Iowa Bankruptcy Lawyer

Over 11,000 individuals or businesses file bankruptcy each year in Iowa. If you are struggling to repay your debts, whether on a personal basis or in your small business, you might be wondering if bankruptcy would be a good option to pursue. The best way to find out what your rights are is to contact an Iowa bankruptcy attorney.

Bankruptcy can be defined as the legal inability to pay debts, or the state of being financially insoluble. The bankruptcy process can be a complicated one, and filing for bankruptcy is not easy to do alone. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you hire a bankruptcy lawyer or attorney to help you with your case especially if you own a business and have valuable assets.

An Iowa bankruptcy lawyer or attorney will be experienced in all aspects of the Iowa bankruptcy law practice, and will be knowledgeable about all the statutes, codes, and exemption laws that may pertain to your situation. He or she will discuss the different types of bankruptcy with you and advise you on which one is best for your situation. There are several different kind of bankruptcies, but the most common are Chapter 7, and Chapter 13. If you decide to declare bankruptcy, you will have to undergo a means test in order to determine which chapter you will be eligible for. Chapter 13 generally allows an individual to retain more of his or her valuable assets such as cars or homes, whereas Chapter 7 usually discharges more debt.

Either kind of bankruptcy will take a toll on your credit and future borrowing and buying potential. Additionally, due to the passage of stricter bankruptcy laws several years ago, you will most likely pay higher fees to file bankruptcy than people may have in the past, and you will also have to attend a credit counseling program.

In Iowa there are certain bankruptcy exemptions, which is a list of the kinds and values of property that creditors or bankruptcy trustees are legally unable to reach. The debtor is allowed to keep the property that is considered exempt, and what is exempt and the amount that is exempt varies from state to state. Real property or apartments are unlimited in how much is exempt. A motor vehicle is exempt up to $7,000. Appliances, household furnishing, musical instruments, clothing, storage and other personal property is exempt up to $7,000. Pictures, books, Bibles, paintings and portraits are all exempt up to $1,000, as well as jewelry up to $2,000. Child and spousal support are not exempt, though the salary or wages of a prisoner are. Tax exempt retirement accounts and pensions are exempt, as well as aid to dependent children, unemployment compensation, Veterans' benefits, Social Security, public assistance, workers' compensation, and adopted child assistance. Non-farming equipment is exempt up to $10,000, and farming and livestock and feed are exempt up to $10,000. Life insurance and liquor licenses are also exempt.

A bankruptcy lawyer or attorney will explain the benefits and risks of bankruptcy, as well as explain the possible alternatives to bankruptcy that might be appropriate for you. Keep in mind that a bankruptcy lawyer or attorney will also have extensive knowledge about debt management.

In 2008, a cumulative 7,967 individuals filed for bankruptcy, 9% filing for Chapter 13 and 91% filing for Chapter 7. If you are ready to contact an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer or attorney to explore your options for debt relief, visit the American Bar Association (ABA) website. The ABA features a lawyer locator, which allows the user to search bankruptcy lawyer profiles in Iowa. Access to the site and profiles is absolutely free. The number of people filing for bankruptcy may only continue to increase as financial issues worsen, and they will need help to get through it and recover.


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