Bankruptcy Court Information For Des Moines, IA

Des Moines, Iowa 50317

Residents of Polk County, Iowa file bankruptcy in Iowa Southern District Bankruptcy Court

1 courthouse serves the Iowa Southern District Bankruptcy Court.

Three Kinds of Information You Will Need from the Court

(Note: Court websites change often and links go out of date. If a link does not work, go to the home page for the court and look for the materials from there.)

Official Website of the
Iowa Southern District Bankruptcy Court

Official Court Website

* Home page

What you'll find there

You'll need to file your papers with one of the courthouses that serve the Iowa Southern District Bankruptcy Court.

Pre-COVID, you had to go to court, in person, at least once to meet with the bankruptcy trustee for your 341 hearing. During the Coronavirus pandemic, those meetings were typically done by phone or zoom. A few courts may still allow that.

Where To Start

Before you file, there are three kinds of information you'll need to get from the court's website:

1. Info on Filing Without an Attorney

Court "Pro Se" Info

Information specific to your district

You'll need information specifically about your particular court's procedures.

Fortunately, the Iowa Southern District Bankruptcy Court offers information specifically designed for people filing without an attorney. Virtually all courts link to the generic national information mentioned above. The Iowa Southern District Bankruptcy Court offers specific guidance about local procedures.

General information about how to file

If you're new to the bankruptcy process, the website of the US Courts Adminstrative Office now offers a basic orentation page for those filing bankruptcy without an attorney. The information inlcudes a Bankruptcy Basics video in English Spanish and Creole. The half hour video is split into chapters so you can go back and review parts that went by too fast the first time.

2. Local Rules

Local Rules - IAS

Each court has its own rules about filing procedure, how to list creditor's names and addresses, and they tend to be fussy about it.

You must comply with the details of the process, such as filing dates, filing procedures, fees, and a myriad of other bureaucratic wonderfulness. Depending on how poorly they're written, your court's local rules probably won't make much sense to you. Don't worry. You may not be affected by most of the rules.

However, you will need to follow the rules about filing procedure and how to format the creditors' "mailing matrix" (a list of creditor's names and addresses).

Your court publishes plain-English instructions for those filing without a lawyer in the Iowa Southern District Bankruptcy Court . Use that first, rather than trying to read the actual rules.

How to File for BankruptcyChapters 6 and 7 of How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy offer more information on what to look for in local rules and how to ask the court clerk for the information you need as you prepare your paperwork and fill in yourforms.

3. Court Forms

Local Forms

Bankruptcy is a forms-intensive process, kind of like doing a long tax return.

The main forms you use in bankruptcy are federal forms, used nationwide in all bankruptcy courts.

Your bankruptcy court may have additional local forms for the Iowa Southern District Bankruptcy Court for dealing with things like the list of creditors.

Other information from the court

Most courts link to a downloadable U.S. Courts publication called "Bankruptcy Basics." This offers a decent overview of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy -- but has no information about how to actually file or fill in the mountain of forms.

Now most courts also link to a helpful YouTube video created by the Federal Courts that explains the bankruptcy process.

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Courthouses of the Iowa Southern District Bankruptcy Court

Des Moines

Court Website info

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Southern District of Iowa
110 East Court Avenue, Suite 300
Des Moines, Iowa 50309


Maps: Google - Yahoo

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Iowa Southern District Bankruptcy Court List of Private Trustees by Chapter

Source: The U.S Trustee Program - Iowa List of Private Trustees by Chapter



Note: The individuals listed are private parties, not government employees.





Larry S. Eide
P.O. Box 1588
103 East State St., Suite 800
Mason City, IA 50402 -1588
Phone: (641)423-4264


Wil L. Forker
701 Pierce Street, Suite 303
Sioux City, IA 51101
Phone: (712) 252-1395


Renee K. Hanrahan
P.O. Box 1088
Cedar Rapids, IA 52406 -1088
Phone: (319)848-6040
Fax: 1-866 256-4604


Sheryl L. Schnittjer
24695 207th Ave.
Delhi, IA 52223
Phone: (563) 922-9702



Deborah L. Petersen
215 South Main St.
P.O. Box 893
Council Bluffs, IA 51502 -0893
Phone: (712) 328-8808


Robert G. Schlegel
211 West Washington Street
P.O. Box 867
Washington, IA 52353
Phone: (319) 653-5431


Charles L. Smith
25 Main Place, Suite 200
Council Bluffs, IA 51503
Phone: (712)325-9000