General Frequently Asked Questions
General Bankruptcy Questions
Q: What is the difference between different types of bankruptcies?
A: There are key differences between Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and Business Bankruptcies. Chapter 7 aims to dismiss your requirement to pay certain debts, allowing you to start over. Chapter 13 allows you to repay debt in an plausible amount that helps you stay afloat. When it comes to businesses, a consultation is first recommended as no client’s business or business needs will be the same.
Q: Does my spouse have to file a bankruptcy with me?
A: No; however, any joint debt you share, your spouse will be responsible for as well.
Q: Can I file for bankruptcy if I have in the past?
A: If your previous Chapter 7 falls within the previous eight years, you are not able to file. Once eight years go by from your initial filing, you can file again.
Q: Will I lose my home or car if I file for bankruptcy?
A: According to Iowa Bankruptcy Law, filing does not mean you will lose your car or home as long as your equity is exempt.
Q: Do I make too much money to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
A: This is usually not the case when it comes to Chapter 7. Most clients fall below the median income level that is required when filing a Chapter 7. Even if you make more than the specified income level, each client's situation is unique and you may still qualify to file a Chapter 7. In the free initial consultation, all of this will be considered so that you know your options before you invest one penny in Iowa bankruptcy attorney Lisa Pendroy’s services.
Q: What is the best bankruptcy option for a higher income?
A: You will want to make an initial consultation appointment to decide the best option for you; however, Chapter 13 bankruptcies are available for anyone to file in Iowa, no matter the income level.
Q: Will I have to go to court?
A: Not quite, but you will need to attend a meeting of creditors. In this meeting, you will become acquainted with the trustee in your case, no matter Chapter 13 or Chapter 7. Trustees are very friendly, and should not be feared.
Their job is to ask you simple questions, ones which Lisa will prepare you for in advance. Creditors may also show up to this meeting to ask you some simple questions, but just as before, there is no need to be scared; it is a completely simple process.
Q: Are there any required courses before I can file bankruptcy in Iowa?
A: Credit counseling classes must be attended in person, online, or via phone before filing.
Q: Will filing a bankruptcy stop my garnishment?
A: Yes, filing a bankruptcy creates an automatic stay and creditors cannot collect on any debt unless the creditor files a motion to lift the stay and the court orders that the stay be lifted. The same applies if your home in in foreclosure or your vehicle is on the verge of repossession.
Q: Will filing bankruptcy end contact with bill collectors?
A: When you file bankruptcy, bill collectors can no longer collect debt.
Q: Will bankruptcy destroy my credit?
A: No. What will destroy your credit is not paying on your bills when they are due. Iowa bankruptcy attorneys consider bankruptcy as a fresh start.
Many clients are in a better position after working with a bankruptcy attorney and filing for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 for the following reasons:
Since Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcies essentially wipes out your debt, credit scores usually increase after filing.
Filers can usually refinance their home within two years after declaring bankruptcy.
Once you’ve declared, applying to rent an apartment may also become easier since the Landlord is likely to check your credit report.
Q: What are the available options with credit cards?
A: While it may not be available for you to open a new line of credit, you will be able to use bank and debit cards in a way you would use credit cards.