Information for Pro Se Creditors

Bankruptcy can be a complicated process.  If you wish to retain an attorney, call the Iowa Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer Project at (515) 244-8617 or Iowa Legal Aid at (800) 532-1275.

The US Bankruptcy Court Clerk's staff is not permitted to prepare documents for you and cannot provide any legal advice.  You must comply with the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.  Additional information may be available at your local library.

See also Bankruptcy Basics.

Frequently Used Forms

The forms listed below are in a fillable PDF format.  Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view and print PDF files and PDF fill-in forms.  If you do not have Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Acrobat Reader download it here - Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Acrobat Reader.

·         Form B10 – Proof of Claim Form.
Note: To submit an electronic Proof of Claim Form, click here.

·        Reaffirmation Forms

·        Form 27 – Reaffirmation Agreement Cover Sheet

·        Form B240A – Reaffirmation Documents (instructions)

·        Form B240B – Motion for Approval of Reaffirmation Agreement

·        Form B210A –Transfer of Claim Other Than for Security (instructions)

·         Creditor Change of Address Form

·         Other Official Bankruptcy Forms from the US Courts

Unclaimed Funds

Unclaimed funds are funds held by the court for an owner or recipient who is entitled to the money, but who has failed to claim ownership or who cannot be located and payment has been returned.

You can search for unclaimed funds by selecting List of Unclaimed Funds. For general information and unclaimed fund forms and information click here

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the debtor?

A debtor is a person who has filed a petition for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Who is the creditor?

A creditor is one to whom the debtor owes money or who claims to be owed money by the debtor.

What is a Trustee?

A trustee is the representative of the bankruptcy estate who exercises statutory powers, primarily for the benefit of the unsecured creditors, under the general supervision of the court and the direct supervision of the United States Trustee or Bankruptcy Administrator. The trustee is a private individual or corporation appointed in all chapter 7, chapter 12, and chapter 13 cases and some chapter 11 cases. The trustee is responsible for reviewing the bankruptcy petition, recovering property of the bankruptcy estate, liquidating property, and distributing funds to creditors. Trustees in chapter 12 and 13 cases have duties similar to a chapter 7 trustee plus the additional responsibility of overseeing the debtor's plan, receiving payments from debtors, and disbursing plan payments to creditors.

What is the United States Trustee?

The US Trustee is an officer of the Justice Department who supervises the administration of bankruptcy cases, estates, and trustees; monitors plans and disclosure statements; monitors creditors' committees; and performs other statutory duties.

What is Pro Se?

"Pro se" is a Latin phrase that means "for oneself".  It is the designation given to someone who represents themselves in court.

Am I listed as a creditor?

If the debtor listed you as a creditor on the list of creditors when the case was filed, you will receive a clerk’s notice of commencement of case no later than 7-10 days after the filing.  This notice provides you with important information and instructions.

Someone who owes me money filed for bankruptcy in this court. Where can I find information on the case?

A limited amount of information is available, at no charge, from our Voice Case Information System (VCIS). Please call VCIS toll free via 888-219-5534 or locally via 515-284-6427.  You input a case number or name using the dial pad on your telephone to obtain the information.

You may access the electronic case docket, at no charge, at public computer terminals in the clerk’s office in Des Moines.

Where can I find information on how a bankruptcy case works?

This information is available under Bankruptcy Basics on our website.

How do I get notices sent to me in a bankruptcy case where I am a creditor of the debtor?

To receive notices in a bankruptcy case:

·         the debtor must list you on the list of creditors when the case was filed, or

·         you must file a written Notice of Appearance with the court.

You will also be added to the list of creditors if you file a proof of claim in a case where funds will be available for distribution to creditors.

If the debtor lists your address incorrectly or if you change your address during the time the case is open, you must notify the court in writing of your correct address using a Notice of Change of Address form.

IMPORTANT: If your correct address is not listed in the court records, you will not receive notices in the case and, if funds are distributed to creditors, your check may not reach you.

The clerk’s office automatically sends the following notices to parties listed in a case at the time the notice is sent:

·         Notice of Commencement of Case,

·         Discharge of Debtor (if applicable),

·         Order Dismissing Case (if applicable).

 

How do I file a claim?

The notice of commencement of case served by the clerk’s office when the case is filed contains information regarding the filing of a proof of claim only if the case has been designated as an asset case.

If funds are available for distribution to creditors and you are listed as a creditor in the case, you will receive a notice to file a proof of claim. You may use the Official Bankruptcy Form - Proof of Claim or submit an Electronic Proof of Claim Form.

Mail or deliver completed proof of claim forms to:
(Note: If you submit an electronic Proof of Claim, do not submit a paper copy to the court.)

US Bankruptcy Court Clerk's Office
110 E. Court Avenue, Ste 300
Des Moines, IA 50309

Forms may also be faxed to (515) 284-6303.

Do I have to respond to a notice I receive from the court or appear at a hearing scheduled in the notice?

If you receive a notice from the court or another party in the case, you should read it carefully to determine what deadlines and other information apply to you. The clerk’s office cannot provide legal advice, including whether you must respond to a notice or whether you must appear at a hearing. If you are uncertain what to do, you may wish to obtain the advice of an attorney.

I have information about bankruptcy fraud in a case. Where do I report it?

The following link to the bankruptcy fraud hotline contains information for reporting bankruptcy fraud. Bankruptcy Fraud Hotline

How do I find out if there is money deposited in my name as a creditor in a bankruptcy case in this court?

If a payment was mailed to you and the check was undeliverable to the address the trustee mailed it to, the trustee may have filed a Report of Trustee Under BR 3011 (Unclaimed Funds) with the Clerk of Court.  You can search for unclaimed funds and apply to claim the funds by following the instructions for unclaimed funds.

Where can I find archived case information?

To retrieve case information or copies of documents from the Federal Records Center you must obtain the Accession Number, Location Number, and Box Number from the clerk's office where the bankruptcy case was filed. You may obtain this information in person, by calling the court at 515-284-6230, or writing to the court at:

US Bankruptcy Court Clerk's Office
110 E. Court Avenue, Ste 300
Des Moines, IA 50309

 

How do I get copies of documents in a case?

You may call, fax or mail a written request for photocopies to the court.  Photocopy fees are $.50 per page. If you wish to visit the court in person, the photocopy fee is reduced to $.10 per page.

All copy work must be prepaid prior to any copying.  Payment must be made in the form of cash (exact amount), company/firm check, authorized credit card, or a bank cashier's check or money order made payable to: Clerk, United States Bankruptcy Court. No personal checks are accepted.

If you make a written/fax request please include the case name, case number, filing date, and the title of the specific document(s) you wish to have copied. In addition, please include your name, address, and daytime telephone number.

How do I get CERTIFIED copies of documents in a case?

You may call, fax or mail a written request for certified copies to the court.  There is a certified copy fee of $9.00 per case and a photocopy fee of $.50 per page. If you wish to visit the court in person, the photocopy fee is reduced to $.10 cents per page.

All copy work must be prepaid prior to any copying.  Payment must be made in the form of cash (exact amount), company/firm check, authorized credit card, or a bank cashier's check or money order made payable to: Clerk, United States Bankruptcy Court. No personal checks are accepted.

If you make a written or fax request please include the case name, case number, filing date, and the title of the specific document(s) you wish to have certified. In addition, please include your name, address, and daytime telephone number.