Bankruptcy is a legal procedure that allows an individual or business to have some or all of their debts discharged. It is normally considered as an option of last resort, because while it can stave off financial disaster, it has some considerable long-term consequences warranting careful consideration of the costs and benefits. Since it's a creation of federal law, bankruptcy is handled in federal courts. Therefore, the rules and procedures governing it in Iowa will be the same as everywhere else in the country. Particular courts in Shenandoah, Iowa will have some unique rules, however, so you should consult with a local lawyer before you file.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Shenandoah, Iowa
In Shenandoah, Iowa, there are 2 commonly-used types of consumer bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 involves liquidation of part of a debtor's assets. It requires that a certain percentage of the debtor's property to be sold to pay off as much debt as possible. The majority of property that most people own, however, is exempt. This normally includes homes, vehicles, retirement accounts, and others. These are not available to creditors.
Once the qualifying property is sold, and the funds transferred to the creditors, the dischargeable debt is cleared. Some forms of debt, however, can't be absolved in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Shenandoah, Iowa. These include student loans, criminal fines, and taxes, among others. If most of your debt can't be absolved, Chapter 7 may not be the best choice for you.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Shenandoah, Iowa
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Shenandoah, Iowa is very different from Chapter 7. Whether or not it is a better option is very dependent on the facts of each particular case. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not excuse debt, it restructures it. This involves a court coming up with an altered repayment plan designed to be manageable for the debtor. This new plan sets aside the terms of the original contracts that created the debt in the first place. This creates a new payment structure, normally involving a single monthly payment, that the debtor should find manageable.
Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Shenandoah, Iowa
The answer to this question depends strongly on your particular situation. If you have enough stable income to manage a payment plan, and a lot of non-exempt property that you are unwilling to part with, Chapter 13 may be a good option. If you don't have much stable income, and most of your property is exempt, Chapter 7 might be better.
In any case, you should talk with a local Shenandoah, Iowa bankruptcy lawyer. Your lawyer can advise you of your options and inform you of their likely outcome. This will make it much easier for your to make an informed choice.