With Anderson, Indiana being one of four cities where I offer bankruptcy services, I’m always on the alert for news about auto manufacturing and sales. Just last week, I discussed the new “Cash For Clunkers” program, saying I hoped that program would prove a help to Anderson auto dealers.

A lot has been happening around that program, whose official title is CARS, which stands for “Car Allowance Rebate System” or Consumer Assistance Recycle and Save Act of 2009″, depending on whom you ask.  The original CARS was to last four months, to the end of this year.  After less than one week, the cash allotted to the program was all but spoken for in vouchers dealers had given to consumers.  A bill was quickly introduced to add $2 billion and to extend the program through September 2010. Think of CARS as one aspect of the overall stimulus package the government hopes will jumpstart our economy.  Owners of gas-guzzling cars and trucks are offered $3,500-$4,500 towards the purchase of a new car that will be more fuel-efficient. 

As an Indiana bankruptcy lawyer, I have several reasons to have an intense interest in the CARS program:

1.  Almost always, both avoiding bankruptcy and emerging from bankruptcy are dependent upon jobs. And, almost always, finding and getting to a job depends upon having a car.

2.  Through these Indiana bankruptcy blogs, I try to help readers avoid scams.  Online scammers have seized the opportunity of the Cash For Clunkers program to try to illegally obtain consumers’ personal information.

3.  One of the goals of CARS is to boost auto sales.  As a small business bankruptcy specialist, I am hoping Anderson’s auto dealers will be helped by the program.

4.  At the same time, I realize other categories of small business could be hurt by CARS.  In fact, the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association strongly opposes CARS, saying it destroys vehicles with many more years of life, “pulling vehicles from the aftermarket supply chain.” AAIA represents the interest many small business owners who have auto repair shops, parts stores, and distribution outlets.

Thinking about these small business owners, who might be hurt by forces beyond their control, reminds me of Jeff Yarborough, who was interviewed by Fortune Small Business Magazine almost two years ago.  Yarborough told the magazine that his bankruptcy filing was “the smartest thing he ever did.”