Bankruptcy filings in Indiana slipped slightly in 2016 while average monthly income inched higher, mirroring a national trend highlighted in an annual report filed by the Judiciary with the U.S. Congress.
The report, required by Congress under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, reviews the chapter 7, 11 and 13 filings by individuals who have primarily consumer debt. For the calendar year of 2016, the aggregated total liabilities of $191 billion were nearly triple the aggregated assets of $72 billion.
This represents a decline in total assets by consumer debtors of 7 percent from 2015 and a drop in total liabilities of about 8 percent. Overall, consumer bankruptcy petitions sank 6 percent from 2015, to 750,000.
In Indiana, filings dropped 9 percent, from a total of 25,203 in 2015 to 22,915 last year.
The Northern District reported 9,434 cases in 2016. Total assets were $562 million and total liabilities were $984.2 million. A year earlier, the number of cases reached 10,359 while assets and liabilities totaled $646.2 million and $1.14 billion, respectively.
Similarly, the Southern District, which includes the Indianapolis area, reported 13,481 bankruptcy cases last year. Total assets were $793.5 million and total liabilities were $1.4 billion. In 2015, there were 14,844 cases with assets totaling $920.9 million and liabilities totaling $1.60 billion.
Nationally, the average monthly income reported by debtors in 2016 was $2,668 and the average monthly expenses were $2,590. This is up marginally from 2015 where the average monthly income was $2,636 and the average monthly expenses were $2,581.
Indiana was slightly below the national averages.
Debtors in the Northern District reported an average monthly income of $2,494 and average monthly expenses of $2,380. A year early, the average monthly income was $2,465 and the average monthly expenses were $2,370.
Likewise, in the Southern District, debtors had an average monthly income of $2,602 and average monthly expenses of $2,489. In 2015, the average monthly income was $2,552 and average monthly expenses were $2,466.