How to File for Bankruptcy in Iowa
Anyone considering the decision to file for bankruptcy in Iowa should take time to become familiar with all of the rules and requirements involved in the process. The process of filing for bankruptcy in the state of Iowa closely mirrors the process of filing in every other state. However, becoming familiar with the local rules and requirements of Iowa’s bankruptcy process is still important. It is recommended that anyone considering the bankruptcy process should consult with a lawyer before filing a petition. The complicated nature of the bankruptcy process makes it necessary to seek proper legal guidance in most cases. In addition, any errors in the filing process could result in delays, extra fees or a case being dismissed from court.
It is necessary to decide which form of bankruptcy is appropriate for your situation. Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are the two most common forms of bankruptcy. However, there are some other options that may be appropriate in some cases. Farmers and fishermen have the option to file for Chapter 12 bankruptcy. Debtors with large debt amounts or debts that are related to businesses may qualify to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The form of bankruptcy that a person will ultimately file for is determined through something called a means test. A means test is something that the court in Iowa requires every debtor to submit when filing for bankruptcy. Debtors must submit detailed information regarding income, assets and other aspects of their finances when completing a means test.
Key Steps in the Bankruptcy Process in Iowa
While the means test is an important part of the bankruptcy process, it is far from the only requirement. Anyone who is thinking of filing for bankruptcy will need to complete a credit counseling course during the six months prior to formally filing. This course must be taken through a provider that is approved in the state of Iowa. A list of approved course providers can be found here. In addition, it is necessary to complete a debtor education course. A list of approved providers for this course can be found here. The most important step in the bankruptcy process is the act of formally filing a bankruptcy petition with the court. Filing a petition triggers something that is called an automatic stay. An automatic stay prevents all creditors from contacting a debtor or attempting to collect any debts. Debtors will need to attend a meeting of creditors at some point during the bankruptcy process. This is a mandatory meeting. The meeting provides creditors with a chance to prove that nonexempt assets are available to be collected in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Creditors can also object to the terms of a payment plan under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.
A Closer Look at Iowa's Bankruptcy Process
The bankruptcy court in Iowa is divided between the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Iowa and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Iowa has locations in Cedar Rapids and Sioux City. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa is located in Des Moines. The cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Iowa is $335. The cost to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Iowa is $310. A list of all of the fees that a debtor can anticipate when filing for bankruptcy in the state of Iowa can be accessed here. The forms required when filing for bankruptcy in the state of Iowa can be found here.