to get ready when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2024 | Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy is a debt relief opportunity that requires careful preparation and consideration. A successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Massachusetts provides individuals with a fresh start financially.

When preparing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Massachusetts, you should have a comprehensive understanding of the state’s exemption laws to protect as much of your property as possible from the risk of being sold by the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case. While liquidation of a filer’s non-exempt assets is rare, it is a risk you’ll want to guard against.

Gather your financial documentation

When filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Massachusetts, ensure that you gather all relevant financial documentation including income statements, tax returns, bank statements, loan agreements and any other records related to your assets and debts. Having these documents organized and readily available will streamline the bankruptcy process and help you provide accurate information to the court.

Be careful when making major purchases

To avoid complications in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings, be careful when making major purchases leading up to your filing. In Massachusetts, significant purchases or transfers of assets shortly before filing for bankruptcy can raise red flags and may be scrutinized by the bankruptcy trustee. Such actions could be interpreted as an attempt to conceal assets or defraud creditors, potentially leading to legal consequences or the denial of your bankruptcy discharge.

Attend your 341 meeting

The law requires individuals filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Massachusetts to attend a 341 meeting, also known as the Meeting of Creditors. This meeting typically takes place about a month after filing and provides an opportunity for creditors to ask questions about the debtor’s financial affairs under oath. While creditors don’t often attend these meetings, the bankruptcy trustee appointed to oversee the case will be present to review the debtor’s bankruptcy petition and ask questions to verify the accuracy of the information provided.

Legal counsel can provide personalized guidance, better ensure compliance with state and federal laws and represent your interests effectively during meetings with creditors and court proceedings. You don’t have to go through this process alone.