Steve Klesner -- Iowa City | Cedar Rapids | Muscatine Bankruptcy Lawyer

Bankruptcy Articles
Cedar Rapids
Focus on Service
Stop Garnishment
Sending Your Info
Foreclosure in Iowa
Can I File?
Changes in the Law
Common questions
What Can I Keep?
Mistakes to Avoid
Attorney bio/location

Serving consumers STATEWIDE for 30 years 
Payment Plans Available 


As the Covid-19 epidemic is affecting every aspect of American life, we remain open and able to provide legal services to you via telephone, email, and the internet. The court systems remain open and we are actively working on new and existing cases.

We are cloud-based and have the ability to work for our clients remotely. This includes meeting with all current and prospective clients via telephone and virtual meetings. We make use of email, e-signatures, document sharing and retrieval to continue to provide effective legal services.

You can continue to call our office or reach out to your attorney via email. We are restricting in-person meetings to those that are necessary and impossible to conduct via telephone or virtual meetings. If you wish to meet with any of our attorneys, please do not hesitate to schedule a telephone or virtual meeting.

How do you know you are getting the bankruptcy lawyer you deserve?
"Excellent, very helpful. Always had an answer for any questions. Steve's assistant, Dawn, was very helpful, too. Would definitely recommend him to others." -- Anita

"Steve understands that legal proceedings can be intimidating, if not downright scary. He and his staff are responsive and thorough. He was always on time. I have never met a more knowledgeable lawyer." -- Bob

We are not an assembly line. We believe you deserve quality service, which begins with a lot of personal contact between the lawyer and client. You will not get a handshake from a lawyer and then spend all your time with a paralegal. We think our way is good business, and the professional way to practice law.

This commitment to quality is reflected in the opinions of our clients and other lawyers. Most of our clients come from referrals from clients and other lawyers. They know the quality of our work. We get those referrals because we do what it takes to produce happy clients and successful cases.

Steve has been representing clients in bankruptcy for 30 years. We've represented a lot of ordinary folks to save their houses from foreclosure, and avoid garnishments and repossessions. We've also represented small businesses needing reorganization. 

We also help people with big student loans, which many lawyers will not do. We have had a lot of success with student loans, either winning in court, or negotiating a reduction of the debt and better payment terms. 

We adjust our processes to meet our individual clients' needs. Most clients -- after the COVID epidemic -- appear to prefer remote preparation of the case. This means using online tools, and telephone calls or video conferencing. This has the advantage of saving trips to the lawyer's office, or waiting on the U.S. Mail to arrive. Some clients prefer or need the traditional methods, like meetings at the office and working from paper. We will meet your needs at Johnston, Stannard, Klesner, Burbidge & Fitzgerald.


Contact Steve by calling his Iowa City office at (319) 338-9852, or from Muscatine call (563)263-8801.

Or send him an email by clicking here.

Steve is a partner at Johnston, Stannard, Klesner, Burbidge & Fitzgerald, P.L.C. Visit the firm's website at



The purpose of this website is to provide some basic information about bankruptcy law in Iowa so that consumers will be better able to discuss their options with a bankruptcy attorney. You should never rely on a website or any other general information. Rather, you should meet in-person with a lawyer for advice that fits your situation.

Filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case will stop foreclosures, repossessions, and garnishments.  You will find information in this site about what bankruptcy case and cannot do for you, and you are encouraged to speak with an attorney about the details of your situation as soon as you are aware of your financial difficulties.

If you want more detailed information than is contained in this site, or you want to begin preparing for a meeting with an attorney, then call (319)338-9852 to request a Common Questions brochure and a Questionnaire (or use the links on this page), or to set up a cost-free, obligation-free consultation.

Keep in mind that the information in this site is intended for persons who are considering filing for bankruptcy relief in Iowa. Residents of other states should seek advice from attorneys licensed in those states.

* While we serve clients statewide, for those wanting a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney with an office in central Iowa, Jeff Mathias may be able to help you.  His website is found here:

click here to download our questionnaire

click here for a checklist of documents we will need

click here for a Q & A

click here for a form to authorize us to pull your credit report

For a FREE EVALUATION of your case, open the documents from the links above. Or call (319) 338-9852 to talk to Steve.

We recognize our clients have different needs, and wish to meet those needs in ways that are most convenient to them. We are willing to have office meetings, phone meetings, or be more creative to work around your schedule or other needs. At minimum, however, we need certain documents from you.  We are flexible about how you provide those documents (see options under "Sending Your Info" tab).  We need:

  1. The past seven months of paystubs for you and your spouse, even if your spouse isn't filing (but not if you are separated).  If you don't have all of them, your employer should be able to print a report summarizing your income.
  2. The past two years of tax returns, complete with W-2s.  If you can't find them, we can help you get them.
  3. Permission to order a credit report.  The form is available above.
  4. Copies of any bills and collection letters.  We need to know about ALL of your debts, including ones you want to pay.
  5. Let us know if you have had income in the past six months other than wages.  Examples: self-employment/business, child support, unemployment, worker's compensation, Social Security, rental income, inheritance, pension.
  6. Any document showing the value of your pensions or other financial investments, including cash value life insurance policies, college savings accounts, stocks, bonds, etc.

We invite you to submit your questions or comments below. Or email us here.


Your name:

Your email address:

Your questions or comments:


This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Persons accessing this site are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues. We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.