Headlines Talk of Casinos, Cemeteries, and Churches, Not Personal Bankruptcy in Indiana

June 24, 2012 2:08 pm Published by

Amazing.  In just one early morning scan of news relating to bankruptcy in Indiana and around the world, I found stories about a cemetery, a church, a condo association, a casino, a city, a country, and… a marijuana grower.  Each of these entities was either on the brink of bankruptcy, going through the process, or beginning to emerge from bankruptcy.

As a longtime debt consolidation lawyer and attorney for bankruptcy in Indiana, I immediately recognized what I was NOT seeing in the news: stories about people filing individual bankruptcy in Indiana or elsewhere, or stories about small business bankruptcy.  That came as no surprise.  Despite the fact that one long-standing bankruptcy myth is that “Everyone will know I’ve filed bankruptcy”, I can assure readers that personal bankruptcy in Indiana remains, almost always, a very private affair.

Still, as one of the Columbus bankruptcy lawyers who works in the Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices pointed out, there are similarities between the big newspaper bankruptcy stories and the much more modest situations in which our Indiana lawyers for bankruptcy are usually involved.

Take, for example, the story about the city: Stockton, California moves closer to bankruptcy. With more than $700 million in long-term debt, the city must, according to Mayor Ann Johnston, file bankruptcy in order to gain relief from some of its obligations and continue providing services. Like Stockton, most individuals who file bankruptcy Chapter 7 in Indiana need to gain relief from debt in order to keep providing for themselves and their families.

Much of the work that I perform as an Indianapolis lawyer for bankruptcy is designed to help stop foreclosure. Maintaining mortgage payments was a challenge for the Ark of Safety Christian Church in Georgia that I read about. Here in Indiana, Chapter 13 bankruptcy law often helps save homes.

The news story I read about casinos should be interesting to the lawyers in Indiana’s Southern Bankruptcy District, an area that houses a number of casinos.  Alfred Villhobos, who had millions of dollars in Las Vegas casinos, is demanding $600,000 of it back.  Villalobos isn’t planning to keep the money, though. (One of my Anderson, Indiana bankruptcy lawyer colleagues got a real kick out of this one); the money will be distributed to Villalobos’ creditors as part of his bankruptcy case.
(Is this a joke?  Not at all, I must explain to readers of this Bankruptcy in Indiana article: A debtor has a legal obligation to make sure creditors are paid as much as possible.)

So what was that about marijuana? Well, a medical marijuana growing company in Denver had its bankruptcy case dismissed by the court.  After all, no fresh financial start could be designed around an illegal assets (130,000 pounds of unharvested “pot”) without breaking the law.

(Even the new bankruptcy laws of Indiana wouldn’t allow for that, I don’t suppose!)



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This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg

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