Iowa Bankruptcy Courts


If you need assistance with a bankruptcy matter in Iowa bankruptcy courts, you can contact Henkels & Baker, PC. Call us today for a free consultation.

Iowa Bankruptcy Proceedings: What You Need To Know

A bankruptcy is a legal process that allows people and businesses to eliminate their debts under the protection of bankruptcy laws. Usually, bankruptcy is initiated when a person or business cannot repay outstanding debts.

Individuals and businesses who cannot pay their bills can get a fresh start through bankruptcy. By filing for bankruptcy, they can begin repairing their financial situation. Bankruptcy also provides an opportunity for creditors to receive some or all of the money they are owed.

Even so, filing for bankruptcy can be a complex and intimidating process. You are better off hiring an experienced and qualified legal professional to help you through the process.

Give Henkels & Baker, PC, a call today for a free consultation, and let us help you file bankruptcy. Our team can prepare your paperwork and represent you in bankruptcy court.

The US Bankruptcy Court System

All bankruptcy cases are handled by the Federal Bankruptcy Court, regardless of where the debtor resides or where the debt was incurred. United States Bankruptcy Courts were created by the Bankruptcy Act of 1978, which separated them from the main courts. As a result, bankruptcy courts typically differ from traditional courts in their rules and procedures.

Bankruptcy cases are governed by the Bankruptcy Code, which provides a uniform set of bankruptcy laws throughout the United States. The Bankruptcy Court is responsible for administering the Bankruptcy Code to ensure that the proceedings are conducted fairly and according to the law. Therefore, bankruptcy courts have exclusive jurisdiction to resolve all bankruptcy-related matters, including eligibility, discharge, and claims against a debtor’s property.

The court also resolves disputes between creditors and debtors and reviews proposed repayment plans. Bankruptcy courts also have the authority to discharge certain debts, allowing debtors to start fresh financially.

Bankruptcy courts operate under district courts and have subject-matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases. Cases arising under the Bankruptcy Code must be filed in federal district courts, and they cannot be filed in state courts. Ninety-four (94) federal judicial districts handle bankruptcy matters throughout the United States.

As a matter of federal law, 28 U.S.C. 157(a) provides that district courts have subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases. Moreover, each district court can order that bankruptcy matters be “referred” to the bankruptcy court.

In practice, most district courts have standing orders to that effect, meaning that the bankruptcy court initially handles all bankruptcy cases in its district. A district court is also allowed to “withdraw the reference,” meaning it can remove a case or a particular proceeding from the bankruptcy court and decide on the matter itself. It is rare for bankruptcy cases to be withdrawn, and only under unusual circumstances does this occur.

Iowa’s Bankruptcy Courts

Iowa has two federal judicial districts: the Northern District of Iowa and the Southern District of Iowa. The two districts are divided along geographical lines, with the Northern District covering the northern part of the state and the Southern District covering the southern part. Each district has its own courtrooms, judges, and clerks.

The Southern District of Iowa administers bankruptcy cases in forty-seven of Iowa’s ninety-nine counties. The Northern District of Iowa administers bankruptcy cases in the remaining fifty-two counties.


The Northern District of Iowa’s Bankruptcy Court

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Iowa is divided into six divisions in: Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Mason City, and Waterloo.

The Cedar Rapids Federal Courthouse and the Sioux City Federal Courthouse have Clerk’s Offices. Pleadings and correspondence must be addressed to the respective Clerk’s Office.

Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Mason City, and Waterloo divisional courts are located in state courthouses or other public buildings and are not operated by the Bankruptcy Clerk’s Office.

Cedar Rapids

The bankruptcy court in Cedar Rapids is located at the following address:

US Bankruptcy Court
Northern District of Iowa
111 7th Ave. SE,
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

The Clerk can be reached at 319-286-2200 or by fax at 319-286-2280

 Sioux City

The Sioux City address is:

US Bankruptcy Court
Northern District of Iowa
320 6th Street
Federal Building
Sioux City, IA 51101

You can reach the Clerk at 712-233-3939 or by fax at 712-233-3942.

The Clerks’ regular business hours are 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday, except on federal holidays.

You can find the addresses and contact details of the courts in the Northern District of Iowa on the United States Bankruptcy Court website for the Northern District of Iowa.


The Southern District of Iowa’s Bankruptcy Court

In the Southern District of Iowa, the bankruptcy court is divided into three divisions: the Western Division, the Central Division, and the Eastern Division. Courthouses are located in Des Moines, Davenport, and Council Bluffs.

Des Moines

In Des Moines, the bankruptcy court is located at the following address:

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
4th Floor U.S. Courthouse Annex
110 East Court Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309

Bankruptcy hearings are heard in Courtrooms 1 and 2, located on the fourth floor.


The Davenport court’s address is as follows:

Davenport Courthouse
United States Courthouse
131 E 4th Street
Davenport, IA 52801

Hearings are heard in Courtroom #120 and Courtroom #140.

Council Bluffs

In Council Bluffs, the court is located at

United States Courthouse
8 South 6th Street, Room 205
Council Bluffs, IA 51501

At all three locations, the Clerk’s regular business hours are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, except for the observed Federal Holidays.

For more information about the Southern District courts, you can send an email to [email protected].

How Can Henkels & Baker, PC Help You With Iowa Bankruptcy Courts?

Filing bankruptcy in Iowa bankruptcy courts can be a highly confusing process. Bear in mind that if you decide to file a bankruptcy case without the help of a bankruptcy attorney, the court will expect you to be familiar with the court procedures and rules. 

Also, you will need to know relevant judicial orders for Iowa bankruptcy courts. You need to file your case in the right court. Otherwise, your case might be thrown out for jurisdictional reasons.

Although the U.S. Courts provide a variety of bankruptcy forms, it is necessary to choose the forms you’ll need and fill them out correctly and honestly. Make sure to check whether there are any other forms you need to fill out in the local bankruptcy court where you will file your case.

A bankruptcy attorney with experience can ensure your case is filed correctly and in the right court.

Here’s how Henkels & Baker, PC can help you with Iowa bankruptcy courts:

  • Advising you on whether you should file for bankruptcy
  • Helping you choose the right type of bankruptcy for you
  • Reviewing your financial documents and helping you prepare your bankruptcy forms
  • Representing you in court
  • Helping you negotiate with your creditors
  • Helping you protect your exempt assets from being sold or seized by the trustee or the creditors
  • Helping you deal with any issues or complications that may arise

Reach out to us at Henkels & Baker, PC. Contact us today and talk to a bankruptcy lawyer in Dubuque, Iowa.

Client Reviews

Mark F.

Dustin was Excellent – professional, thoughtful, empathetic. Would definitely refer him to others.

Liz P.

The care and knowledge I received before and during my bankruptcy with your firm was 100% helpful.