Indiana Debt Relief

Indiana Debt Relief: Escape the Debt Trap

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Indiana is home to roughly 6,833,037 people. The average personal income is $50,440, while the average debt per Indiana resident is $40,770 and rising. The state’s overall poverty rate is 11.9%, the 27th highest in the country.

While debt is a major problem for many Indiana residents, multiple forms of Indiana debt relief and economic assistance programs exist to help.

Are you eligible for debt relief?

If you’re an Indiana resident, DebtHammer may be able to help.

Indiana debt statistics

Here are the most recent statistics on debt in Indiana:

  • Average individual debt: $40,770
  • Average student loan debt: $32,874
  • Average credit score: 712
  • Median mortgage payment: $1,130
  • Bankruptcies: 2,873
  • Personal income/Annual mean wage: $50,440
  • Child poverty: 14.8%
  • Unemployment: 3.0%

Debt relief options for Indiana residents

These are the most common forms of Indiana debt relief for residents:

  • Debt management plan (DMP): Available through nonprofit credit counseling companies, DMPs can help residents dealing with large amounts of expensive debt. Through an agency, a credit counselor will work on the borrower’s behalf to try to lower monthly payments, reduce interest rates, and waive late fees.
  • Debt consolidation loans: A debt consolidation loan lets you combine two or more debts into a single loan, usually with a lower overall interest rate.
  • Debt settlement: The process of debt settlement involves working with your creditors to reduce how much you owe on an existing debt. Most people do this through a debt settlement agency.
  • DIY plans: A DIY plan could help if you’re trying to settle debts, waive certain fees, set up a better repayment plan, or lower interest rates.
  • Bankruptcy: Declaring bankruptcy could give you a fresh start by wiping out most unsecured debts, but it could also ruin your credit score. Speak with an attorney about whether you should file.

Debt settlement in Indiana

With a debt settlement plan, you could reduce what you owe on certain unsecured debts, including:

  • Credit cards
  • Lines of credit
  • Personal loans
  • Department store cards
  • Student loans in default
  • Old judgments

Debt settlement could be right for you if you’re falling behind on multiple monthly debt payments or regular bills. It could also help if you’re frequently using expensive forms of financing, such as cash advance apps, payday loans, or credit cards, to pay for daily bills.

Most people go through an agency for debt settlement. During the process, you’ll need to start making monthly payments into a secure account. While you do this, an agency professional will negotiate with your creditors to reduce how much you owe on an account. If a settled amount is agreed upon, the agency will pay your creditor the new amount in a lump sum using the secure account.

The debt settlement agency may ask you to stop making payments on any debts you’re trying to settle. This could lead to late fees or hurt your credit score, but it could also increase your odds of success.

Indiana debt relief companies

Need debt relief in Indiana? Here are some of the best debt relief companies:

  • InCreditable Advisors: 22 E Washington St #640a, Indianapolis, IN 46204; (317) 202-1297
  • Apprisen: 3725 E Southport Rd Suite E, Indianapolis, IN 46227; (317) 266-1300

Debt settlement attorneys

The following attorneys work in debt settlement and other forms of debt relief in Indiana:

Debt resources for Indiana residents facing hardship

Indiana offers a variety of debt relief programs and resources to residents struggling with money. Among other things, these can help with things like:

  • Mortgage or rent payments
  • Power or water bills
  • Healthcare expenses
  • Childcare assistance
  • Pro bono or low-cost legal assistance

Indiana also has food banks and food pantries throughout the state to help the 726,020 residents facing hunger or food insecurity. These include:

Here’s a comprehensive list of food banks and assistance programs in Indiana.

Debt collection laws in Indiana

In Indiana, debt collection agencies — that is, any partnership, firm, limited liability company, or individual — must register with the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System to operate in the state. They must also maintain and renew their licensing as long as they intend to try to collect debts.

Indiana also follows the federal guidelines of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from engaging in certain activities during debt collection. For example, they cannot:

  • Use harassment or make verbal threats to try to collect money.
  • Engage in deceptive, manipulative, illegal, or unfair tactics.
  • Contact the borrower at odd times or at work or home (unless given express permission).
  • Contact the borrower’s friends, coworkers, or family members except to get in touch with the borrower.
  • Claim to be a government or legal representative.
  • Attempt to collect on interest or other fees outside of the debt contract.

Income and employment in Indiana

In April 2020, Indiana has an unemployment rate of 16.8%. That number has since declined to just 3.0%, which is lower than the national average. Currently, Indiana ranks 37th in terms of job creation with 76,100 new jobs.

Indiana has both right-to-work and employment-at-will laws.

Right-to-work states essentially allow employees to work without requiring them to join a union. This means they don’t have to pay union dues, but it could also lower their job security or mean reduced wages.

Employment-at-will states are states in which an employer can legally fire any employee with or without a reason. There are two major exceptions to this. The reason cannot be discriminatory or illegal in nature. The termination must not go against what’s stated in the contract.

How to apply for unemployment benefits in Indiana

Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development website has a straightforward application process for applying for unemployment benefits. Once you’ve navigated to their website, there are three simple steps to follow:

  1. Use the self-service filing system called Uplink to begin the application process. If you haven’t registered yet, you’ll need to create an account. You’ll need certain information to file for benefits. This includes a valid e-mail address (this also serves as your Uplink username), valid ID, SSN, phone number, date of birth, and information related to your previous employer.
  2. Once you’ve completed your initial claim, you must submit weekly vouchers through Uplink for continued benefits.
  3. Finally, wait until you receive a Monetary Determination of Eligibility form. This form does not indicate eligibility for unemployment insurance, but it does show the maximum benefit amount each week and in total. It also indicates the total length of time you can receive benefits.

