The Process of Filing for Bankruptcy in Indiana
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The Process of Filing for Bankruptcy in Indiana

The Process of Filing for Bankruptcy in Indiana
January 28, 2020

You met with an attorney and decided to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy – where do you go from here? What will the process of filing a case look like? While it is always best to discuss your specific situation with a Northwest Indiana bankruptcy attorney, the following is a basic overview of the bankruptcy filing process

Ensuring You are Eligible for Chapter 7

Not everyone qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as some people earn too much income. Your attorney will need to determine whether you pass the means test, which is required by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. In order to pass, your income must be lower than the median income for your state, as reported by the Department of Justice (DOJ). For example, the median income for Indiana in 2019 was $49,421 for a household of one person and $87,453 for a household of four people. If you pass the means test, you can proceed with a Chapter 7 case.

Applying Property Exemptions

Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges your qualified debts in exchange for the liquidation of your property and assets. However, the law provides exemptions that allow you to protect as much property as possible. Applying exemptions can be complicated, and you want the help of an experienced lawyer who knows how to maximize your exemptions and minimize your losses. In some cases, filers do not lose any property at all. 

Taking a Credit Counseling Course

The law also requires filers to attend a pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course before they file. The course must be completed in the 180 days before you file your petition, and you must provide proof of course completion to the court. There are several approved providers, and many people can complete the course online. 

Preparing Your Petition

The bankruptcy petition is anything but simple. To complete a petition and all its schedules, you must provide detailed information regarding nearly every aspect of your finances. This includes:

  • All sources of income
  • Your expenses
  • All of your debts
  • Your property and assets
  • Exemptions as you wish to apply them

Your attorney can tell you what information to bring in, and they can use the information to accurately and thoroughly complete your forms. Any errors or omissions on your petition and supporting paperwork can cause delays in your case, and might even prevent you from getting a discharge or result in allegations of fraud. 

Once your petition is filed with the proper federal bankruptcy court and the court fees are paid, the process of debt relief through Chapter 7 bankruptcy can begin.

Consult with an Indiana Bankruptcy Attorney Who Can Help with Your Case

The Schmidt Whitten & Whitten handles Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases throughout Northwest Indiana. While bankruptcy can be highly beneficial, the process is not a simple one. You want legal guidance from the very start and until you receive your discharge of debt. Do not wait to contact our office if you are considering bankruptcy.




Schedule A Free Consultation

At Schmidt Whitten & Whitten, we offer a free consultation during which we will examine the facts of your case and advise you on how best to proceed

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Our Location200 E. 80th Place
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Merrillville, IN 46410
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the bankruptcy code. This information is designed for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Past results and testimonials are not a guarantee, warranty, or prediction of the outcome of your case, and should not be construed as such. Past results cannot guarantee future performance. Any result in a single case is not meant to create an expectation of similar results in future matters because each case involves many different factors, therefore, results will differ on a case-by-case basis. By providing certain contact information herein, you are expressly authorizing the recipient of this message to contact you via the methods of communication provided.
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