How to File for Bankruptcy in Delaware
The process of filing for bankruptcy in Delaware involves the same requirements and steps that debtors must follow when filing for bankruptcy across the country. However, it can be beneficial to take time to become familiar with the specific details of filing in the state of Delaware. It is important to decide which form of bankruptcy is appropriate before submitting any paperwork to the court system.
Most debtors will qualify for either Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows debtors to have debt discharged if it is proven that they are unable to pay back their creditors. Chapter 13 bankruptcy sets up a structured payment plan that allows debtors to pay back debt over time. There is also a special category called Chapter 12 bankruptcy for fishermen and farmers. In addition, there is a category called Chapter 11 bankruptcy that may be appropriate in cases where a debtor has a large amount of debt or business-related debt.
Your income and expenses will ultimately be examined to determine which form of bankruptcy is appropriate in your case. It is highly beneficial to work with a lawyer instead of trying to file on your own due to the complex nature of the bankruptcy process. Failing to file properly could result in additional fees or your case being dismissed from court. The level of paperwork involved with filing for bankruptcy in Delaware is extensive.
Where to File for Bankruptcy in Delaware
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware is located in Wilmington. This is where all debtors in Delaware will need to file their petitions. The cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Delaware is $335. The cost to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Delaware is $310. The full list of fees associated with filing for bankruptcy of any kind in Delaware can be found here. Additional fees could add up if you need to change your filing status or make changes to your petition at any point.
The Basics of Filing for Bankruptcy in Delaware
It is necessary to attend credit counseling at some point during the six months before filing for bankruptcy relief in the state of Delaware. In addition, debtors must complete a debtor education course after they have filed for bankruptcy. Both courses must be administered by agencies that are approved in the state of Delaware. The list of approved credit counseling agencies can be found here. The list of debtor education agencies can be found here.
Anyone filing for bankruptcy in Delaware should be prepared to itemize their current income sources, expenses, assets, debts and financial transactions. In addition, any relevant deeds, titles and tax returns will also be requested by the court. It will be necessary to file a standard two-page bankruptcy petition and several other mandatory forms. The full list of forms that may be needed during the process of filing for bankruptcy in Delaware can be found here.
An automatic stay will be in effect once you file your paperwork with the court. This stay will prevent creditors from contacting you or attempting to collect debts. It will be necessary to attend a meeting of creditors before your case can be closed and your debts can be discharged or worked into a payment plan. This will give your creditors an opportunity to try to go after any non-exempt property that may be in your name or object to any details of a payment plan. However, this meeting usually only lasts for a few minutes and simply serves as a formality in most cases.