Can Minors File Bankruptcy in Indiana?

March 22, 2012 1:19 am Published by

You wouldn’t suppose the words “minor” and “bankruptcy” would appear very often in the same sentence.  But, according to many of the good bankruptcy attorneys in Indiana who work in the Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices, they do.

And, while I’ve not found very often that the debtor is a legal minor during my 25 years as a debt consolidation lawyer and Indianapolis bankruptcy lawyer, it does happen.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code defines a debtor as “a person that resides or has a domicile, place of business, or property in the U.S”.  Even so, as one of my Columbus bankruptcy lawyer colleagues points out, a minor (and the age of majority differs from state to state) must use a representative in order to file bankruptcy.  A guardian ad litem appointed by the court, a conservator, or a parent could be that minor’s representative in filing individual bankruptcy in Indiana.

How can it come about, you might wonder, that a minor has incurred so much debt as to need to file personal bankruptcy in Indiana?  I asked all my colleagues to look back over their records to find instances of bankruptcy Chapter 7 in Indiana or (this would be much rarer) of a minor who filed under Chapter 13 bankruptcy law in Indiana.

Here’s what came back:

  • Anderson lawyers for bankruptcy: Minors were involved in car accidents that injured someone else who’s suing.


  • Bloomington bankruptcy attorneys: High school or college students were running businesses that incurred huge liabilities.


  • Columbus bankruptcy lawyers: College students applied for and were given a lot of credit cards and failed to keep up with the payments.


  • Indianapolis bankruptcy lawyers: Child who was emancipated legally incurred a lot of student loan debt that he or she could not repay.


Despite all these real life examples, I want to remind Bankruptcy in Indiana readers that these are still rare instances among the tens of thousands of people helped at the Mark Zuckerberg law offices.

While it’s relatively rare for minor children to file, it’s very common for children to feel the effects of parents’ bankruptcy in Indiana.


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