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How Does the Bankruptcy Process in Indiana Work?

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When it comes to bankruptcy in the United States, for the most part, the process goes pretty much the same no matter which state you live in. That’s because federal law governs bankruptcy. Therefore, whether you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy or Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Indiana, the process will be very similar as it would be in any other location. However, there are some laws in the state of Indiana that do play an important role in the bankruptcy process that might be a little different from other states, in particular those that deal with establishing property exemptions.

These laws play a role in determining what assets and property you get to keep when you file Chapter 7 and how much money you will actually have to pay back to your creditors when you choose Chapter 13. However you need to first get credit counseling from an agency that has been approved by the U.S. Trustee’s office, before you can file for either Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, Indiana is like all other states when it comes to having set property exemptions. However, unlike some other states that allow a person to choose between the federal exemption list and the state exemption list, Indiana does not. Therefore, those who file in Indiana can exempt as much as $17,600 in home equity. People can also exempt any contributions they have added to a savings account for education. Those donations are fully exempt as long as they were made more than two years prior to the bankruptcy filing.

Another Indiana exemption is called the personal property exemption, which allows a person filing for bankruptcy to exempt as much as $9,350 on any property.  If you file for bankruptcy in Indiana you should also be aware of the means test. This means that you will have to compare the median income for a household in Indiana of your size with your income. If you make less than the median then you can choose Chapter 7. If you are over the median income then you will have to choose a Chapter 13 and pay back some or all of your debt over a five year period.

There are obviously many things to consider when you file for bankruptcy and that’s why having the help of an experienced Merrillville bankruptcy lawyer at your disposal is a very smart idea. At the Whitten & Whitten we are prepared to help you get through the bankruptcy process successfully. Please contact us today at 219-756-0555, or click here.

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