Considering filing for bankruptcy? Uncertain about the bankruptcy process in Iowa? You’ve come to the right place. First, I will lay out a brief overview of the Iowa bankruptcy procedures with links to previous blog posts with more information about specific steps. Then, I’ll explain how Marks Law Firm can assist you in completing your Iowa bankruptcy each step of the way.
Before reading any further, it’s probably a good idea to determine whether you qualify for bankruptcy in the first place. Last month I detailed when you can and cannot file for bankruptcy in Iowa. Basically, you have to have a certain amount of debt — as well as the inability to pay off those debts — in order to file for bankruptcy (especially Chapter 7). In some cases, you may be eligible to qualify for Chapter 13 but not Chapter 7, and vice versa. It all depends on what types of debt you have, what assets you possess, and other financial factors. Taking a thorough inventory of your financial situation is essential before delving into the bankruptcy process.
Once you’ve determined your bankruptcy eligibility and itemized your debts and assets, the paperwork begins. Usually with the help of a bankruptcy attorney, you must itemize your income, assets, debts, and expenses. All of this information will become your “bankruptcy schedules,” which — along with a bankruptcy petition — is handed in to your local bankruptcy court. In the schedules you will also list any and all property you intend to protect from court seizure. When a judge approves your petition, you must pay a $274 charge for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a $189 charge for a Chapter 13 arrangement.
At this time the court assumes control of your debts and seized possessions. You will be assigned a bankruptcy trustee, who will monitor the payment of your creditors and further review your case. Next, a 341 meeting will be called to allow creditors the opportunity to challenge any aspect of your bankruptcy case. While this is usually a formality, your attendance at the meeting is required. Finally, Iowa law dictates that every individual filing for bankruptcy must complete a personal finance course and receive credit counseling within six months of turning in their papers.
Each of these steps must be taken with care and precision to ensure a successful bankruptcy, and Marks Law Firm has helped Iowans along this path for years. If you need help with paperwork, important property decisions, and general bankruptcy advice, you need to talk to Attorney Sam Marks today. We’re ready to meet with you for a free consultation and explain why a qualified bankruptcy attorney like Sam is a crucial component to your successful bankruptcy. Give us a call today!