Activity is beginning to heat up at the Indiana Statehouse, as the January deadline for committee work approaches. As a bankruptcy attorney in Indiana, I always have my ear to the ground for issues having to do with consumers and small businesses and managing financial matters. There are actually two legislative bills under discussion at the statehouse this short spring session that have to do with money matters.

The first bill is Senate Bill 195, authored by Representative Young. This bill increases the minimum amount of financial responsibility required to operate a motor vehicle. Right now the minimum responsibility for injury caused to one person is $25,000, and $50,000 for injury to two or more people. The proposed bill would raised these amounts to $40,000 for one person and $80,000 for two or more people injured.

The second bill is House Bill 1036, authored by Representative Ulmer. This bill makes it mandatory for a driver who is stopped by a police officer for a moving traffic offense, or a driver who is involved in an accident resulting in damage of at least $1,000, personal injury or death, to fail to submit proof of financial responsibility to the state police.

I’ve written before about individual bankruptcies that are precipitated by auto accidents. Each of these bills, if passed, would relate to the financial situation of consumers. As a consumer bankruptcy specialist in Indiana , I imagine that, with new and stricter requirements on drivers, automobile accidents might become even more strongly linked to bankruptcy filings.