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Smith Carpenter Fondrisi & Cummins, LLC is a full service law firm with attorneys licensed in Indiana and Kentucky. Our attorneys have experience serving the legal needs of individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations of all sizes.
209 East Chestnut Street - Jeffersonville, IN 47131
The Situation in the Hoosier State
With businesses closing and unemployment hovering around 10%, Indiana residents are being forced to consider drastic measures to survive the current recession. U. S. bankruptcies filed in 2008 hit record levels with over 39,000 in Indiana alone, and nearly 98% of those filed by consumers. It is estimated that 1.4 million consumer bankruptcies will be filed in the U.S. in 2009, the surge triggered by the foreclosure crisis and economic downturn.
The Federal Bankruptcy Law involves processes, procedures and evaluations which can be complex and confusing, including major revisions made in 2005. Seek the advice of a Indiana law firm with specific long-term experience in Indiana bankruptcy matters. Check references, if possible. A competent Indiana attorney will help you weigh your different options, make informed decisions, help you protect the security of your family and reduce your stress, while facing the realities of the situation.
Chapter 7 - The Most Common Consumer Bankruptcy Choice in Indiana
Chapter 7 is the “fresh start” chapter of the Bankruptcy Code and most commonly used. This filing results in a fair distribution of your available nonexempt property to creditors. Unsecured debts are generally discharged. Included in this process is a “means test”, used to determine your ability to pay your creditors, verifying whether Chapter 7 is appropriate or indicating that you should be filing Chapter 13. Median Family Income by Family Size and current poverty guidelines are factors evaluated when determining appropriate filing status for a given situation.
Debts Which Generally Cannot be Discharged in Your Indiana Bankruptcy:
Contact your creditors to try to work out payment arrangements that you can manage. Contact the non-profit Consumer Credit Counseling service to get help with a manageable repayment plan. Sell as many assets as you can and pay down your debt to a manageable level. Debt consolidation may be considered, but approach this option with caution to make sure it actually helps your situation.
Final Thoughts on Indiana Bankruptcy
Indiana residents continue to suffer, as the State’s economy struggles to recover. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Indiana, decisions you make and actions you take now can have a positive or negative effect on the outcome of your bankruptcy proceedings. Although some filers elect to handle their bankruptcy on their own, The U.S. Bankruptcy Court cautions that “Bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences -- hiring a competent attorney is strongly recommended.” Click here to find Indiana attorney resources in your area.