If you've sought out this page, this is probably a time in your life when your financial affairs are in crisis. The reasons can be as many a there are desperate people, but the most common are illness, a catastrophic accident, job loss, the death or disability of a close family member, or divorce -- or a combination of these. Bankruptcy is one way of resolving that crisis and getting back to a healthy financial life.

A lot of myths surround bankruptcy, and some of these are addressed in the frequently asked questions piece that links from this page. You'll also find an explanation of the various chapters under which a bankruptcy can be filed there.

The filing of a bankruptcy petition also requires a lot of information about your assets and debts, and the bankruptcy worksheet that links from this page is a good starting point for putting that information together.

You have probably heard about the "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005" (Public Law No. 109-8) which effects cases filed October 17, 2005 and after. It has made bankruptcy more difficult to file for some people, and more expensive to file for nearly everyone. But the stories that most debt is no longer dischargeable, or that bankruptcy has been abolished for most people, are simply not true.

If you have filed, you may want to consider whether to reaffirm some of your prior debts. A collection of questions and answers about reaffirmation agreements is also available.

You may also have questions about credit reports and credit reporting. Some basic information about that is in Credit Report Questions and Answers, which links from this page.

Of course, the information here is rather general, and you'll have specific questions about how bankruptcy would effect you. We're happy to answer those questions, either by telephone, or by setting up an appointment in our office.

Bankruptcy -- Frequently Asked Questions

Bankruptcy Worksheet

Reaffirmation Agreement Questions and Answers

Credit Report Questions and Answers

DCBA Bankruptcy Outline

Iowa Law School Pro Bono Outline

Bankruptcy is a filing in federal court for protection from collection efforts by creditors. It can be of a number of types (called chapters), and the relief that the court can grant varies by the chapter under which relief is requested.

In all cases a bankruptcy is started by filing a petition and schedules, which list the assets and debts of the debtor and answer questions about recent transactions with creditors.

The bankruptcy code prohibits collection efforts by listed creditors as soon as the petition is filed. Until the creditors actually receive a notice from the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court, you will need to tell them that you have filed the bankruptcy. The order prohibiting collections (called the "automatic stay") can be modified by a Bankruptcy Judge after a hearing, but otherwise continues until a discharge is granted or denied. If no objections are filed, a discharge is generally granted about 72 days after the date of the 341 meeting.

No two cases are exactly the same, and the exact things we do vary with your situation. In general, we 1) talk with you about the process of bankruptcy and how it applies to the particular debts and assets that you have, 2) talk about what alternatives to bankruptcy might be available to you, 3) supply you with a worksheet for the information we need to file a petition and schedules, 4) prepare the petition, schedules, and any required attachments, 5) file the petition and schedules with the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court, 6) answer inquiries from you, from creditors, and from the Trustee concerning the filing, and 7) attend the first meeting of creditors with you. We are generally willing to talk with you about the bankruptcy process by telephone or in person without charge. We do require that the entire filing fee and fee for our services be paid before we will file a chapter 7 petition.

Contact a Dubuque Bankruptcy Attorney

Call our Dubuque Lawyers today:   (563) 588-0547