As the new year gets off to a start, many people in Indiana may be wanting to focus on finding a solution to their debt in 2019. For some consumers, January can be exceptionally hard as the post-holiday spending spree can either propel them into debt or make an existing debt situation even worse.

Bankruptcy is not generally a first course of action for getting out of debt but there are situations when it may be the best choice. Many people avoid considering bankruptcy because they are afraid of the stigma they feel is associated with it. However, they need to know they are far from alone.

According to the United States Courts, there were almost 774,000 new bankruptcy filings across the country between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018. The number of national bankruptcy filings in this time was about two percent less than in the prior year.

In Indiana specifically, records from the American Bankruptcy Institute show that between January, 1, 2018 and November 30, 2018, the number of new bankruptcy cases filed was only one percent less than during the same 11 months of 2017. Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings in the state outpaced Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings roughly two to one. In all, a total of 21,139 new bankruptcy cases were filed in Indiana. Sixty-five percent of the new filings in the first 11 months of 2018 were for Chapter 7 bankruptcy plans and 34 percent were for Chapter 13 bankruptcy plans. It is not known how many of those cases were completed in 2018 and how many may still be pending. Chapter 13 plans last between three and five years.