Written by the Upsolve Team.
Updated September 30, 2020
Although the unemployment rate in Davenport has decreased steadily in the recent past, households in Iowa have a median yearly income of only $49,335 still. This is significantly less compared to the nationwide median yearly income of $60,336. When you are not making sufficient money to pay your bills, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Davenport can be a good solution. Many people find filing bankruptcy in Davenport confusing; however, don’t worry as we will guide you through this process to make it as simple as possible. Bankruptcy is a court process designed to provide individuals a "fresh start" from unmanageable debt.
By declaring bankruptcy, you inform the Court that you lack the financial resources to repay your debt. Filing bankruptcy in Davenport gives you protection from your creditors and peace of mind you need. There are many reasons people file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Davenport. Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Davenport liquidates your unprotected assets so that you can pay off as much of your debt as possible without losing those items everyone needs to live. The money received from selling some of your property is usually distributed to creditors, such as banks and credit card companies. On the other hand, there is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Davenport, you agree on a plan to pay off all or some of your debts over three to five years.
There are plenty of myths surrounding bankruptcy. A common misconception in Davenport bankruptcy cases is that people think everyone will know they have filed for bankruptcy. However, this is not true. If you live in Davenport, your name won’t be published in any newspaper; the Des Moines Register does publish notices about Iowa bankruptcy cases but only for those filed by residents in Polk, Warren, or Dallas County. Many Davenport residents believe that filing bankruptcy in Davenport is hard and they need money to pay a bankruptcy attorney just to know about bankruptcy protection. If your case is complicated, a bankruptcy attorney can help you. And you can get free legal help as well.
Davenport Bankruptcy Lawyers - Estimated Cost
If your case is complicated, hiring an experienced and competent bankruptcy lawyer in Davenport means they can tackle your case, regardless of how complex the situation is, and help you with the paperwork. A lawyer who specializes in bankruptcy law can handle all kinds of bankruptcy chapters. If you have any questions about filing bankruptcy in Davenport, your lawyer will answer them.
The cost of a bankruptcy lawyer in Davenport varies from $965 to $1,500, depending on the complexity of the case. However, the good news is that many attorneys in Davenport offer a free initial consultation to help you determine the best course of action when filing bankruptcy in Davenport. Hence, hiring an attorney is a good investment if your case is complex, but learning more about the process and meeting with some local lawyers is a good and free way to find out whether that’s necessary for your situation, before making a commitment.
How to File Bankruptcy in Davenport, Iowa for Free
How to file bankruptcy in Davenport? This is a common question that many residents of Davenport pose, especially those who don’t have the financial means to hire a bankruptcy lawyerin Davenport. The process is straightforward enough that you can do it without a lawyer. All you have to do is take a deep breath, follow this city guide and other helpful resources available to you, and you’ll be debt-free very soon by filing bankruptcy in Davenport.
Collect Your Davenport Bankruptcy Documents
Before starting, it’s important to collect all your financial documents. This will help you understand your current financial situation. In addition to your credit report, which you can request free of charge, once per year, Davenport bankruptcy documents include your paycheck stubs, bank statements, your tax returns, and copies of your vehicle registration. You may also need some additional documents, such as copies of your 401k or pension statement, your life insurance policy, your personal identification, and your original social security card. When filing your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Davenport with the help of an attorney, bring copies of your Davenport bankruptcy documents to the initial consultation. Collecting your documents first will help speed things up, whether that’s during a meeting with a lawyer or while you complete the forms yourself.
Take Credit Counseling
Before filing bankruptcy in Davenport, you must participate in credit counseling, and receive a certificate that proves that you have done so. When filing bankruptcy in Davenport you have to use any one of the credit counseling agencies approved for Iowa bankruptcy cases. Watch out for credit counseling agencies which advertise heavily on television and other media but may not be approved. Consumer Credit of the Quad Cities is an approved credit counseling agency in the city. This credit counseling course costs between $10 and $50, depending on the provider you choose. You will have to submit the certificate of completion to the Court, along with the rest of your bankruptcy forms when you file your Iowa bankruptcy case.
Complete the Bankruptcy Forms
This is one of the most time-consuming steps in the process. If filing bankruptcy in Davenport is your best option to get out of debt, you should get started on your bankruptcy forms sooner rather than later. You’ll have to complete several forms to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Davenport. The purpose of these forms is to describe your recent financial status and financial transactions. Bankruptcy is a form-intensive process, and this is why hiring an attorney can be helpful, but not necessary if you’re good at following instructions. Some of the forms you will have to fill are:
Various Schedules and Statements with in-depth information about your financial situation
A form for something called the “Means Test”
Use the official Court forms to make sure your case proceeds smoothly, without any delay. In case your judge or creditors find that you have given inaccurate or misleading information in your bankruptcy filing, your case can be negatively affected. Also, steer clear of some of the mistakes that most people make when filing bankruptcy in Davenport. For example, two common mistakes that people make when completing bankruptcy forms are not listing all creditors and concealing assets. Just remember, everything you own is an asset and all assets must be listed and you can avoid making that mistake.
Get Your Filing Fee
The fee for filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Davenport is $335. You will need to pay this fee unless you qualify for a fee waiver. These fees include the following:
If you don’t have the money to pay your filing fee now, you have the option to complete a request to pay your filing fee in installments. It’s worth noting that the Court can increase these fees from time to time. You can also apply for a fee waiver if your household income is less than 150 % of the federal poverty guidelines and you can’t pay the fee in installments. If the Court waives your fee, you don’t have to pay it when filing bankruptcy in Davenport.
