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In MA if you are over 62, what are the exemptions? Can they take retirement accounts? Must all creditors be included in filing?

I understand that MA has different rules. I'm over 62. I know my home and car will be exempt. Are pension, 401k, or an annuity taken or exempt? Someone told me I can't make any payments to creditors within 90 days of filing? Is this true? I have paid some with low payments. I have had my Sears account for over 30 yrs. The balance is now less then $500. I have paid them $300 in the past 90 days. Can I pay it off? I have not been able to pay Amex since Sept because the payment is too high. I've gone through my savings. I do not have a steady income and can't find a job at my age.

Worcester, MA -

Attorney Answers (5)

Herbert Weinberg

Herbert Weinberg

Bankruptcy Attorney - North Andover, MA
Answered

You appear to be asking two questions. The first one is if retirement savings are protected. Generally yes but there are exceptions and more information is needed. the second one is if you can pay creditors within 90 days of a bankruptcy. You can but the Trustee can later sue to recover it. As to retaining credit cards, they generally cancel them even if you have a zero balance.

Walter C Oney Jr

Walter C Oney Jr

Bankruptcy Attorney - Fitchburg, MA
Answered

PLEASE hire a lawyer to help you file for bankruptcy instead of trying to figure all of this out on your own. There are many good bankruptcy lawyers in Worcester, and some of them are prominently featured on AVVO too. (I'm not angling for your business, BTW. There's no good reason for you drive up to my office in Fitchburg when downtown Worcester parking is as cheap as it is.)

Ryan Sherman Loughlin

Ryan Sherman Loughlin

Bankruptcy Attorney - Lawrence, MA
Answered

I agree with my colleagues and i think you would benefit from consulting with an attorney. it seems that you have a lot of questions so maybe you should find a local bankruptcy attorney and sit down and have a conversation about all your concerns.

Good luck!

Good luck!!

Andrew Daniel Myers

Andrew Daniel Myers

Bankruptcy Attorney - North Andover, MA
Answered

More often than not your 401K and any ERISA retirement plan are exempt in a bankruptcy. Bankruptcy requires full complete disclosure of all assets, income and debt. There are enough legal and procedural complexities to bankruptcy that in order to optimize your result and avoid problems, it is highly recommended that you retain an experienced bankruptcy attorney to get into the details behind the facts you have summarized.

Meanwhile click below for a general bankruptcy summary:

Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only.... more
Kevin Christopher McGee

Kevin Christopher McGee

Bankruptcy Attorney - Worcester, MA
Answered

Just a quick addition to the other answers -- you can probably time your Sears card payment if you want to pay it off. In consumer cases, trustees can pursue preferential payments that total $600.00 or more to an individual creditor within the 90 days; if the payments are less, there is no case. So -- if your $300.00 payment falls outside this period (or will soon fall outside it -- i.e., the payment was made more than 91 days before the date you intend to file), you could pay off the $500.00 balance with no worries before you file.

Nothing contained in this answer constitutes specific or complete legal advice to the questioner and is for... more

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