Written by Attorney Karra Kingston.
Updated August 17, 2020
If you live near the Circle of Georgetown and are thinking about filing bankruptcy in Georgetown, you have come to the right place. If you are ashamed to be contemplating bankruptcy, you shouldn’t be. Many people and business owners file for bankruptcy each day. Take, for example, Perkins the restaurant chain that filed bankruptcy just this past year. If that isn’t enough to convince you, some of America’s biggest celebrities have filed for bankruptcy relief, including Donald Trump, Walt Disney, and Missy Elliot. With the cost of living increase each year, it’s easy to fall behind on bills. If creditors are harassing you and you can’t sleep at night, it may be time to consider filing bankruptcy in Georgetown.
Many people don’t want to file bankruptcy because they are worried about being stigmatized. Bankruptcy laws were created to help the honest but unfortunate debtor. Unfortunately, no matter how much we try to plan our lives, some things that happen will always remain unpredictable. If you or a loved one got sick or lost a job and can’t financially breathe then filing bankruptcy in Georgetown can help you erase your debts so that you can start enjoying your life again.
If you want to file for bankruptcy but are not familiar with how the process works keep reading. This guide will be a tool for you to use to help you file a Georgetown bankruptcy on your own. You first must determine if you should file a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7. To determine which kind of bankruptcy you should file you should consider your income, expenses, debts, and assets carefully. If your part of a low-income household then you probably qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you have assets and make a decent living, then you may have to look into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You can find free information on our website or find a legal aid organization near you to help you determine if bankruptcy is the right option for you.
Georgetown Bankruptcy Lawyers – Estimated Cost
If you’re thinking about filing bankruptcy in Georgetown, you should know that you don’t have to hire a bankruptcy lawyer to help you. However, many people feel more comfortable having a lawyer who can handle all of the paperwork and represent them in court. If you are wondering “How much does a Georgetown bankruptcy lawyer cost?” You will probably spend anywhere from $965 - $1,550 for a typical Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgetown. The cost of a bankruptcy lawyer will depend on how complicated your case is. Since the process to file a Chapter 7 is pretty straightforward you can file bankruptcy on your own. However, we still recommend that you at least speak with a lawyer to determine if bankruptcy is the right decision for you. Many lawyers give free consultations which you should go to. Make sure to find an attorney who can competently handle your case that you feel comfortable with.
How to File Bankruptcy in Georgetown, Delaware for Free
Look through this guide to help you with your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgetown. This guide will help you go through the steps of how to file bankruptcy in Georgetown so that you feel comfortable doing it on your own.
Collect Your Georgetown Bankruptcy Documents
One of the most demanding steps of filing bankruptcy in Georgetown involves gathering your paperwork. You’ll need to locate all of your financial paperwork. To complete the forms, you may need to dig into your old file cabinets or call different financial institutions to file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgetown. The Court wants to learn why you are filing for bankruptcy. The forms will ask questions about your income, expenses, assets, and debts. You will need to have your financial documents in hand to reference information about your finances. These forms must be filled out because you will be asked about them under oath. If you don’t know something, you will need to take your time finding out the answer. Some of the documents you will need to gather are pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, vehicle titles, and appraisals. You should also request a free copy of your credit report so that you have a handy list of all your creditors.
Take Credit Counseling
You will need to meet with a credit counseling agency to complete your Georgetown bankruptcy. Before you file your paperwork with Court, you will need to have completed a pre-filing credit counseling course. Remember, this course expires after 180 days, so it must be completed within six months of your bankruptcy filing; otherwise, you will need to take the course again. You can complete this course from the convenience of your home, over the phone or online. When choosing a credit counseling course, make sure you choose one that is approved by the Department of Justice.
Complete the Bankruptcy Forms
When thinking about how to file a Georgetown bankruptcy, you may wonder if you’re “up for” filling out so much paperwork without the help of a lawyer. If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer and will be filing bankruptcy yourself, you should know that the paperwork that the Court requires is designed to be as straightforward and user-friendly as possible. As long as you closely follow all the directions provided, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgetown on your own is a relatively straightforward process as long as your finances aren’t unusually complex. While you can always ask a lawyer for help later, you may want to try working through your forms first or check if you’re eligible to use Upsolve. Either way, you may be surprised at how easy it is to fill them out, especially if you took the time to collect all of your important financial documents first.
Get Your Filing Fee
Filing bankruptcy in Georgetown costs $338 for a Chapter 7 case. If you are a low-income filer then you may qualify for a fee waiver. If you aren’t eligible for a fee waiver, you can request to pay the fee in installments. If none of the above are granted, then you will need to pay the fee in full. This fee is used to pay your Trustee to manage your case and to fund the bankruptcy system generally. Although the fee may seem high, keep in mind that everyone filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgetown is in a different situation and for many paying $338 is not as much of a hardship. .
