State Laws

Montana Bankruptcy Laws

     

Montana Bankruptcy Stipulations
Bankruptcy laws changes in 2005 and created higher stipulations for filing for bankruptcy. The 2005 Bankruptcy Act has made filing for bankruptcy more complicated and more time consuming. Even if an individual has filed for bankruptcy in the past, the new act will include new paperwork and details than prior laws.

Do-it-yourself databases make bankruptcy more self-contained but can single out minor necessary details. Consulting an attorney is highly recommended, and consultations are often free. An attorney will be able to identify which kinds of paperwork are needed according to an individual's income, monthly expenses, budget, and number of individuals in his or her household. An attorney will also be able to identify property assets, including motor vehicles, investments, stock, boats, homes, savings, and life insurance policies.

An attorney consultation will also be able to decide if an individual should file for bankruptcy at all. A bankruptcy attorney will know the national Bankruptcy Code and be able to determine if a specific chapter is possible or if no bankruptcy is possible. When an attorney is hired, following a consultation, he or she will then sign an agreement of retainer for responsibility and rights.

Bankruptcy Petitioning in Montana
When petitioning for bankruptcy an individual will need to prepare all the necessary documents. These can include tax returns for the past two years, home appraisal, large purchases in the past two months, credit reports, and others. If any of the debts are later found to be incorrect or purposely falsified, a case will be dismissed from the court. A petition will then be sent to the Montana Bankruptcy Court that will put an automatic stay on an individual's account and disallow creditors from taking any further action until a decision has been made.

Financial Management Briefing
After a petition is filed, an individual is required to attend an educational meeting for financial management. This briefing will educate individuals on how to manage all personal finances for future banking and credit. In Montana this class is approximately two hours and can be done online, in a classroom, or over the phone.

In Chapter Thirteen bankruptcy cases this financial briefing will need to be taken before the payment plan ends in the five-year period. In Chapter Seven bankruptcy cases this financial briefing will need to take place within sixty days of an individual's 341 Meeting.

A 341 Meeting
Those who apply for Chapter Seven bankruptcy are required to attend a meeting with their trustee. Here under oath the individual will testify that all the information filed is accurate. The 341 Meeting will take place between thirty and forty-five days after a Chapter Seven case is filed. Any creditors are allowed to attend this meeting and question the individual filing for bankruptcy.

As such a 341 Meeting is often called a Meeting for the Creditors. All the necessary information in regards to the bankruptcy case will need to be submitted to the assigned trustee at least seven days prior to the 341 Meeting and include the past sixty days of expenses and the last two years of tax returns.

See also:
Montana Felony
Montana Gun Laws
Montana Divorce
Montana Misdemeanors External link (opens in new window)
Montana Expungement External link (opens in new window)