As of the beginning of this month, all but one of the 38 Indiana counties served by my Indiana bankruptcy law offices have been added to the federal disaster declaration list. This is one of those bad news/good news things I am so used to in my line of work. What I mean is that, when clients come to see a bankruptcy attorney, they’re wrestling with bad news, not good. Nevertheless, it’s good news that they’ve sought professional help, so we can get to work on them making a fresh start. I think the news about the disaster list falls in the same category. Obviously the flood damage is very, very bad news. The fact that help is available for eligible individuals and businesses to recover from the effects of severe storms and flooding, though, is the beginning of something good.
The latest two counties to be added to the list are Hendricks (Danville area) and Tippecanoe (Lafayette areas). Officials from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) made the announcement on July 1st. Counties already included are Adams, Bartholomew (which I mentioned in my blog on Columbus, With HUD Help, Columbus Homeowners Hit By Flooding Might Avoid Foreclosure), Brown, Clay, Daviess, Dearborn, Decatur, Gibson, Grant, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Henry, Huntington, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Marion, Monroe (Bloomington area), Morgan, Owen, Parke, Pike, Posey, Putnam, Randolph, Ripley, Rush, Shelby, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo, Washington, and Wayne.
As a personal and business bankruptcy attorney in Indiana, it’s vital that I help my clients locate and then navigate all the resources available to them to avoid foreclosure, negotiate with creditors, and then, if bankruptcy is inevitable, select which class of bankruptcy filing is best for their situation. Many Indiana residents were under severe financial pressure even before the flooding, due to some combination of the usual factors that lead to bankruptcy (medical expenses, divorce, job layoffs, housing crisis, and tax liens). Storm damage to homes and business in these counties only added to the problem. But apparently help is not merely on the way – it’s here! My task is to help people find and use that help.