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Chapter 13 Average Monthly Payment

What is the average Chapter 13 monthly payment that most people face during their Chapter 13 case?   Although an average amount can be estimated, different types of cases result in different ranges for calculating an average Chapter 13 monthly payment.  The average payment for a Chapter 13 varies within these various case types.

The Overall Chapter 13 Average Payment

The average payment for a Chapter 13 case overall is probably about $500 to $600 per month.   This information, however, may not be very helpful for your particular situation.  It takes into account a large number of low payment amounts where low income debtors are paying very little back.  Then it averages out the larger payments of $1000 to $2000 or more.  These higher-payment-cases are usually due to higher income and housing repayment requirements.   Cases in the $500 to $600 range are very common and reflect debtors who are usually paying at least one automobile through the plan and possibly some other “average-type” repayment requirements.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Payment Due

The Low-End Chapter 13 Payment “Average”

Cases within the $200-$300 per-month range (or less) are extremely common within the Chapter 13 system.  These cases usually reflect medium to lower income debtors who need to only address some basic repayment requirements.  Also, sometimes these lower-average cases are for situations where debtors are “forced” to file Chapter 13.  In such cases, the debtor cannot file Chapter 7 because they are currently “barred” (unable to file Chapter 7 because 8 years has not yet passed from filing of a previous Chapter 7).

Paying House Payments and Arrears Cause the “Average” to Be Much Higher

If you are facing foreclosure or are behind in house payments, your Chapter 13 plan payment will be much higher.  The “average” plan payment for such cases is usually closer to $1500 per month.   Sometimes it can even be much greater.  This is simply because the normal, ongoing mortgage payment along with the arrears must be fully paid throughout the life of the plan.   In addition, the Trustee usually charges a “conduit” fee to pay the ongoing mortgage payment through the plan.   The average plan payment is always higher in such cases.

High Income Bumps Up Your Average Payment

If you have high income, your “average” monthly Chapter 13 plan payment will likely be bumped up considerably.  Depending on the range of your income, your payment could raise much higher.  High income, high debt Chapter 13 filers very frequently face payments averaging in the $2000-$3000 range or even greater.  On average, Chapter 13 will force such filers to repay a high percentage of the debt.  Many times this will rise up to the 60%, 80%, or even 100% range of repayment.   Still, these debtors will receive all the benefits of the Chapter 13 including 0% or dramatically reduced interest rates.  They will also benefit from the rigid protections that Chapter 13 always offers.

Montgomery County Indiana Bankruptcy Attorney: Knowing the Facts

Knowing the facts about bankruptcy and attorneys in Montgomery County Indiana may seem a strange topic to research.  The beauty and rich history of Montgomery County could easily distract many people from such mundane facts.    From the winding Sugar Creek, to the parks, to historic downtown Crawfordsville: it’s perfectly Indiana.  Even the movie “Hoosiers” was filmed largely in Montgomery County, featuring New Richmond as the “Hickory” Indiana of yesteryear.  However, Montgomery County is perfectly the prototypically Indiana “scene.”  Examining Montgomery County can help one understand bankruptcy throughout the whole state of Indiana.

How Many Bankruptcies are Filed in Montgomery County Indiana Each Year?

An average of 180 bankruptcy cases are filed in Montgomery County each year. Recently, bankruptcies have been slightly in decline in Montgomery County.   This decline in Montgomery County bankruptcy filings is only following, however, the general U.S. trend of the last few years towards a decline of total bankruptcy filings.  Most bankruptcy cases (over 70%) filed in Montgomery County are Chapter 7 with the majority of the rest filed under Chapter 13. Below is listed the total bankruptcy filings for Montgomery County for the last 8 years:

  • 2008 – 170 total filings
  • 2009 – 210 total filings
  • 2010 – 235 total filings
  • 2011 – 180 total filings
  • 2012 – 180 total filings
  • 2013 – 137 total filings
  • 2014 –  90 total filings
  • 2015 – 120 total filings
  • 2016 – 89 total filings (note: 2016 amount predicted)

Why are Bankruptcy Cases not Handled through the Montgomery County Indiana Courthouse?

