Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Iowa

Many individuals who find themselves having a difficult time with debt may qualify for relief under Iowa bankruptcy laws. People may find a solution to their problems under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Des Moines legal firm Marks Law has filed more than 2,000 Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases in the last 6 years.

Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code provides individuals and some businesses with an opportunity for a fresh start. The time frame of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is fairly simple:

  • Day 0 – Debtor files petition for bankruptcy relief pursuant to Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.
  • Day 30 (Aprox) – Debtor attends First Meeting of Creditors; also called 341 meeting.
  • Day 90 – Debtor receives his or her discharge.

That is the way it is supposed to work. Getting the right bankruptcy attorney is key to make sure your bankruptcy case runs that smoothly.

How often can someone file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Iowa?

If a person has already filed for bankruptcy they may be eligible to file again after a certain period of time.

  • Chapter 7 can only be filed 8 years after a previous chapter 7 bankruptcy has been filed when the person who filed received a discharge.
  • If the person has received a discharge under Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code then they would have to wait only 6 years from the date they previously filed to file for relief under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.

If you don’t believe that you are eligible to file for bankruptcy based on the above criteria you may still want to visit with one of our attorneys to see if there are some options that are not bankruptcy related to help you out. We work with our clients in the areas of collection defense, consumer protection, and foreclosure. Our consultations are free. Let us see if we can help you.

Who qualifies for a Chapter 7 in Iowa?

Based on income and expenses everyone qualifies to file a bankruptcy. The real question for each person is which chapter of the bankruptcy code is appropriate and best. Iowa law firm, Marks Law has a general rule of thumb to apply when we discuss qualifying for bankruptcy:

If a person has the ability to pay to their creditors some or all of their debt then the person probably qualifies for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In Iowa, if a person doesn’t have the ability to pay their creditors anything then they probably qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

In no way should this be considered the end of the analysis but instead it should be considered the beginning of the analysis. There are other factors that must be considered based on income, expenses, changes in jobs, and many other things.

The best way to determine which chapter you qualify for is to consider the rule of thumb above and contact Marks Law for a free initial consultation. Bring in 6 months of pay records for you and your spouse (if you have them or can get them) and the last 2 years of income tax returns. Below are some additional things that we ask that you bring with you. Most of our clients feel a sense of relief after they meet with us. Even if the outcome is that someone can’t file bankruptcy, meeting with us helps the person to know what needs to happen and how to make it happen.

How does filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy help me?

Most people think that filing for bankruptcy relief under Chapter 7 will forever damage their credit and financial well being. This just isn’t true. Most people are shocked to learn that it is possible to have a better credit score 12-15 months after filing for bankruptcy relief under Chapter 7. Many of our clients’ creditors have included derogatory remarks on our clients’ credit reports. By doing nothing, the derogatory remarks continue to be used in negatively calculating the clients’ credit scores. In essence, filing bankruptcy stops the negative reporting from adversely affecting our clients’ credit scores. While it is true that any type of bankruptcy will negatively reflect on your credit, it must be known that bankruptcy is not the only factor creditors use when making a decision to lend you money. Did you know that you may be able to get a car loan the day after you file for bankruptcy? One thing that lenders look to when determining whether to loan you money is who else you owe money to and how much you owe. When you file bankruptcy you eliminate your personal liability to your creditors and discharge the amount you owe. Creditors seem to realize this and apparently like it because they will loan you money. You need to keep in mind that it will take time and patience is the key.

Some other ways a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you are:

  • All eligible unsecured debt will be discharged. This means that your debt to income ratio will significantly improve once you receive your discharge.
  • Negative payment history that creditors have been using against you when deciding to lend you money and the interest rate goes away. The more time you put between the discharge date and the rest of your life will improve your credit score.
  • Creditors must comply with the bankruptcy code. This means that your creditors must stop:
    • Calling you at home to collect a debt
    • Calling you at work to collect a debt
    • Calling friends, neighbors, and family to collect a debt
    • Garnishing your wages
    • Pursuing judgments against you
    • Immediate repossession of cars or property
    • Pending foreclosures must be stopped.
  • Many people are pleasantly surprised to learn that they get to keep all of their property which can include but is not necessarily limited to your home, car, cash, household goods and furnishings, jewelry, and retirement accounts.

How do I make an appointment and what do I need to bring?

You will want to discuss your specific situation with an attorney to determine which type of bankruptcy is right for you.

Call or contact Marks Law Firm to set up a free, no obligation consultation. We’ll listen to your story, discuss your situation and help you to determine how you can best deal with your debt situation.

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