Iowa Bankruptcy Laws & Exemptions
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Iowa Bankruptcy Laws

Iowa Laws That Keep Creditors' Hands Off Your Property

Iowa bankruptcy laws can help you eliminate debt, halt foreclosure and end creditor harassment. Filing bankruptcy gives you the chance to rebuild credit and get a fresh financial start.

After you learn more about the bankruptcy process, you may be able to make your choice about which debt-relief option best suits you.

You can explore both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 options. If you have specific questions about how Iowa’s laws might affect you, speak with a local bankruptcy lawyer.

To speak with a local Iowa bankruptcy lawyer, fill out the free form below or call 877-349-1309. For more information on Iowa’s bankruptcy laws, keep reading.

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Iowa Bankruptcy Law

During your first meeting with your Iowa bankruptcy lawyer, you will likely be told about the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Your lawyer may also ask you some personal questions, or have you fill out an intake sheet to provide details about your finances. The information that you provide about your assets and debts can help you and your bankruptcy lawyer determine if filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best decision.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often referred to as “liquidation” because bankruptcy trustees in Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases may opt to sell non-exempt property that you own to raise money to pay for your debts.

However, most people who are eligible to file for Chapter 7 have little to no property that isn’t protected by the state exemptions. So you may be able to file and keep your home, car and other items.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be an attractive option if your income can’t keep up with your debts, if you have unsecured debts from credit cards and payday loans or if you don’t own much property.

If you are considering filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is important that you have a firm understanding on the property exemptions and how they will affect you.


  • One home, regardless of value.


If your annual earnings are:

  • $12,000-16,000, no more than $400 per year may be garnished.
  • $16,000-24,000, no more than $800 per year may be garnished.
  • $24,000-35,000, no more than $1,500 per year may be garnished.
  • $35,000-50,000, no more than $2,000 per year may be garnished.
  • $50,000 or more, no more than 10 percent of your wages per year may be garnished.


  • Up to $7,000 of one vehicle.

Personal Property

  • $1,000 worth of books, bibles, portraits and paintings
  • $2,000 worth of jewelry
  • $7,000 worth of household goods, apparel, household furnishings and musical instruments.
  • $10,000 worth of tools, work implements and trade books.
  • $10,000 worth of livestock, tools and equipment (for farmers).

Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the better option for people who own more property, have steady income or are facing debt because of a temporary set-back like job loss or injury.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debts to be reorganized. With the help of a lawyer and the courts, you can establish a three-five year repayment plan for your debts when filing Chapter 13. Some debts may be discharged. While paying off this debt, your property should be protected from foreclosure and repossession, and the harassing phone calls can stop.

Get Answers With an Iowa Bankruptcy Lawyer Today

Right now, you may feel overwhelmed with information and even stress. You may even be unclear about how some of these laws will affect you.

An Iowa bankruptcy lawyer can talk to you about how the state’s laws will impact your case, and help you make informed decisions about your future.

At Total Bankruptcy, we make it easy to find a local Iowa bankruptcy lawyer. Just fill out the free case evaluation form on this page or call us, toll free, at 877-349-1309 and we’ll connect you with a sponsoring bankruptcy lawyer near you immediately.

Note: Keep in mind all laws are complex. If you need legal advice or want to fully understand how these laws affect you, please speak with a local attorney.

Laws may have changed since our last update. For the latest information on your state's bankruptcy laws, speak to a local bankruptcy lawyer.

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