Bankruptcy is a Federal matter which means that you must ask for your bankruptcy relief through a Federal Court.   The closest (and the appropriate) federal court where you can ask for bankruptcy relief is the Indiana Southern District Bankruptcy Court in Indianapolis.  All people that live in Montgomery County Indiana must file for bankruptcy relief through this court that is located in Indianapolis.

Does that mean I have to go to Indianapolis to find a Bankruptcy Attorney?

You do not need to seek an attorney that is located in Indianapolis.  Any Indiana attorney that is admitted to practice in the Indiana’s Southern Federal District is capable of filing for bankruptcy relief and represent a client in bankruptcy.  This basically means that you can use most bankruptcy attorneys throughout Indiana.

However, there may be some advantage of searching for bankruptcy attorney that is located closer to Indianapolis.  Most higher-volume, experienced bankruptcy attorneys are located closer to Indianapolis because of the larger market for bankruptcy there.   If you seek an attorney closer to to Indianapolis, you may find more options and possibly lower attorney fees for filing your case.

Our Bankruptcy Office’s Experience Working with Montgomery County Residents

We have always helped a great number of Montgomery County residents file for bankruptcy over the years.   We are very familiar with the area. People from Montgomery County like our office because it is easy to get to from I-74.  They also love our office because of the relaxed, country, Montgomery-County-like setting.   Let us know if you have any questions about getting out of debt.

Crawfordsville Indiana Bankruptcy Office Town Pictures

Because of our close proximity off of I-74, we serve people from Crawfordsville all the time. We offer very affordable fees and a very friendly staff to help you get through your financial troubles.



Marion County Sheriff Sale: Understanding and Stopping the Sale

A Marion County sheriff sale can be a cause of great alarm.  If you do not want to lose your house in a sheriff sale, then you need to know some important information about how sheriff sales work.  We will discuss how Marion County Indiana sheriff sales work and how they can be stopped.

Marion County Sheriff Sale

Understanding the Process of Sheriff Sales

In Marion County, Indiana, sheriff sales are conducted every month at the City-County building.   If your home goes through this sheriff sale, you will lose all rights to your property.  Essentially, you will no longer be the owner of the property: the bank or the new buyer will be the owner.  You could be ejected immediately from the property if you remain there after the sheriff sale.  Or, in some cases, the new owner may be forced to go through an eviction process to remove you from the property.  Therefore, it is very important to have a plan to prevent a sheriff sale from occurring if you want to retain your property.

These Indiana Marion County sheriff sales usually only are scheduled after a mortgage foreclosure judgment is obtained.   (Marion County sheriff sales could be scheduled outside a mortgage foreclosure situation but it is rare). You should receive notice of both the original foreclosure action and then the eventual scheduling of the sheriff sale.  Your notice of sheriff sale will likely come in folded thick paper that outlines the time and date that the sale will occur.  You will usually have approximately 45 days notice.

If you did not receive notice but suspect that your home is scheduled for sheriff sale, you can obtain a list of scheduled Marion County sheriff sales.  You can obtain this list through calling the Civil Office Real Estate Office by calling (317) 327-2450.  You can also obtain this list in person during weekly business hours by going to the City County building on Washington Street and going to room 1122 on the 11th floor.  This list can also be obtained by a small fee through the following site:

Keep in mind that you should have already received notice of both the original mortgage foreclosure and the sheriff sale.  If you have the Marion County Civil court case number, you can also look up the information by going the Marion County Clerk’s Office or by using the My Case search system that is available at the following link:  Remember, that Indiana’s state court system is transitioning into an online search system.  Therefore, some information on certain cases may not be available.

Stopping the Sheriff Sale

Stopping a Marion County sheriff sale takes a very powerful operation of law.   Essentially, there are two mainstream ways of stopping a sheriff sale: 1) Convincing your mortgage lender to cancel the sale and 2) filing for bankruptcy.  Let’s discuss these two options.

