In high school we were taught that multiplying two negative numbers gets a positive number. That particular tidbit came to mind the other day in a discussion I was having with one of the Columbus bankruptcy lawyers who works in the Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices.
We were actually talking about the drop that has been taking place in asset values – home values are depressed and investment asset values are down. In short, the value of people’s “stuff” has dropped significantly over recent years. What’s not down is the debt people have accumulated just trying to keep up. So, as a debt consolidation lawyer offering bankruptcy services in Indiana, what I’m seeing more and more of is negatives, starting with those negative asset values.
The second big negative that we lawyers for bankruptcy in Indiana are seeing is the difficult job market. With layoffs and downsizings, and with restaurant chains and stores closing every day, lots of income that people need to pay expenses is being reduced or lost altogether.
So, can these two negative factors possibly be turned to advantage, becoming a positive? In a way, yes. Since I’ve served as an Indiana lawyer for bankruptcy for 25 years, and in fact helped write the exemptions portion of the new bankruptcy laws of Indiana, I couldn’t help thinking that California attorney Cathy Moran hit on something when she asks “Is Bankruptcy Your Best Investment?” Moran lists several reasons why filing personal bankruptcy during not-so-good economic times can be a very good idea, and one of those reasons is the drop in asset values I’ve mentioned.
In these Bankruptcy in Indiana articles, I’ve often explained why the idea of “losing everything” when you file personal bankruptcy in Indiana (or even file small business bankruptcy in Indiana) is simply a myth. And the reason it’s a myth is bankruptcy exemptions. There is a list of property that debtors are allowed to keep, assets that do not need to be sold to pay back creditors. Fact is, it’s very, very rare for clients to lose any assets at all, because there are exemptions that help protect your house, your car, your truck, your household goods and furnishings, your IRA and other retirement plans, your life insurance, and your wages.
Going back to that high school math lesson I alluded to earlier about negatives adding up to a positive, what attorney Moran was alluding to when she said bankruptcy might prove a “good investment” was the fact that when exemptions are applied to assets that are way down in value because of the economy’s downturn, while at the same time income levels are down, the end result is people keep more of their assets..
No, filing individual bankruptcy in Indiana may not be anyone’s idea of a positive. But the combination of a down economy and Indiana bankruptcy exemptions can work to the advantage of debtors, becoming a positive force in their fresh financial start!
Categorised in: Bankruptcy Indiana
This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg