Bankruptcy in Iowa
Bankruptcy proceedings in the state of Iowa fall under the jurisdictions of the Federal Bankruptcy Courts. This is done in compliance with the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy and uniform Federal Laws under the United States Code Title 11. The Federal Bankruptcy Courts exercise their original jurisdiction over bankruptcy legal proceedings in the State of Iowa. The Iowa Bankruptcy Court consists of:
- United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Iowa
- United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Iowa
Obtaining Public Bankruptcy Records
Per 11 U.S.C. Section 107(1), bankruptcy records are public records that are open for inspection and request. Interested parties can request bankruptcy court records by mail, telephone, visiting the court's physical location, or Web-Based Public Access to Court Electronic Records known as the PACER. These records are available on Third-party websites because of the Federal Law position on public viewing and accessing bankruptcy records. The Clerk of Court handles bankruptcy filing and maintains these records, which are made available on request, provided the information is not protected from disclosure.
What do Iowa Bankruptcy Records Contain?
Iowa Bankruptcy records customarily contain the debtor's personal information, like the name, address, and contact information. A bankruptcy record also includes the following relevant information in a bankruptcy record:
- Case number
- The name of the debtor
- Judge in charge
- Case status
- Chapter filed (Chapter 7, chapter 9, chapter 11, chapter 13, or chapter 15)
- Amount of asset(s)
- Trustee appointed
- Filing Date
- Contact information of the attorney for the debtor
- 341 creditors meeting details (date, time, location)
- Discharge date (if applicable)
- The closing date (if applicable)
Are Bankruptcy Records Public Information?
Yes, Iowa Bankruptcy records are public information by the provisions of 11 U.S.C. Section 107(1). However, some information in the bankruptcy record may be subjected to sealing or redaction provided by 11 U.S.C. Section 112. The Federal Bankruptcy Court of Iowa can seal up a record at its discretion to protect an individual from undue risk of identity theft or any other unlawful injury. Redaction is when the court conceals some parts of a document from viewing for privacy protection. The Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 9037 allows for the redaction of personal data such as:
- Social security
- Tax identification numbers
- Names of non-debtor minors
- Financial account numbers
Record seekers looking for an alternative to government sources may obtain bankruptcy records from third-party websites. These non-governmental websites often come with tools that help simplify the search for single or multiple records. However, record availability on third-party sites tends to vary because they’re independent of government sources. To obtain bankruptcy case information using third-party sites, record seekers may need to provide:
- A complete name of the debtor involved in the record
- A bankruptcy case number
How to Get Iowa Bankruptcy Records
Bankruptcy records are available at the Clerk of Court's office. For records filed before 2004, requesters are expected to describe the document they are requesting, using the case number, style, and document number. Descriptions enable the Clerk to retrieve the bankruptcy records archived at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Requesters who do not have the information mentioned above should contact the Clerk of the Court of the Northern District of Iowa at (319) 286-2200 or (712) 233-3939 and Clerk of the Court of the Southern District of Iowa at (515) 284-6230.
The information mentioned above is given to the court's clerk to confirm the court sent the case file to the National Archives and Records Administration. Upon confirmation, parties can retrieve the file in the following ways:
- By the court clerk, who then contacts the requester when the file arrives. Fees are made payable with exact change, check, or money order to the Bankruptcy Court. Requesters are not charged for the search. However, a certification fee might apply.
- Requesters can call NARA by requesting the box, location, and accession/transfer numbers for the file, along with the phone number for NARA from the Clerk's office. The requester then calls NARA for a copy request charged to a credit card or debit card. Requestors should note that NARA's fees will apply. Alternatively, the requester can fill the archive request form. The Northern District of Iowa provides for the Archive Request Form on its website to be completed and sent to:
Northern District of Iowa
111 7th Avenue SE, #15
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
Requesters from the Southern District of Iowa should contact the Clerk's office at (515) 284-6230 to get a copy of this request form.
- Requests can be made directly to NARA by requesting from the Clerk's office the box, location, and accession/transfer numbers for the file.
Retrieval of an archived case at the National Archives and Records Administration would take 7 to 10 days. Retrieval costs $64 for the first box containing the requested record and $39 for each additional box.
Iowa bankruptcy records filed before 1999 complete the Request Form NATF-90. Parties should send the completed form with a check or money order made payable to the National Archives Trust Fund (NATF) via mail to:
NARA, Central Plains Region
17501 W. 98th Street
Lenexa, KS 66219
This service is charged at a minimal fee. For more information, parties can contact the Clerk of the Court of the Northern District of Iowa at (319) 286-2200 or (712) 233-3939 and Clerk of the Court of the Southern District of Iowa at (515) 284-6230. The public can also access bankruptcy records filed on or after 2004 at the Clerk's office in-person, by mail, or phone.
Physical request: requesters should visit the Clerk's office in person to request a copy of the bankruptcy record. Requesters using the computer in the Court's lobby face a fee of 10 cents per page. The court charges 50 cents per page if the Clerk provides paper copies and $11 for a certified copy. A $32 fee charge will apply if the Clerk spends substantial time locating the requested document. Debtors requesting must come with the exact change, check, credit cards, or money order. Only non-debtors are allowed to use checks, credit, and debit cards. Requesters can visit the Clerk's office at the Northern District of Iowa at:
111 7th Ave. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
320 6th Street
Sioux City, IA 51101
The office of the Clerk of Southern District of Iowa is located at:
300 U.S. Courthouse Annex
110 East Court Avenue, Suite 300
Des Moines, IA 50309
Mail request: requesters can send mail by sending a written request. The written request must include the following information:
- The debtor(s) name and case number;
- The documents to be copied;
- The name (non-debtor) and contact information; and
- The requester should provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
The fee due in the form of a money order or check should be made payable to the Clerk, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and sent to the Southern District of Iowa at the address provided above. Requesters at the Northern District of Iowa should send the mail request to:
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
111 7th Avenue SE, #15
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
Request by phone: requesters can call the Clerk's office to request bankruptcy court records. The requester must provide the Clerk's office with the debtors' name, case number, and the number of pages being requested. When the requester does not know the exact case number, such requester should be prepared to give the debtor's full name and last four digits of the social security number. The office of the clerk provides the requester with the necessary information on how to pay. Requesters can contact the office of the Northern District of Iowa Court Clerk at (319) 286-2200 or (712) 233-3939 and Clerk of the Court of the Southern District of Iowa at (515) 284-6230.
Parties can access Iowa bankruptcy records online using Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER). Requesters can access Iowa bankruptcy records filed after 2003 on this platform. Iowa bankruptcy cases filed before 1st December 2003 or closed for more than a year are not available on PACER. The requester must register on the PACER platform. Registration on PACER is free. The requester must have the relevant party's name, the case number, a tax identification number, or a social security number (SSN). A PACER fee of 10 cents per page would be charged, which must not exceed $3 per document. It is noteworthy that accounts in a quarterly billing cycle that does not accrue more than $30 will not be charged a fee. Access other fees charged via the PACER fee schedule. For requesters having difficulty in registering, contact the PACER Service Center. Alternatively, contact the service center at (800) 676-6856 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Otherwise, send an email.
Voice Case Information System (VCIS) allows a requester to request basic bankruptcy information quickly over the telephone 24/7. To request bankruptcy information, requesters are to call the VCIS service at (866) 222-8029 and then search using these keywords:
- The debtor Name
- Social Security Number
- Case Number
For requesters who are not familiar with this procedure, follow the instructions as laid down when using the Voice Case Information System. Use the Court CM/ECF Lookup to find the Iowa court's unique extension.
Parties can also use the NARA Online Bankruptcy Record Retrieval to retrieve Iowa bankruptcy records. The requester must register to submit a reference request or order reproductions online. Files on this platform are usually available for 30 days from the date it is uploaded.
How do I Find Out if My Bankruptcy Case is Closed in Iowa?
Debtors file bankruptcy to discharge debts and get financial relief from the court. An Iowa bankruptcy case is closed when the court enters a final decree or order. The debtor can also complete a bankruptcy case if they default on a court order or fail to follow up with their bankruptcy petition.
The court would usually send a notification when a case is closed. Debtors in Iowa can sign up on the Debtor Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing (DeBN) program. This electronic noticing program is available in both the Northern and the Southern District of Iowa. To be eligible for this program, the debtor must complete and file a Debtor Electronic Noticing Request (DeBN) form with the court where their case is filed. The debtor signing up for this program has the brochure (Southern District of Iowa) and form instruction (Northern District) pamphlet that comes with the form to guide them when filing the form. The court would send all notices and orders to the debtor via this program.
The debtor can also find out about the status of their case using the PACER and McVCIS databases. For more information, parties can contact the Clerk's office of the Northern District of Iowa at (319) 286-2200 or (712) 233-3939 and Clerk of Court of the Southern District of Iowa at (515) 284-6230.
Can a Bankruptcy be Expunged in Iowa?
In rare instances, bankruptcy courts may permit the expungement of a legal record. Section 11 U.S.C. § 105 gives the bankruptcy court the power to make an order, process, or judgment deemed necessary in the dispensation of justice over a bankruptcy case. Even though bankruptcy records are public records, 11 U.S.C. § 107 gives the court the power to redact records to protect some confidential information or a party from scandalous or defamatory content. The debtor should follow the expungement process specified to file for expungement in the Northern District of Iowa. For the Southern District of Iowa, the party applying for expungement should contact the Clerk of Court's office at (515) 284-6230 or visit the court at their provided address above.
Filing for Bankruptcy in Iowa
Bankruptcy in Iowa covers a series of legal steps via which an individual or business seeks relief from debts owed to creditors. Persons or entities filing for bankruptcy are referred to as debtors. They may obtain relief from debts by selling off specific properties and assets or repaying debts from future earnings.
Irrespective of the bankruptcy process, the rules, and steps of filing for bankruptcy are outlined in the Bankruptcy Code. Also, per the Bankruptcy Code, all bankruptcy cases are under the supervision of bankruptcy courts in federal districts. For instance, there are two bankruptcy courts in Iowa. Therefore, persons or entities resident in the state must file their bankruptcy petition at the bankruptcy court overseeing their region.
Individual and non-individual debtors can file for bankruptcy under different chapters in the Bankruptcy Code. Note that filing for a bankruptcy chapter is dependent on factors, such as outcome, debt requirement, and income level. Hence, persons filing for a chapter 7 bankruptcy must sell off some properties to discharge debts. On the other hand, debtors can keep their assets when filing for chapter 11 or 13 bankruptcies in Iowa.
How Do You Qualify For Bankruptcy in Iowa?
In Iowa, all persons and entities can file for bankruptcy under any chapter in the Bankruptcy Code. Generally, bankruptcy laws require debtors to complete a credit counseling course before filing for any bankruptcy chapter. However, debtors filing for bankruptcy must meet the specific requirements of a preferred bankruptcy chapter.
Persons and entities filing for a chapter 13 bankruptcy must owe less than secured debts and unsecured debts. Also, persons filing under a chapter 13 bankruptcy must have a high disposable income. In contrast, debtors must earn less than the state’s median income for their household size to be eligible for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. In some cases, creditors can file for bankruptcy on behalf of debtors - the bankruptcy code will only accept bankruptcy petitions filed by two or more eligible creditors.
What Type of Bankruptcy Should You File in Iowa?
Persons and entities may file for a bankruptcy chapter, depending on their desired outcome. For example, persons or entities may file a chapter 7 bankruptcy for fast and total relief from unsecured debts like medical bills and credit card debts. In comparison, persons may file a chapter 13 bankruptcy if they want to protect assets from liquidation. In addition, debtors may choose a chapter 11 or 13 bankruptcy if they want to repay debts over a set period without liquidating their assets.
Where and How to File for Bankruptcy in Iowa?
In Iowa, debtors must submit all bankruptcy petitions to the bankruptcy court serving their jurisdiction. The bankruptcy courts in Iowa are listed below:
Iowa Northern Bankruptcy Court
P.O. Box 74890
Cedar Rapids, IA 52407
Phone: (319) 286-2200
Deputy in Charge
320 Sixth Street
Sioux City, IA 51101
Phone: (712) 233-3939
Iowa Southern Bankruptcy Court
U.S. Courthouse Annex
110 East Court Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309-2050
Phone: (515) 284-6230
Irrespective of the bankruptcy chapter, all debtors must complete a credit counseling course at any accredited center. Taking the credit counseling course enables debtors to determine the best type of bankruptcy chapter to file. It takes two hours to complete a credit counseling course online, via phone call, or in person.
In addition to this, debtors must take the means test to determine their eligibility for a chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. Enacted by Congress in 2005, the means test calculates a debtor’s gross income and subtracting secured debt payments and monthly expenses. After the means test, debtors with insufficient balance to repay unsecured debts can file a chapter 7 bankruptcy. In contrast, debtors with high disposable income can file a chapter 13 bankruptcy in Iowa.
Debtors with low unsecured debts and veterans are exempt from taking the means test.
After completing the credit counseling course, debtors may choose to file for bankruptcy with the aid of an attorney. Hiring an attorney enables debtors to navigate complex bankruptcy forms and petitions. In contrast, debtors filing a bankruptcy case without an attorney are referred to as Pro Se litigants.
The following documents are required when filing for bankruptcy at the bankruptcy court:
- Voluntary petition Form 101B
- Schedule A/B for individual debtors (Form 106A/B)
- Exempted properties (Form 106C)
- Creditors Who Have Claims Secured by Property (Form 106D)
- Debtor’s income Statement (Form 106I)
- Debtor’s Expenses (Form 106J)
- Expenses for Separate Household of Debtor 2 (Form 106J-2)
- Summary of Debtor’s Assets and Liabilities (Form 106S)
- Creditors Who Have Unsecured Claims (Form 106E/F)
- Unexpired Leases/Executory Contracts (Form 106G)
- Your Co-debtors (Form 106H)
- Declaration About an Individual Debtor’s Schedules (Form 106Dec)
- Statement of Financial Affairs for Individuals (Form 107);
What are the Downsides of Filing for Bankruptcy in Iowa?
Persons or businesses filing for bankruptcy in Iowa may experience the following downsides:
- Filing for bankruptcy does not discharge all debts. Unsecured debts like alimony, criminal fines, and student loans are not removed during bankruptcy.
- Persons filing under a chapter 7 bankruptcy may lose all unprotected assets to liquidation. There is also a possible loss of properties that serves as a security for debts like car loans and home mortgages;
- In some bankruptcy chapters, co-signers to a loan are mandated to repay part of the debtor’s loan;
- Debtors filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy are left with minimal disposable income during their repayment period;
- Filing for bankruptcy leaves a negative remark on a debtor’s credit report - this makes it difficult for debtors to re-apply for loans after filing for bankruptcy.
Since bankruptcy records are open to the public, debtors may face discrimination from future employers and landlords;
Despite the downsides, filing for bankruptcy provides debtors with the following benefits:
- Debtors filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy obtain a fast discharge from a majority of all unsecured debts. Also, it takes the bankruptcy court less than four months to discharge the debts;
- Debtors can avoid the liquidation of assets by spreading debt payments over a fixed period. Thus, businesses can remain in operation even after filing for bankruptcy;
- Bankruptcy courts in Iowa will issue bankruptcy protection during a bankruptcy case - this prevents creditors from disturbing or harassing debtors. Also, it prevents utility companies from discontinuing their services during a bankruptcy case;
- Not all properties or assets are liquidated during a bankruptcy case - Iowa bankruptcy exemption law protects specific properties during bankruptcy.
What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Iowa?
Chapter 11 under the Bankruptcy Code enables debtors to reorganize their debts, properties, and assets. During a chapter 11 bankruptcy, the court appoints the debtor as a “debtor-in-possession” to oversee the restructuring of debts by creating a repayment plan. Thus, debtors can remain in operation and prevent the liquidation of assets by filing a chapter 11 bankruptcy. However, in the case of fraud or dishonest practice, the court might appoint a trustee to oversee the business’s operations or manage the debtor's assets. In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, debtors may reorganize by downsizing their operations to reduce expenses or renegotiate debts. In some cases, debtors might propose to liquidate all assets to repay creditors.
Who Can File for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Iowa?
Individuals and corporations can file for chapter 11 bankruptcy in Iowa. Although big corporations mostly file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, small businesses can also file for this bankruptcy Chapter. According to the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019, small businesses with less than $2.7 million in debt can file for chapter 11 bankruptcy. In addition to this, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Act bankruptcy has raised the debt limit for filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy to $7.5 million.
How to File a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Iowa?
Filing a chapter 11 bankruptcy is a complex and expensive process. Thus, debtors may hire an attorney to avoid the case being dismissed by the bankruptcy court. With or without the aid of an attorney, the following documents are necessary for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in Iowa:
- Payment Advice Cover Sheet (must include copies of all evidence of payments received from an employer within two months before filing a bankruptcy petition)
- Chapter 11 Statement of Income;
- Statement of Financial Affairs;
- Declaration About an Individual Debtor's Schedules
- Summary of Debtor's Assets and Liabilities;
- Schedules A/B;
- Schedule D;
- Schedule C;
- Schedule E/F;
- Schedule G;
- Schedule H;
- Schedule I;
- Schedule J;
- Voluntary Petition for Individual Debtors;
- Voluntary Petition for Non-individual Debtors.
Debtors can access other necessary documents via the Iowa bankruptcy court's online platform. It costs $1,738 to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Iowa. Payment is via cash, money order, cashier's check, and payable to the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court. Moreover, debtors can complete Form 103A to pay the filing fee in installments.
What are the Benefits of Filing a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Iowa?
Persons of entities filing a chapter 11 bankruptcy in Iowa are in charge of reorganizing their debts and selecting the best method of discharging debts.
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Iowa?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Iowa is a legal proceeding via which debtors can discharge unsecured debts. Although filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy leads to the liquidation of assets, it is a preferred option for getting fast relief from debts. However, a chapter 7 bankruptcy does not discharge all debts. For instance, debtors can not discharge unsecured debts like student loans and secured debts such as home mortgages and car loans. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court assigns a bankruptcy trustee to handle the sales and distribution of sales proceeds to creditors. After collecting a commission fee, a bankruptcy trustee may send any remaining value from liquidated assets to the debtor.
Furthermore, not all assets are liquidated in a chapter 7 bankruptcy - state exemption laws protect properties and support, such as real estate, furniture, jewelry, and insurance benefits.
Who Can File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Iowa?
As of 2015, all debtors filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy must pass the means test. The means test measures a debtor's average income over the past six months before filing for bankruptcy and compares it with Iowa's median income level for the debtor's household. Thus, debtors earning less than the state's median income level are eligible to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy in Iowa. The median income level per household in Iowa is listed below:
- $42,346.00 for a one-member household;
- $58,057.00 for a two-member family;
- $64,027.00 for a three-member household;
- $76,173.00 for a 4-member household;
- $84,273.00 for a 5-member household;
- $92,373.00 for a 6-member household;
- $100,473.00 for a 7-member household;
- $108,573.00 for an 8-member household;
- $116,673.00 for a 9-member household;
- $124,773.00 for a 10-member household.
How to File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Iowa
Debtors filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy in Iowa must attend a credit counseling course and complete the means test. Debtors who pass the means test must submit the general documents for filing bankruptcy in the state. In addition, the following bankruptcy forms are necessary for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
- Statement of Current Monthly Income
- Statement of Exemption from Presumption of Abuse under Section 707(b)(2)
- Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation
What are the Benefits of Filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Iowa?
Under the Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, debtors can efficiently discharge many debts while protecting their homes from foreclosure. In addition, the state bankruptcy exemptions protect a debtor's insurance benefits, pension, and personal properties from liquidation. A chapter 7 bankruptcy is also a preferred option for persons filing without an attorney since it is less complex and has a high success rate as opposed to other types of bankruptcy. Unlike other bankruptcy petitions, all earnings and wages after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy belong to the debtor.
How Long Does a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Last on Record?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy leaves a negative remark on the credit report - this may last for ten years after the filing date.
What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Iowa?
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, individual or non-individual debtors create a repayment plan to pay off creditors from the debtor's future income. Debtors often file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Iowa to avoid selling off their properties or businesses. In addition, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition stops interests from accumulating on tax debts, prevents home foreclosure, and enables debtors to meet up on missed taxes or mortgage payments. Note that debtors must submit data on all income sources, expected future earnings, and expenses before the court approves the repayment plan.
Who Can File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Iowa?
Persons can file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy if they want to prevent certain assets and properties from liquidation. In addition, only persons with a stable and robust financial position are eligible to file under chapter 13. Thus, the Bankruptcy Code requires debtors to take the means test to determine their eligibility. According to the means test, eligible persons must have a high disposable income and earn above the state's median income level.
