How to File Bankruptcy in Indiana

Learn where to find some of the information you'll need to prepare your Indiana bankruptcy case.

If you can’t pay all of your bills because you have too much debt, you might consider whether filing bankruptcy in Indiana might be a good option. You’ll likely want to start by learning about the differences between filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

After deciding which chapter is best for you, this article will help you find other information you’ll need to complete the official paperwork. For instance, here you’ll learn about bankruptcy forms, Indiana means test figures, credit counseling providers, and your local bankruptcy court. You’ll also find an explanation about protecting property in an Indiana bankruptcy.

Official Bankruptcy Forms

When you file your bankruptcy case, before the bankruptcy court forgives (discharges) any debt, you’re required to provide details about all aspects of your financial circumstances. You’ll list your property, bills, income, expenses, and financial transactions on official forms, which you can download for free from U.S. Courts form page.

When complete, you’ll file your paperwork in the Indiana bankruptcy court. You’ll also include a filing fee or a request for a fee waiver and a certificate proving that you’ve completed a credit counseling course (additional information below).

Indiana Bankruptcy Information

Federal law governs Indiana bankruptcy cases, but you’ll need to know some aspects of Indiana state law, too.

Means Testing and Credit Counseling Information

The website of the U.S. Trustee publishes two types of Indiana-specific information: means testing figures and approved credit counseling providers.

  • Means testing amounts. For Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’ll need to ensure that your income will qualify and that you pass the “means test.” A household income less than the median of Indiana passes automatically. Otherwise, you might pass the test after deducting certain set expenses. You’ll find the income charts and expense figures by clicking on “Means Testing Information.” Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers don’t have to pass the means test, but a similar calculation will help determine your monthly payment.
  • Credit counseling providers. Before you file your bankruptcy case, you’ll complete a session with a credit counseling service unless most of your debt is business related. After filing, and before you receive your discharge, you’ll take a debt management course. You’ll find approved providers on the U.S. Trustee’s website under “Credit Counseling & Debtor Education.” Scroll down to find the Indiana districts.

Indiana Bankruptcy Exemptions

You won’t have to worry about losing everything when you file a bankruptcy case, but you may not get to exempt (protect) all of your property.

  • Exempt property. You can keep property that appears on the list of Indiana exemptions or the list of federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.
  • Nonexempt property. If your property doesn’t appear on the exemption list, the Chapter 7 trustee appointed to oversee your case can sell it for the benefit of your creditors. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the process is different. You can keep all your property as long as you can afford to pay for the nonexempt items in the Chapter 13 repayment plan.
  • Joint property. Spouses filing a joint bankruptcy in Indiana are allowed to double the exemption amount if they both own the property. But, the exemption cannot be doubled if only one spouse has an ownership interest.

To learn more about protecting your property, visit Indiana Bankruptcy Exemptions.

Indiana Bankruptcy Court Locations and Websites

Indiana has two federal judicial districts, and each has a bankruptcy court. On each court’s website, you’ll find the court’s local rules and instructions for filing your paperwork. (For the Northern District, click on “Filing Without An Attorney—Pro Se.” For the Southern District, click on “Court Info,” then “Jurisdiction & Where to File.”)

You can also visit the Federal Court Locator page to determine where to file your case. Click on “Bankruptcy” in the drop-down box, then insert your location.

Northern District of Indiana

Southern District of Indiana

E. Ross Adair Fed. Building and U.S. Courthouse
1300 South Harrison Street, Room 1188
Fort Wayne Indiana 46802-3435
(260) 420-5100

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
5400 Federal Plaza, Room 2200
Hammond, Indiana 46320
(219) 852-3480

Charles A. Halleck Fed. Building
230 North Fourth St., Room 105
Lafayette, Indiana 47901-1322
(765) 420-6300

Robert K. Rodibaugh U.S. Bankruptcy Courthouse
401 S Michigan Street
South Bend, Indiana 46601-2304
(574) 968-2100

Winfield K. Denton Fed. Building and U.S. Courthouse
101 Northwest Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Evansville, Indiana 47708
(812) 434-6470

Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
46 East Ohio Street, Room 116
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
(317) 229-3800

Lee H. Hamilton Fed. Building and U.S. Courthouse
121 West Spring Street
New Albany, Indiana 47150
(812) 542-4540

Filing for bankruptcy without an attorney can be tricky. You’ll need to understand many things that aren’t covered in this article, such as bankruptcy law and how it will affect your matter. You’ll find more comprehensive help in a do-it-yourself book such as How to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy by Attorney Cara O’Neill and Albin Renauer J.D.

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