Bankruptcies booming again

Bad times have Hoosiers filing lots more personal bankruptcies, right in synch with a national trend.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana, which includes Indianapolis, logged 2,936 bankruptcies last month. That was a heady increase from a year earlier and nearly three times the level of 2006, when federal law was changed to make filing more difficult.

Indianapolis bankruptcy attorney Mark Zuckerberg noticed a marked uptick in January. People hoped for a good Christmas, then at the start of the year were hit with bills, bad economic news and other realities.

Most have lost jobs and their health insurance, Zuckerberg says. As a result, a medical problem tips them into bankruptcy.

Contractors and mortgage brokers are still suffering from the housing bust, and restaurant owners are fighting a downturn in business.

Many have exhausted retirement accounts or their life insurance policies, Zuckerberg says. “It’s filtering down. They’re running out of cash.”

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