Iowa Court Records
What are Iowa Bankruptcy Records?
Bankruptcy in Iowa is a legal proceeding involving a person or a business that cannot repay outstanding debts. It is a filing undertaken by a company or an institution to free itself from arrears. In Iowa, federal courts handle all bankruptcy cases under the regulations of the U.S. bankruptcy code. Bankruptcy courts hear and decide petitions of individuals, businesses, and other entities seeking relief from debts. Iowa bankruptcy records contain information regarding bankruptcy declaration, assets, social security number, debtors, and creditors details. Iowa has two bankruptcy courts located in the southern and northern districts of Iowa:
- The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa
- The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Iowa
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa oversees bankruptcy affairs for the Northern District of Iowa. These federal courts manage bankruptcy records and criminal debt, civil cases, loans, and other civil matters related to finance.
Filling a petition for bankruptcy in Iowa attracts a court filing fee of $335. The process involves;
- Gathering paperwork
- Collection of Iowa bankruptcy documents
- Taking credit counseling
- Completion of the bankruptcy form and mailing important documents to trustees, attending meetings of creditors.
The debtor also files alongside the petition a schedule of all assets, debts or liabilities, a list of assets declared as exemptions.
Iowa bankruptcy records are available and are accessible on third party websites. Also, bankruptcy files are maintained electronically on public access to court records. Using this service would require registration and login, and searches cost 10 cents. However, if the access fees do not exceed $30, no billing occurs. The Voice Case Information System is an automated voice response system also designed to grant access to bankruptcy records. With a telephone, information seekers can access the system and get information by providing search clues like:
- Debtors name
- Social security number
- Case number.
- Bankruptcy chapter
- Filing date
- Attorney for debtor
- Name of trustee
- Name of judge
What do Iowa Bankruptcy Records Contain?
Iowa bankruptcy records consist of information related to the filing, credit report, names of creditors and dates, debt owed, and personal information. Other details added include assets, creditor’s claims, and information on any funds exchanged during bankruptcy. Records also list phone calls and meeting notes.
Are Bankruptcy Records Public Information?
Yes, bankruptcy records in the state of Iowa are public information. The Iowa Open Records Law broadly states and guarantees that the public has the right to examine, copy, and disseminate public records of government on all levels. Including agencies, arrest warrants, divorce records, property records, lawsuits, court records, criminal records, bankruptcy, and lien. Exemptions include personal information, medical records, military files, and confidential records.
The courts consider bankruptcy cases public information. Therefore, the federal judiciary provides public access to federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy court documents. Under this, information regarding bankruptcy is readily available on an electronic public access service. Getting copies of these records attracts a payment of 10 cents. Iowa bankruptcy records can be viewed, printed, and disseminated.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.
Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
How to Get Iowa Bankruptcy Records
In Iowa, bankruptcy records are obtainable from any of the two U.S. bankruptcy courts: northern district and southern district. The court that will hear a bankruptcy case depends on the county or district of residence or business enterprise site. Interested parties can inquire from the clerk of the court by telephone, mail, or fax. Requestors must describe each document requested. The courts are open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except during federal holidays. The addresses and contact information for the two districts in Iowa are as follows:
U.S. Bankruptcy Court (Southern District)
110 East Court Avenue, Ste 300
Des Moines IA, 50309
Phone: (515) 284–6230
Fax: (515) 284–6404
U.S. Bankruptcy Court (NorthernDistrict)
111 7th Avenue S. E., #15
Cedar Rapids IA 52401
Phone: (319) 286–2200
Fax: (319) 286–2280
Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) Service Center provides online access to bankruptcy records. Documents available on PACER are cases filed after December 1, 2003, and have been closed for over one year. For further inquiries, call 1–800–676–6856.
Notably, bankruptcy records that are 20 years or older are not obtainable. Nevertheless, documents filed before 4/1/2004 are available at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).. Contact the Clerk’s office of bankruptcy courts to check on the location of the file whether National Archives has received it. Archived files are accessible from NARA by filling and submitting the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Request From NATF–90.
How do I Find Out if My Bankruptcy Case is Closed in Iowa?
Inquiries about the current status of a bankruptcy case in Iowa are made by request on PACER or by a comparative evaluation of credit reports. To receive a free annual credit report, interested parties can download and fill the Annual Credit Report Request Form, then mail the completed form to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P. O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348–5281
Starting in 2020 through 2026, everyone in the U.S. (including those that have filed for bankruptcy) can get six free credit reports yearly. The opportunity is in addition to the three free annual reports from the approved agencies. The state created these reports to help those who have filed for bankruptcy to monitor credit status consistently and seek appropriate modifications when issues arise. Cases closed for over a year are not available on PACER and can serve as a confirmatory tool.
Can a Bankruptcy be Expunged in Iowa?
A bankruptcy generally affects a person’s credit rating for 7 to 10 years, which is the same period bankruptcy records last. The rating depends entirely on the individual credit reporting agency. The bankruptcy courts do not influence the type of information published in the credit bureaus report or duration for which credit bureaus keep the filing. However, Federal Law 15 U.S. C. §1681c specifies the kind of information found in credit reports. Hence, 11 U.S. C. Section 107(b) and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9018, which states that the court will consider any motion for a protective order to seal documents on its merits, support the expungement and permanent erasure of bankruptcy records after a determined time frame.
Bankruptcy records are automatically deleted after seven years (for Chapter 11 bankruptcy) because there is a partial repayment of the debt and ten years for (Chapter 7 bankruptcy) as none of the debt owed in this type of bankruptcy is ever re-payed by the debtor. However, if after stipulated time has passed and these records remain, make a formal complaint to the bureaus involved.