There's also a debt requirement in Chapter 13 bankruptcy - debtors must owe less than $1,257,850 secured debts and $419,275 unsecured debts.
How to File a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Iowa?
The means test and a credit counseling course are prerequisites for filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Iowa. Debtors must complete a credit counseling course within six months before filing a petition at the bankruptcy court. Furthermore, debtors must present the certificate alongside the required documents to the bankruptcy court serving their region.
Asides from the basic documents, debtors must also present the documents listed below:
- Statement of Your Current Monthly Income and Expected Repayment Period
- Chapter 13 Estimation of Disposable Income
- Chapter 13 Plan, including a percentage to unsecured creditors and plan arrangements.
Debtors must also present a copy of their federal income tax return to the Clerk of the bankruptcy court. In addition to this, it costs $313 to file a chapter 13 bankruptcy in Iowa.
What are the Benefits of Filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Iowa?
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, individual and non-individual debtors can avoid liquidation and keep all properties, including non-exempt assets. Also, debtors can repeatedly file for bankruptcy at any time, even if the court dismissed a prior bankruptcy case. Another attractive upside is that debtors propose the duration of the repayment plan.
How Long Does a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Last on Record?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy leaves a negative remark on the credit report - this may last for ten years after the filing date.
What is the Difference Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Iowa?
Persons or businesses filing for bankruptcy must understand the following differences between a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Iowa:
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy leads to the liquidation of the debtor's non-exempt assets. Also, the court appoints a bankruptcy trustee to handle the debtor's estate during the case. In contrast, bankruptcy courts in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy appoint debtors as debtors-in-possession to oversee the repayment of debts;
- A chapter 7 bankruptcy has no debt requirements, while debtors must meet the debt requirements before filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- Debtors must earn below the state's median income level to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In contrast, only those with a high disposable income and stable financial capacity can file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Iowa.
- During a chapter 7 bankruptcy, co-signers to a debtor's loan are liable to refund part of the loan. In contrast, filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy protects co-signers from repaying part of the debtor's debts.
What is Bankruptcy Protection?
Bankruptcy courts in Iowa issue bankruptcy protection to safeguard a debtor's properties and assets from any creditor's recollection effort. The court issues this court order once a debtor files for bankruptcy. Under bankruptcy protection, creditors must not contact debtors in any way. Also, bankruptcy protection nullifies any judgment, appeals, or liens filed against a debtor's assets. Under bankruptcy protection, the court may prevent utility companies from discontinuing their services to the debtor for at least a few weeks.
What are Iowa Bankruptcy Exemptions?
Specific properties and assets are exempt under Iowa bankruptcy exemption laws. Under this law, debtors get to keep the following properties during bankruptcy:
- Homesteads exemption. Real properties, not exceeding one acre in cities and towns, are exempt during bankruptcy. 499A.18, 561.2, 561.16;
- Insurance benefits. Disability, accident, or life benefits, up to $15,000, are exempt from liquidation during bankruptcy. Also, employer group insurance policies are also protected under state exemption laws.
- State bankruptcy exemptions also cover properties of business partnerships, spousal or child support payments;
- Personal properties, such as household goods up to $2,000 in value, health aids, burial plots up to one acre, and portraits or pictures up to $1,000 in value;
- Public benefits, including social security, adopted child assistance, unemployment compensation, and workers compensation;
- Tools of trade, including farming and non-farming equipment, livestock, and feed up to $10,000 in value.
- Debtors are entitled to a wild card exemption. In other words, they can keep $100 of any personal property.
What are the Other Types of Bankruptcy in Iowa
Chapter 9 and 12 bankruptcy also exists under the Bankruptcy Code. Only municipalities can file a chapter 9 bankruptcy, while the Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed for farmers and fishers. A chapter 9 bankruptcy enables municipalities to restructure debts and settle creditors without liquidating assets. Farmers or fishers filing a chapter 12 bankruptcy must qualify for the debt requirement. For instance, to file a chapter 12 bankruptcy, a farmer's debts must not exceed $4,153,150 in debts. In contrast, fishers filing a chapter 12 bankruptcy must owe less than $1,924,550.