Photo: 401K 2012 (Flickr)
Personal bankruptcy filings continue on a downward trend in Indiana. Bankruptcy attorney Mark Zuckerberg says personal filings are down about 17 percent from last year.
Zuckerberg says in the past, people would file Chapter 13 to save their homes, but now there are many government programs that allow people to hold onto their homes without filing bankruptcy.
He says the downward trend could reverse come Octobe when the eight-year waiting period on Chapter 7 filing expires.
“We do have a lot of repeat filers but the reasons why they‘re filing is not because they‘re trying to manipulate the system,” Zuckerberg says. “Maybe somebody had a heart attack and they had no insurance or poor insurance we file a bankruptcy for them, we get rid of their medical bills and then they have another medical condition. You know, that‘s beyond their control.”
He says many people are using the programs. He adds that bankruptcies are down nationwide which remains a topic of discussion among bankruptcy attorneys. Zuckerberg says 95 percent of his clients have either lost their jobs, homes or had high medical bills with no insurance or had very high credit card bills.
He says many attorneys are anticipating people who have previously filed will have made it eight years and may file again. Statistics show that many people who file bankruptcy once will file again.
Zuckerberg says bankruptcy remains designed to help people get a fresh financial start and no longer has the stigma that it once had. However, he adds it should be avoided and filings remain on your credit report for 7-10 years.