Print Your Bankruptcy Forms
After preparing your Davenport bankruptcy forms, make sure you print them out, all at once so you can submit them to the Court as a complete packet. This will help you and the Court. It’s vital to ensure that all the information you have provided is complete, relevant, accurate, and up to date when filing bankruptcy in Davenport. As the Court won’t accept double-sided pages, you must print them single-sided. If you have hired a bankruptcy lawyer, they will print out a copy of all documents before filing your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Davenport. This will help you review and sign all of the required documents. Printing everything at the same time means you will know that your version has the same information as the version that you provided to the Court.
Go to Court to File Your Forms
Now it’s time to bring the Davenport bankruptcy forms and your credit counseling course certificate to the Court so you can file your Iowa bankruptcy case. It’s vital that you file your forms in the correct bankruptcy district within Iowa. Davenport residents will file their Iowa bankruptcy case at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Des Moines which will assign it to the Eastern Division. Careful preparation and an understanding of legal issues are required when filing bankruptcy in Davenport. To that end, make sure you bring a valid picture ID with you when you visit the courthouse. A picture ID is required to enter the building. Also, when you are going to the Court to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Davenport, keep in mind that you will need to pass through security on your way, so you should plan accordingly and make sure you leave your pocket knife in the car before heading inside.
Mail Documents to Your Trustee
If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Davenport, you will have to go to the Court at least once in person to meet with your bankruptcy Trustee during your 341 meeting. A bankruptcy Trustee is responsible for overseeing and administering your case. You will have to provide certain financial documents to your Trustee, like pay stubs and tax returns. This will help support the information you have provided in your paperwork. It’s vital to carefully review any correspondence that you receive from the Trustee assigned to your Iowa bankruptcy case. You may lose your right to a discharge if you try to keep vital information from your Trustee or otherwise fail to cooperate with them.
Take Bankruptcy Course 2
You must attend a second course on managing finances to receive a discharge in your Iowa bankruptcy case. This course is sometimes known as budget counseling, pre-discharge counseling, or debtor education. This course will teach you the tools to manage your finances responsibly. Once you complete the counseling, you will have to file a certification form with the Court to let the judge know you’ve complied with this requirement of filing bankruptcy in Davenport. There are several approved debtor education providers that Davenport residents can use. You have to complete this course within 60 days after the 341 meeting to avoid having your case closed without a discharge..
Attend Your 341 Meeting
You will get notice of the date of the meeting of creditors, which is known as a 341 meeting and you have to attend this meeting. Creditors may attend as well so they get a chance to question you under oath, generally about the location of the property that serves as collateral to a loan and information you provided to them to get a loan. However, that doesn’t usually happen. After you have filed your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Davenport, your case will be randomly assigned to a local judge and a Trustee. The meeting of creditors will be held about one month after filing your Iowa bankruptcy. Arrive at least fifteen minutes early to your 341 meeting. Make sure you are well prepared by reviewing your Davenport bankruptcy forms and supporting documents in
Dealing with Your Car
A car is an important asset for many people. Most people like to retain their car when filing bankruptcy in Davenport. If you own a vehicle with outstanding debt, there is another step in the Davenport bankruptcy process that you will have to complete. If you would like to surrender your car to the lender, then the lender will file a request, called a motion, with the Bankruptcy Court to ask permission to retake your car. You don’t have to do anything and your obligation to pay the loan will be wiped away as part of you Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Davenport. However, if you want to repay the loan you’ll have to enter into a reaffirmation agreement. This will have the effect of pulling your car and the loan out of your bankruptcy case, as though you never filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Davenport. Keep in mind that filing bankruptcy in Davenport doesn’t mean you get a free car, but it also doesn’t mean you’ll have to give up a car you can afford to keep.
Iowa Bankruptcy Means Test, Bankruptcy Forms, and Exemptions for Davenport
Iowa Means Test
If you want to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Davenport, you will have to pass the Iowa bankruptcy Means Test. The test is applicable to all filers in the city. However, in case your income is lower the Iowa median for your household size, then you are exempt from part two ofthe Iowa Means Test calculation and may file a Chapter 7. Find out about theChapter 7 income limits to make sure you’re planning to file bankruptcy in Davenport under the right chapter. You are exempt from the Iowa bankruptcy Means Test if you are a disabled military veteran and incurred your debt mainly during active duty.
Median Income Levels for Iowa
Iowa Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2021
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Poverty Levels for Iowa
Iowa Fee Waiver Eligibility for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2021
Eligible for fee waiver when under 150% the poverty level.
|Household Size||State Poverty Level||Fee Waiver Limit (150% PL)|
Iowa Bankruptcy Forms
Filing bankruptcy in Davenport requires you to complete about 23 federal forms. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms consist of official national forms and a few local forms that are created specifically for use within the district you file in. These forms are available for free online. Some of the Iowa bankruptcy forms are quite long and seemingly complicated, so make sure you give yourself enough time to go through everything.
Iowa bankruptcy exemptions protect your equity in a certain property, such as your car. Exempt property can’t be used to pay debts. When filing bankruptcy in Iowa, many filers keep everything they own. Individuals keep exempt property when they file bankruptcy in Davenport. Under Iowa Code § 627.6(9), you can protect one car up to a value of $7,000. Bankruptcy law in Iowa allows married couples who are filing jointly to each claim a complete set of Iowa bankruptcy exemptions unless otherwise indicated.