Indianapolis Bankruptcy Lawyers



“Get Hope. Get Help. Get Peace of Mind.”


When you’re overwhelmed with substantial debt and don’t know where to turn, Indianapolis bankruptcy attorney and CPA Jerry E. Smith can be a safe harbor in the storm. Our law firm is focused on helping consumers solve their debt problems, including tax problems, and helping distressed homeowners save their homes. We also help small-business owners reorganize and save their businesses. We’ll provide hope, help and peace of mind.

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“Debt Relief is Stress Relief.”


Financial stress can cause a lot of sleepless nights and a great deal of worry about the future. You don’t have to go through this alone. Our clients appreciate how much time we spend with them, taking the time to educate individuals about the bankruptcy process so they feel more comfortable, confident, and relaxed about it. Knowledge is power, and by learning more about bankruptcy, it feels less intimidating.

Even responsible individuals find themselves with significant debt sometimes. Catastrophic illness, unemployment and family emergencies can wreak havoc on an otherwise sound financial footing. Experienced Indianapolis bankruptcy lawyer Jerry E. Smith has helped hundreds of clients just like you find relief, hope and a brighter financial future.

We can help STOP Indianapolis Bankruptcy Services

  • Sheriff’s Sales
  • aggressive collection actions
  • garnishments
  • Tax Sales

You’re not alone. Breathe easy. We can do this together.

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Sometimes you need help NOW! This is why we offer:

  • Evening and Weekend Consultations.
  • FREE Initial Consultations (up to one hour)
  • Many appointments can be handled by phone.

Not everyone needs the same type of help – but reach out and let’s talk about what can bring you relief.

    The Experience and Expertise You Need


    Declaring bankruptcy is both an emotional and a complicated experience. The incredible stress of outstanding debt affects all aspects of your life, professional and personal. Your concerns about protecting your assets, your business, your family, and your future are justified. Add to that the complexity of the bankruptcy process, and it’s not at all surprising that so many people become overwhelmed.

    Indianapolis bankruptcy lawyer Jerry E. Smith has a proven reputation for helping his clients navigate the bankruptcy process by leveraging both his financial and legal expertise. For years he has helped his clients work through the complicated legal system, ultimately providing them with the fresh start they need to move forward with their lives. His reputation as a calming force in what often seems like an out-of-control storm is well-earned.

    When you need help with a bankruptcy, you can count on our team. Call us at (317) 917-8680 to get started. We’ll provide hope, help and peace of mind.

    The Bankruptcy Process in Indiana

    1All individuals in Indiana who file bankruptcy are required to undergo credit counseling within six months before filing their bankruptcy petition. You will also need to complete a financial management instructional course (typically online) after your filing takes place. The 2005 Bankruptcy Act requires these steps, and your experienced Indianapolis bankruptcy lawyer can guide you in finding organizations that provide these educational resources.
    2You will have to undergo a means test in which your income and expenses will be analyzed to see if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Courts will look at your average income for the six months prior to bankruptcy filing and analyze it in relation to the median income for Indiana. You can automatically qualify to file Chapter 7 if your income is below the median. If you’re above the median, then there are additional steps to determine whether you can file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
    3You’ll itemize your income sources and monthly living expenses; list all major financial transactions in the last two years; document all your property, including real estate, autos, and all other assets and possessions; and list current secured and unsecured debts. You’ll need to collect deeds to your real estate, your last two years’ tax returns, loan documents and titles to your vehicles. Experienced Indianapolis bankruptcy lawyer Jerry E. Smith will help determine which properties are exempt from seizure and file a two-page petition and forms, called the “schedules.”

    Chapter 7 Bankruptcy


    Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common and simplest type of bankruptcy protection for individuals. It is often referred to as “liquidation bankruptcy,” which means that assets are sold to pay secured debt to creditors. Chapter 7 is also sometimes used by small businesses.

    After liquidating assets to pay secured debt, most or all of your unsecured debt is discharged. An experienced Indianapolis bankruptcy lawyer will help you discharge credit cards, personal loans, department store credit, and other similar debt. Student loans, alimony and child support typically cannot be eliminated through bankruptcy.

    Chapter 11 Bankruptcy


    Chapter 11 bankruptcy is the most complex form of bankruptcy. It is a form of “reorganization bankruptcy” often employed by corporations that need to get a handle on significant debt so that day-to-day business operations can continue.

    During Chapter 11 proceedings, the court helps a company restructure its debts and obligations while keeping the business’s doors open. Because it is the most complex, Chapter 11 is also the most expensive form of bankruptcy.

    Therefore, it’s often important to explore other forms of bankruptcy before deciding to pursue Chapter 11. A skilled and experienced Indianapolis bankruptcy lawyer can help you do this.

    Chapter 12 Bankruptcy


    Chapter 12 bankruptcy is designed for farmers and fishermen who run into overwhelming debt while still generating an income. This type of bankruptcy was created to give economically stressed farmers and fishermen a framework for reorganizing their debt so they can continue with their livelihood and business operations.