Stopping the Sale by Convincing the Mortgage Lender

First, a very uncertain but potentially valuable way for cancelling a sheriff sale is to convince the  mortgage company to cancel it. If you can work out a loan modification or forbearance agreement, you may be able to convince the mortgage company to cancel the sale.  You could also seek a remedy at the state court level to cancel the sale, but this option is very limited and not likely to succeed.   This attempt to cancel a sheriff sale outside of bankruptcy is very limited and unpredictable.  Although it can be attempted if you desire to save your home, two things must be stressed.  First, if you are already at the sheriff sale stage, it may be too late.  You should have probably finished working something out with the mortgage company months ago before the sale date was set.   Second, you should probably have a bankruptcy back up plan if this first option does not work.

Stopping the Sale through Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy – whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 – is the most cost effective and powerful way usually of canceling a sheriff sale.  Bankruptcy also can help you take care of other burdensome debts.   At the moment a bankruptcy case is filed, all collection activity immediately is stopped.  This includes any scheduled sheriff sale.

In Chapter 7, the Marion County sheriff sale will be cancelled only temporarily.  You will usually have 3-5 more months (or more) to work something out with the lender such as a loan modification.   At the close of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all of your debt will be forgiven (except for a few exceptions).  Remember, however, that Chapter 7 has no mechanism for bringing the house up-to-date with the mortgage company.  After your Chapter 7, you would not have a built-in plan to get into good standings again with your mortgage company.  If you do nothing, eventually another sheriff sale will be set for your property.

In Chapter 13, the Indiana Marion County sheriff sale will be cancelled permanently if you desire.  This is because the Chapter 13 has a built-in mechanism for bringing you back into good standing with the mortgage company.  You can pay your normal mortgage payment and any arrears (portion you are behind on) through the Chapter 13 plan.  You will not have to bring your house back up to date in one lump sum.  Instead, through monthly payments, you pay your normal mortgage payment, your arrears, and any other debts trough the Chapter 13 plan.   If you enter Chapter 13, your sheriff sale will be permanently cancelled if you choose to reorganize the house situation through the plan.

Conclusion: Marion County Sheriff Sales Need Immediate Attention

If you are scheduled for a Marion County Sheriff sale, it is important that you seek a bankruptcy attorney immediately.  If you desire to keep the property, it is vitally important that you arrange your bankruptcy case to be filed BEFORE the sheriff sale occurs.  If you have receive a Marion County (or any other Indiana County) sheriff sale notice, contact our office immediately for a free consultation.

Indiana Chapter 7 vs Indiana Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

John Bymaster discusses Chapter 7 vs 13

This article compares the benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Indiana versus Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 can be a cost effective and powerful solution to your debt problems if you live in Indiana. Let’s discuss the differences between the two.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Indiana

The most common bankruptcy remedy that our office helps people file and the greater Indianapolis area is Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the total elimination or “discharge” of your debts. Chapter 7 is so powerful because of the speed in which all of your debt are erased. It is the fastest way to achieve a fresh start and to get back moving in a good financial direction.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Indiana can also help you rebuild your credit quickly. If you have bad credit, your credit history and rating improve almost instantly upon filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is because all of your bad past credit history is instantly replaced with a single entry of the date and place in which you filed the Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You will almost instantly receive credit offers in the mail for items such as automobile loans or possibly smaller balance credit cards. After two years, you will likely be able to rebuild your credit a considerable degree if you continue on making timely payments in credit accounts.

Remember, if you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and want to keep your house and cars you will need to continue making those payments. However, all of your debts are discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. That means that you will no longer be personally liable for any of your debts. Remember also that certain debts cannot be discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy such as recent income tax debt, child support, or student loans.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Indiana

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Indiana is much different than Chapter 7 because it is a 3 to 5 year repayment plan that reorganizes your debts. Chapter 13 is a much different approach to debt relief than chapter 7. Instead of focusing on your assets and then discharging all of your debts like in Chapter 7, the Chapter 13 case focuses on what you are able to repay to your creditors.

