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What Can You Keep After Filing For a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Iowa?

Posted by Shawn Smith | Dec 26, 2019 | 0 Comments

Filing for bankruptcy is a challenging process for Iowa families. Not only are there feelings of personal defeat, but you may also worry about how impoverished the process will leave you when you finally put it all behind you.

Fortunately, bankruptcy exists because people need a fresh financial start when there is no other option. With that said, a fresh start is only possible if you have the tools you need to survive.

As such, the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts in Northern and Southern Iowa allow you to claim certain exemptions that encourage you to thrive rather than face the possibility of bankruptcy again.

However, you must follow a few rules. Working with an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer is a practical and affordable way to ensure that you are getting the most benefit from the process while protecting your rights.

In this post, we examine what a Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemption is and how you can use it to your advantage to keep your most critical assets.

Defining Iowa Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Exemptions

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemption is the personal property courts allow you to retain upon exiting bankruptcy. Most cases involve people who do not own any assets.

Typically, you can keep your home, automobile, retirement plans, and personal effects. However, there are limits to the maximum allowable amount, which means that it is vital for you to review the laws early on in your filing.

What You Can Keep After Exiting from Bankruptcy in Iowa

During a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in Iowa, you will likely be surprised at what the courts allow you to retain. The image of total deprivation does not apply to a Chapter 7 case for individuals requiring a little help.

While courts liquidate all of your non-exempt assets, here are a few items of real and personal property you can keep:

  • Primary Iowa residence: You can keep one home or apartment you own that is limited to a half-acre in a city or town, while rural area homeowners can keep up to forty acres.
  • Personal Motor vehicle: Bankruptcy courts will exempt your vehicle by up to $7,000.
  • Retirement benefits: Bankruptcy does not dip into your retirement account to the extent that it is necessary for your support.
  • Personal property: You can retain up to $7,000 in household furnishings, clothes, and prescribed health devices. Jewelry is limited to $2,000. Art and books exempt up to $1,000.

While the above-referenced list is not exhaustive, you can see that the bankruptcy process will not leave you without the means to achieve a better life for you and your family.

Speak with an Iowa Bankruptcy Lawyer for More Information

If you have further questions concerning your assets, speaking with an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer is beneficial. He or she can analyze the details of your Chapter 7 action and help you understand what to expect.

At the Smith Law Firm, PC, our team of legal professionals invites you to contact us for an initial consultation by calling (515) 451-1260 or submitting a contact request via our form.

About the Author

Shawn Smith

“None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody – a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns – bent down and helped us pick up our boots.” Justice Thurgood Marshall, U.S. Supreme Court (1967-1991) What do you need in an att...


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