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Bankruptcy filings up in Indiana

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Bankruptcy cases in federal courts have increased more than 30 percent in the fiscal year ending in September as compared to the 2007 fiscal year. In Indiana, bankruptcy cases have increased more than 25 percent in the U.S. District Court's Northern and Southern districts.

For the federal judiciary's fiscal year ending Sept. 30, the Northern and Southern Districts had 37,538 bankruptcy filings, according to statistics from U.S. Courts. Filings increased 25 percent in the Northern District and 27.5 percent in the Southern District. In the 2007 fiscal year, bankruptcies filed in Indiana totaled 29,656.

Nationally, 1,042,993 bankruptcy cases were filed in federal courts this fiscal year, as compared to the 801,269 filed in 2007.

Matthew Schiller, partner of Schiller Law Offices in Indianapolis, isn't surprised by the increase in bankruptcies here. He's seen an increase as a result of foreclosures and credit card use.

Many adjustable rate mortgages entered into two or three years ago are resetting now and increasing to the point people can't make their payments, he said. And, because of the credit crisis, people can't refinance their mortgages, get credit, or transfer credit card balances.

"We started to see an increase six to eight months ago," he said. "A lot of it is tied to credit problems."

Besides housing and credit card issues, people have filed bankruptcy as a result of unemployment, Schiller said.

While Indiana's filings have increased, the state didn't experience the extreme uptick in filings states such as Arizona, California, Florida, and Nevada have seen. Bankruptcy filings in the Central District of California went up more than 96 percent over last year; Arizona's filings increased by 73.4 percent.

As for the states bordering Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky had comparable increases to Indiana at 25.1 percent in Illinois, and 26.6 percent in Kentucky. Ohio courts saw an average increase of around 13 percent and Michigan was near 22 percent.

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  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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