Banking and taxes in Indiana

Indiana’s state income tax is 3.23%. The sales tax rate is 7%.

Around 5.6% of Indiana residents are currently unbanked, which means they don’t have a checking or savings account. In many cases, people who are unbanked end up using expensive forms of credit — like payday loans — to cover short-term costs. Left unchecked, this could lead to greater debt or long-term financial issues.

Indiana housing market

The current average housing price in Indiana is $227,978, up by 12.2% since last year. This is still much lower than the national average home value of $357,544. Around 69.9% of Indiana homes are owner-occupied.

The median mortgage payment in Indiana is $1,146. In contrast, the typical rent for an 879-square-foot apartment in Indianapolis is $1,108. Rent prices may vary by location and apartment size and quality, though.

Indiana also has what’s called the Indiana Homeowners Assistance Fund, which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers. This fund helps residents find programs related to homeownership throughout the state. It can also connect potential homeowners to local or statewide programs. For example, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority works with first-time homeowners to help them find low-interest rate loans.

Retirement in Indiana

On average, Indiana residents have $405,732 saved up for retirement. This is somewhat lower than what the average resident needs to live comfortably in retirement, which is $592,117.

Average Indiana insurance premiums

Indiana residents pay about $1,674 a year on full coverage car insurance. This is about on par with the national average.

The average homeowner insurance premium is $1,180 on a $250,000 dwelling. This is a few hundred dollars less than the U.S. average.

Payday lending status in Indiana: Legal

Payday lending is legal in Indiana, though lenders must adhere to certain rules when underwriting loans. For example:

  • Maximum loan amount: $550 or 20% of gross monthly income
  • Maximum Interest Rate (APR): 15% on the first $250, 13% on the next $150, 10% on the final $150
  • Minimum loan term: 14 days
  • Maximum loan term: N/A

Statute of limitations on debt in Indiana

The statute of limitations on debt in Indiana ranges from four to 10 years, depending on the debt type:

  • Medical debt:  6 years (up to 10 years in some cases)
  • Credit card: 6 years
  • Auto loan debt: 4 years
  • State tax debt: 10 years

State hardship programs

Need a state-specific hardship program in Indiana? Here are some of your options:

  • Rental assistance: Offered through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, the emergency rental assistance program helps residents pay for utilities and rent through a stipend. It’s not currently accepting applications, but you can check with IndianaHousingNow for information about when the program might reopen.
  • Single Family Housing Repair and Grants Program (504 Home Repair): This program helps low-income homeowners through a loan that can help them improve or modernize their homes.
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program: LIHEAP is designed to help individuals pay for utilities, specifically heating and electrical through a one-time yearly benefit.
  • Children’s programs: This resource connects residents to Medicaid for children. There are several programs available, including traditional Indiana Medicaid and Hoosier Care Connect.
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program: CHIP is a nationwide program. In Indiana, it’s part of the Hoosier Healthwise program and is meant for children up to 19 years old. It provides medical coverage ranging from prescription medicine to doctor’s visits.
  • SNAP — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: SNAP offers low-income residents a monthly supplement to help with the cost of food. SNAP recipients typically get an Electronic Benefits Transfer card that works similarly to any debit card.
  • WIC: Also known as Women, Infants, and Children, this program helps mothers pay for nutritious food, education, and even healthcare.
  • Refugee programs: This resource helps refugees and immigrants through either direct cash benefits and/or medical benefits.
  • Other assistance programs: The Department of Workforce Development offers several other assistance programs, ranging from 211 (for food, clothing, utilities, and education help) to Head Start (a program that promotes school readiness).

Help for Veterans

Indiana is home to approximately 406,757 veterans. The Indiana Department of Veteran Affairs offers many resources, grants, and related upcoming events that can help veterans facing unemployment, homelessness, or other hardships.

Facilities in Indiana

Need a VA facility near you? Here are some of the main ones in Indiana:

Employment resources for Veterans

Many veterans in Indiana struggle with finding reliable employment. Fortunately, the state offers many job-related resources and vocational training opportunities. Along with this, veterans in Indiana may be able to find employment help through the following organizations:

  • CareerOneStop offers job advice, job-related information, and an online job search portal.
  • MilitaryHire.com works with veterans to help them find civilian jobs.
  • VeteranRecruiting.com offers several online career fairs throughout the year.
  • Helmets to Hardhats is a nonprofit organization that helps veterans and active military personnel find work in the construction industry.
  • Hiring Our Heroes has various hiring opportunities, fellowship programs, vocational training opportunities, and more.
  • My Next Move works with veterans to help them find civilian work using their military-earned skills.
  • Warriors to Work connects veterans with potential employers in their area.

The bottom line

Indiana has many state and federal debt relief programs for residents who need financial help. The state also offers various hardship programs in the areas of housing, bill pay, healthcare, education, and more. Not only that, but Indiana also follows the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which helps protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or manipulative debt collection.

FAQs

How long can a debt be collected in Indiana?

State tax debt can be collected in court for up to 10 years, but most other unsecured debts can only be collected for four to six years.

How long can a debt be collected in Indiana?

The statute of limitations on debt begins on the date of the last payment on the account.

Am I responsible for my spouse’s debt if I get divorced in Indiana?

Typically, if the debt belonged to your spouse before the marriage, it will remain their responsibility upon divorce. If either party accrues a debt under only their name during the marriage, that person may still be responsible for it. Indiana is an equitable division state, so a court will usually split the debts based on what it considers fair. This may or may not be a 50/50 split.

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