Chapter 13 possesses many attributes that a simple Chapter 7 case lacks in its simplicity. Chapter 13, unlike Chapter 7, can be used as a versatile tool of debt reorganization. Chapter 13 cases are used to bring mortgages up-to-date and repay arrears. They can also bring automobiles up to date and sometimes drastically change the terms of repayment for the automobile. Chapter 13’s can also be used to avoid second and third mortgages in certain situations.

Chapter 13 cases are also used to achieve debt relief when you have either too much income or too many assets to file under Chapter 7. In addition, some Chapter 13 filers use their case to keep creditors satisfied with a lower, single payment – something much better and more organized than what could be achieved outside of bankruptcy. With almost all Chapter 13 filers, the Chapter 13 case is also used to stop aggressive collection or communication with creditors during the duration of their plan.

Conclusion: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are Both Powerful and Cost-Effective Ways to Deal With Excessive Debt

Although Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 approach debt relief in quite a different way, both types of filings are very powerful ways of dealing with excessive debt. Chapter 7 is simple: it quickly eliminates all dischargeable debts. Chapter 13 is somewhat more complex but much more versatile: it offers a variety of mechanisms that can reorganize your debts.

~Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney John Bymaster on Indiana Chapter 7 vs Indiana Chapter 13 Bankruptcy





Discount Bankruptcy in Indiana

 More Bankruptcy Attorneys and Less Bankruptcy Cases

Image of Discount Bankruptcy

There has been a marked recent decline in total bankruptcy filings across the United States. Because there are less bankruptcy filings there has been more competition to file the cases among attorneys. This has resulted in discounted, reduced rates for bankruptcy services. Discount bankruptcy is very common now: for some reason there are more bankruptcy attorneys even though there are less total cases.

Why Are There Less Cases Resulting in Discount Bankruptcy?

After the 2008 financial crisis, there was an increased amount of bankruptcy filings that quickly came onto the scene. Before 2008, high credit card balances were extremely common. In addition, 2008 brought with it a massive amount of homeowners who could no longer support their mortgage payments and were left with negative equity situations. Bankruptcy quickly was on the rise, reaching over 20,000 cases that were filed in the Indiana Southern District alone. This increase in filings culminated in 2011 and then markedly declined thereafter.

Why the Decline in Total Cases?

Contrary to popular belief, the number of bankruptcy filings does not exactly equate to troublesome economic times. The increase of bankruptcy filings can only be stimulated for a short period of time by economic failures that result in job loss and other factors that lead to bankruptcy. What really drives bankruptcy is a healthy economy where consumer lending is very free, easy, and prevalent. Ironically, It can be argued that only a healthy modern economy will result in high or consistent U.S. bankruptcy filings.

If There are Less Bankruptcy Cases, Why Are There More Attorneys Now Offering Bankruptcy Services?

The reason why there are more attorneys out there offering discount bankruptcy services is due to the fact that there is a surplus of attorneys and there is limited legal work opportunities due to the progressively failing United States economy. Therefore, attorneys are picking up additional practice areas that may include discount or affordable bankruptcy services. Some attorneys are only offering bankruptcy services but others are just adding it to their list of practice areas.

Discount Bankruptcy Can Sometimes Not Be The Way To Go

Usually, the best way to go is to find an attorney that has only done bankruptcy as their majority practice area for a considerable period of time. A newer office or an office that has added bankruptcy as a discount service can sometimes be a bad choice. This office may not be sufficiently familiar with the bankruptcy system and its laws. Make sure to find an experienced attorney with affordable rates: this will result in a better experience While still saving you money.

Conclusion:  Discount Bankruptcy Can Save You Money but Be Careful

The search for affordable, cheap, and discounted bankruptcy services can sometimes lead a potential bankruptcy filer into a very bad direction. When you are searching for discount bankruptcy services, remember that “you get what you pay for.” Always use an attorney when filing for bankruptcy and make sure that attorney’s office is experienced with an obvious history of getting many people out of debt.

~Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney John Bymaster on Discount Bankruptcy in Indiana