Many individuals who are having a difficult time managing their debt qualify for relief under Iowa bankruptcy laws. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is sometimes referred to as “liquidation” bankruptcy or “straight” bankruptcy because it discharges any amount of debt. You are no longer personally liable for the discharged debt, meaning you can focus your time and energy on rebuilding your life.

Frequently Asked Questions:

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What is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Do I qualify for a Chapter 7?
What if I have already filed a Chapter 7?
What are the financial benefits to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
What is the timeline for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?


What is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is for those who have no ability to pay back their debts. It is often referred to as a “liquidation bankruptcy” or a “straight” bankruptcy because it discharges any amount of debt.

Do I qualify for a Chapter 7?

Each situation is unique, and we will not know if you qualify for a Chapter 7 until we meet you with you for an initial consultation. With that said, we will first look at your income and monthly expenses. That generally gives us a good idea of if you qualify for a Chapter 7.

A Chapter 7 requires you to be below a certain income or to pass a test created by congress to determine whether you can be expected to pay back your debts with any disposable income.

What if I have already filed a Chapter 7?

If you have already filed and received a discharge for a Chapter 7, you are unable to file another Chapter 7 for 8 years from the date of your previous bankruptcy filing. You should still come see us because there are things other than bankruptcy that we can do to help.  

What are the financial benefits to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

There are multiple financial benefits to a Chapter 7, these include but are not limited to:

  • Stops negative reporting on your credit report
  • Wipes away all eligible unsecured debt, meaning your debt-to-income ratio will significantly improve
  • Eliminates all personal liability to creditors
  • Stops future negative payment history, making you more attractive to future creditors
  • Stops creditors from:
    • Calling you, your friends, and your family to collect debt
    • Garnishing your wages
    • Pursuing judgements against you
    • Attempting to foreclose
    • Repossessing cars or property

What is the timeline for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

The process of a Chapter 7 takes, on average, 90-120 days to be complete from the date of filing. How quickly you can file your bankruptcy after your initial appointment with us is entirely up to you and your individual situation. The steps to filing a bankruptcy and receiving a discharge are as follows:

  1. Schedule an initial appointment with one of the attorneys at our office.
  2. Sit down with our experienced attorneys to determine the right course of action for you. 
  3. Gather necessary documentation and information for the bankruptcy filing. 
  4. Schedule your bankruptcy signing date.
  5. Come into our office to go over and sign the paperwork to file your bankruptcy petition.
  6. Roughly 30 days later – Meeting of Creditors or 341 Hearing where the trustee will ask you simple questions.
  7. Roughly 60-90 days later – Your debts are discharged and your fresh start beings!

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