Print Your Bankruptcy Forms
To file your Georgetown bankruptcy, you will need to print out your forms to physically bring them to the Court. Unfortunately, the Bankruptcy Court’s systems are outdated, and you can’t file your forms online. You will have a lot of pages to print so make sure you review them carefully before printing. If you don’t have access to a printer to print your forms, you will need to visit your local public library or a local print shop. The Georgetown public library is located at 123 West Pine Street in Delaware. Make sure to print at least two copies and bring money with you when you go to print your forms.
Go to Court to File Your Forms
Filing bankruptcy in Georgetown can seem like a bit of a hassle because you will have to go down to the courthouse to submit your bankruptcy forms. However, going in person is better than mailing your documents to ensure you didn’t miss anything. Make sure before you file your documents, you check over the forms to make sure you signed your name in all the correct places. When you get to Court you will need to show the security guards at the door your identification. You also may have to pay for parking so bring some spare change. Once you file your documents the Clerk will stamp your copy of the forms for your records and you will be on your way.
Mail Documents to Your Trustee
You will receive notice in the mail that a Trustee is appointed to your Delaware bankruptcy case. This person will make sure that you have submitted all the right documentation and that you are telling the truth on your forms. The Trustee conducts the 341 meeting to stand in the place of your creditors and make sure you haven't transferred property or are hiding assets. The trustee gets a percentage of any assets he finds so he has the incentive to look around your financial history. As long as your honest you shouldn’t run into any issues. Before the 341 meeting, there will be certain documents the trustee will request. Make sure to send them the documents they need at least a week or two before your 341 meeting. If the Trustee does not receive your documents before the meeting, then they may not hear your case until a later date , which will prolong your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgetown.
Take Bankruptcy Course 2
It is now time to take another course! You will have to upload the certificate once your course is completed so that your primary responsibilities for your Georgetown bankruptcy case are finalized and you're ready you get your discharge. This debtor education course is also known as the financial management course. This course gives you tips on budgeting and restructuring your finances after bankruptcy. The course will give you some great tips on how you can bounce back and begin saving after bankruptcy. Again, make sure the course you choose has been approved by the Department of Justice.
Attend Your 341 Meeting
You are almost done with filing bankruptcy in Georgetown. Now you just have to attend your 341 meeting, also called the creditors’ meeting. Don’t be nervous. This meeting is informal, and you should dress respectfully. The Trustee will ask you questions about the documents that you submitted to the Court. During the meeting, you will be placed under oath and your testimony will be recorded. The trustee may ask particular questions about your financial history. It is best to review the documents before you go to the meeting to ensure you can answer the questions properly. Make sure, to be honest, and forthcoming when you respond to questions.
Dealing with Your Car
If you love your car and need it to get to and from work, you don’t have to worry. In most cases, you can keep your vehicle even if you file a Georgetown bankruptcy. The Court allows for certain exemptions that allow you to keep your car. It will depend on how much equity your car has. If the Court thinks you can continue paying the loan then you will be allowed to enter into a reaffirmation agreement, which means that you’ll be able to keep your car as long as you keep paying the loan. Alternatively, you can redeem the car as long as you can make a lump sum payment for the value of the vehicle. In this situation, you will give the lender the value of the car in a lump sum. Finally, if you just want to get rid of the car and the expensive monthly payments, you can surrender it. You will give the car back to the lender and no longer have to pay the balance.
Delaware Bankruptcy Means Test, Bankruptcy Forms, and Exemptions for Georgetown
Delaware Means Test
The Delaware bankruptcy Means Test decides if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy by looking at Delaware’s income limits. The Court does not want people who can pay back their debts to get relief under Chapter 7. Only those bankruptcy filers who can show that they can’t pay back their creditors are entitled to Chapter 7 relief. To file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgetown, you’ll need to pass the Delaware bankruptcy Means Test. If you don’t pass, you may want to consider speaking to an attorney about what other options you have.
Median Income Levels for Delaware
Delaware Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2021
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Poverty Levels for Delaware
Delaware Fee Waiver Eligibility for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2021
Eligible for fee waiver when under 150% the poverty level.
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Delaware Bankruptcy Forms
Your Delaware bankruptcy forms are extremely important. Although we spoke about the above, it should be reiterated that you need to fill them out honestly. Don’t get overwhelmed with all the forms you need to file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgetown. Read the directions over carefully. Remember to list all of your debts and assets. Double-check that you calculated your income correctly.
Everyone who files for Georgetown bankruptcy can keep certain property safe from creditors. The Court understands that everyone is entitled to basic necessities. Delaware bankruptcy exemptions will help you keep most or all of your property safe. Delaware only allows you to use Delaware bankruptcy exemptions, not the federal bankruptcy exemptions, for folks who have lived in the state for at least 2 years when filing bankruptcy in Georgetown.