The Monetary Side of Bankruptcy in Indiana

July 17, 2012 11:27 pm Published by

This week, my Bankruptcy in Indiana articles will be devoted to the three elements that are part of the mixture in the process of filing bankruptcy in Indiana – legal, financial, and emotional. 

As any good bankruptcy attorney in Indiana knows, each and every person who seeks their help filing either personal bankruptcy in Indiana or Indiana small business bankruptcy needs help in all three of those areas. Earlier this week, I talked about the legal elements of the bankruptcy process and how the new bankruptcy laws of Indiana have developed out of federal law. Today, I’d like to talk to  readers about the monetary aspects of bankruptcy.

As one colleague, a Columbus bankruptcy lawyer, sums up the financial aspect of bankruptcy, there are three types of numbers we work with on behalf of those who file individual bankruptcy in Indiana: income, assets, and debts. 

  • All of these numbers are measured by the bankruptcy court through a mechanism called the “means test”.  The test is used to determine of you qualify for Indiana bankruptcy Chapter 7 or whether you must file under Indiana Chapter 13 bankruptcy law.
  • The standards for income are based on the median income for each area of our country, as measured by the U.S. Bureau of Labor. The numbers relate to the number of people in the household, because obviously, the more people that must be supported, the greater the number of dollars that must go towards paying expenses rather than towards paying off the debts.  Those median income numbers change twice a year, in March and November, tracking the government statistics. In Indiana, for example, a one-person household median income number is $41,249, while a two-person household median income is $51,237.
  • At the five Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices, we know we must be very, very precise in our reporting. When the bankruptcy court looks at a debtor’s finances, what’s going to count is the income during the six months leading up to the filing.
  • After 25 years offering Indiana bankruptcy help, I’ve learned that not only is the perception that “only deadbeats file bankruptcy” totally untrue, often people who have very high levels of income file personal bankruptcy in Indiana.  That’s because, no matter how many zeroes there are the number of dollars coming into the household, if that’s not enough to support the family and keep up with the debt payments, financiaI relief is needed.

Remember, the Indiana bankruptcy system is a safety net to help people who’ve been overwhelmed by events beyond their control (job loss, prolonged or disabling illness, divorce, natural disasters) get back on their financial feet.

So, while bankruptcy in Indiana is a legal system, it’s also a financial tool to give people who’ve fallen on hard financial times a second chance to gain control and practice responsible financial management.


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This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg

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