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 product of federal law, bankruptcy is handled in federal courts. Therefore, the rules and procedures governing it in Iowa will be the same as anywhere else in the country. Particular courts in Spencer, Iowa will have some unique rules, however, so you should consult with a local lawyer before you file.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Spencer, Iowa

In Spencer, Iowa, there are 2 commonly-used forms of consumer bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 involves liquidation of some 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 types of debt, however, can't be absolved in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Spencer, Iowa. These include student loans, criminal fines, and taxes, among others. If most of your debt can't be absolved, Chapter 7 might not be the best choice for you.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Spencer, Iowa

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Spencer, Iowa differs substantially from Chapter 7. It might be a better option than Chapter 7, depending on the facts of your case. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy involves a court setting up an adjusted payment plan, which allows the debtor to pay off most or all of his debts over a prolonged period of time, through monthly payments that should, assuming that the debtor is willing to make a few sacrifices, be manageable.

Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Spencer, Iowa

Whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is the right choice for you depends heavily on your particular situation. If you have a steady income stream, and a lot of non-exempt property, Chapter 13 might be right for you. If you don't have a steady income, and most of your property is exempt, Chapter 7 might be a better way to go.

In any case, it would be a good idea to consult a local bankruptcy attorney in Spencer, Iowa. Your attorney can make an educated judgment as to what your best option is, and advise you accordingly (of course, the choice to file for bankruptcy is ultimately yours).