    This highly specialized form of bankruptcy is not appropriate for individuals or companies outside the farming and fishing industries. For those that meet its requirements, Chapter 12 usually provides more benefits and/or less cost than the alternatives, being Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13.

    Chapter 13 Bankruptcy


    Often referred to as a reorganization or “wage earner bankruptcy,” Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a process whereby an individual with a steady income but overwhelming debt can pause and reestablish their financial footing while continuing to meet some of their debt obligations.

    For example, Chapter 13 halts any foreclosure action and allows you to remain in your family home. Chapter 13 allows you to repay a portion of your debt obligation through a court-approved repayment plan. Remaining eligible debt is discharged after you have successfully completed the plan.

    Bankruptcy Litigation


    Litigation can arise in the bankruptcy process when you or a creditor wants to challenge a decision or some aspect of the process. This doesn’t occur in most bankruptcy filings, but our firm is ready to take these cases on when they do occur. Attorney CPA Jerry E. Smith is skilled and experienced at representing his clients in any form of bankruptcy litigation.

    Bankruptcy FAQs

    Bankruptcy Questions & Answers

    In most cases, you won’t lose your house or vehicle during bankruptcy, as long as your property meets exemption thresholds in Indiana. However, to keep your house or car, you will need to continue making monthly mortgage and car payments until these are paid off.
    Generally, student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. This debt typically remains after your bankruptcy is completed. There are some narrow exceptions if you can prove that the student loans create “undue hardship.” Your bankruptcy attorney can advise you about whether you might qualify for this exception.
    Chapter 7 bankruptcy will wipe out most unsecured debts, personal loans and other debts. The types of debts that Chapter 7 cannot erase include alimony, child support, some taxes, loans you secured by providing false information, debts you forgot to list on your bankruptcy petition, and any debts that the court deems you secured through fraud or maliciousness. Obviously, if you choose to keep your house and vehicle, those debts and monthly payments will remain in effect.
    Chapter 13 includes creating a repayment plan in which you’ll show how you plan to repay debts over the next 3 to 5 years. Both individuals and businesses can file a reorganization plan under Chapter 13, which needs to be approved by the court. You can consolidate real estate, equipment, a house, vehicles and other assets in Chapter 13, but you must show that you have adequate income to both pay for your necessities and keep up with monthly plan payments to creditors.
    Calls and letters from debt collectors will stop immediately after they receive notice of your bankruptcy petition (typically 10-14 days after your bankruptcy filing). Chapter 7, the simplest and most streamlined bankruptcy, typically involves a meeting with the Trustee 30-45 days after filing, and debts can be discharged as soon as 60 days thereafter. Chapter 11, 12 and 13 bankruptcies typically require payments over time and may take 3-5 years. An affordable Indianapolis bankruptcy lawyer can look at your individual situation and give you an estimate about how long your bankruptcy may take.”

    The Value of a Seasoned Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney


    The process of declaring bankruptcy requires a great deal of administration as well as an in-depth knowledge of local law. Jerry E. Smith’s clients benefit from the combination of his financial expertise (he is a CPA), his knowledge of Indiana bankruptcy laws, and his hands-on experience helping clients in Indianapolis. He understands how the process works locally and leverages this information to guide his clients.

    Bankruptcy law is complicated. Those struggling must determine the best choices for their financial future. For many, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the simplest and most efficient means to an end, while for others Chapter 13 bankruptcy (much more complex) is a better decision.

    As a bankruptcy lawyer in Indianapolis, Jerry E. Smith also provides advice and counsel to those seeking other forms of bankruptcy, like Chapter 12 (for farmers and fishermen) or Chapter 13 (wage earner bankruptcy). As your bankruptcy attorney, Jerry E. Smith will help you determine the best course of action for your specific situation.

    What You Can Expect When You Work with Our Bankruptcy Lawyer


    Jerry E. Smith will review all your information to understand your financial history as well as your current financial position. Perhaps just as important, he will consult with you to determine your future financial goals. And he will manage the entire process, from beginning to end, making sure all required documentation is complete and filed in a timely manner. He knows the “rules” and will make sure you comply with them all. This is the first step in successfully moving forward.

    If you are struggling financially, the advice of a high-quality bankruptcy lawyer in Indianapolis can help. Contact Jerry E. Smith today at (317) 917-8680 for your free consultation, up to one hour. Don’t spend your energy worrying – devote it toward a better tomorrow.

    “Get Hope. Get Help. Get Peace of Mind.”

    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney Jerry E. Smith and his legal team have helped hundreds of clients who faced the same financial difficulties you are. We encourage individuals and businesses to view this opportunity as a fresh start. Though it may not feel like it now, bankruptcy can be the first step toward a brighter financial future.

    To find out more about how we can help, contact us today at (317) 917-8680. The initial consultation is free up to one hour. We’ll stand beside you every step of the way.