BOSTON (AP) – Bankrupt home electronics retailer Tweeter has abruptly closed all 70 stores, including the one in South Portland, Maine, five days ahead of schedule and fired more than 600 employees.

The Canton-based company on Tuesday converted its case to a Chapter 7 liquidation.

Owner Schultze Asset Management shut down the stores after paying millions of dollars to its largest secured creditor – Wells Fargo. Schultze made the move after deciding against putting additional money into the company to cover expenses to wind down operations.

Tweeter stores had been scheduled to close Sunday.

Tweeter also requested that $900,000 be put in a fund for unpaid wages, commissions, and payroll taxes for workers.

AP-ES-12-03-08 1221EST

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