Cost to File Bankruptcy in Delaware (2024)

Bankruptcy can feel like an overwhelming journey, but understanding the cost to file and the estimated bankruptcy attorney fees in Delaware is the first step.
Information in this article does not constitute legal advice, it is for informational purposes only, and may not constitute the most up-to-date information. Readers should contact their attorney for advice on any particular legal matter.

The cost of filing for bankruptcy in Delaware can be a bit tricky to pin down. In 2024, the filing fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $338, while it's $313 for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you decide to hire a bankruptcy attorney or if you're looking to waive the filing fees, things get a little more complex.

We did some digging and got some numbers that may be helpful. We spent around $1,000 on PACER, a public records database that has bankruptcy attorney fees. Based on our findings, as of 2024, the Chapter 7 attorney fee range in Delaware is between $1,170 and $1,250. Keep in mind, though, that this is just an estimate. If you want a more precise estimate based on your exact location in Delaware, we've got a free bankruptcy cost calculator below that can help you out.

Now, I don't know about you, but I've often wondered how anyone can afford to file for bankruptcy in Delaware, especially when you're struggling to pay your bills. And let's not forget that interest rates and inflation are still causing headaches in 2024. The good news is that many bankruptcy costs, like the filing fee and credit counseling courses, are pretty similar across the board. However, the cost of attorney fees can vary wildly depending on whether you're in Wilmington or Dover.

So, the purpose of this article is to give you an idea of the all-in costs of filing for bankruptcy in Delaware. We'll break it down into two main categories:

  1. Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
  2. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

Estimate the All-In Bankruptcy Cost in Your Zip Code

We've been getting a lot of questions about the cost of bankruptcy in Delaware, so we decided to do some digging. We built a database of attorney fees to help you estimate the cost of bankruptcy in your city. To get an estimate tailored to your specific location, all you need to do is enter your zip code below. Our tool will crunch the numbers and give you an idea of what you might expect to pay for bankruptcy in Delaware. 

1. Actual Lawyer Costs By District In Delaware

In previous articles, we've shown a variety of bankruptcy fees across different situations. However, when considering bankruptcy there are still a few more variables that will affect the final sum. These may include the bankruptcy lawyer's location, the intricacy of the case, and the level of expertise of your legal expert. Furthermore, location plays an extremely important part in determining what you might pay. To simplify this process, we've dedicated the article below to helping you understand fees in your area. Let's look at some real expenses as reported in Pacer filing data. 

Delaware District

Encompassing a significant expanse, the District of Delaware includes major urban centers like Wilmington, Dover, and Newark. Operating within the Eastern Time zone, this district spans 3 counties. It features a central courthouse in Wilmington and additional court facilities throughout the district, overseen by 4 active district judges and 2 magistrate judges. The varied economic activities and vibrant communities in Delaware's District contribute to the overall richness of the region.

For residents in proximity to these major areas within Delaware's District, the expected bankruptcy filing cost can vary, often falling within a range from $1,165.00 to $1,790.00. It's crucial to keep in mind that this is an estimate, and actual expenses may fluctuate based on factors such as your financial situation and the choice of legal representation.

2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Fees Delaware

Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Delaware can charge around $4,000. The actual fee may vary depending on the district. Unlike Chapter 7 attorney fees, Chapter 13 fees tend to be quite similar. This is because they are based on something called "no-look fees," which are considered a reasonable cost for the services provided. However, it's still important to check if the attorney charges an hourly rate for any additional work that may be required after filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

3. Bankruptcy Filing Costs

Bankruptcy filing costs in the United States are pretty much the same, no matter where you are. It's not just Delaware that has these costs. But wait, there's more! Let's take a look at some other costs you need to consider when filing for bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Filing Fees

The US Courthouse has a fee schedule and bankruptcy forms that lays it all out for you.

Now, if you're going for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the filing fee is $338. That's broken down into a $245 filing fee, a $78 administrative fee, and a $15 trustee surcharge.

If Chapter 13 bankruptcy seems more like the way to go, the filing fee is a bit lower at $313. That includes a $235 filing fee and a $78 administrative fee.

If you want to dig deeper into the filing fee information, you can check out the Delaware filing fee details. Just click here

Delaware Filing Fee Waiver Guidelines

If you're considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you're worried about the fees, there's a chance you might be eligible to have those fees waived if you fall below 150% of the Delaware poverty guidelines. Be sure to check out Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Delaware Income Limit.

Mandatory Course Costs

When you're in a financial bind and decide to file for bankruptcy, there are a couple of courses you need to take in Delaware. On the bright side, you can do them online. One is a credit counseling course, and the other is a debtor education course. These courses are super important because they help you understand the ins and outs of managing your finances and making better decisions in the future. One thing to note- these courses need to be approved, so you can't just take any course you find on the internet. The Justice Department has a list of approved Delaware credit counseling courses and debtor education courses specifically for Delaware. This way, you can be sure that the courses you're taking are legit and will help you on your financial journey. Money can be tight when you're going through bankruptcy, so it's important to know how much these courses will set you back. On average, you can expect to pay around $10 to $50 per course. It's not too bad considering the value you'll get from these courses and the impact they can have on your financial future.

Miscellaneous Costs

If you've got a meeting of creditors coming up at the courthouse, it's important to know that you might have to shell out some cash for transportation to get there. On top of that, you might also have to cover the cost of a credit report for your attorney. Your attorney might be able to lend a hand with getting that credit report sorted. Let's talk numbers. You're probably wondering how much this whole transportation thing is gonna set you back.

We’ve made it easier for you to figure that out by hovering over to your district using this interactive map below showing the bankruptcy courthouse in Delaware.

Will Inflation Affect the Cost To File Bankruptcy in Delaware?

There's been talk about inflation calming down in 2024, and people are wondering if it'll have an impact on attorney fees. Today, we'll dive into whether inflation might affect the filing fee and attorney costs in Delaware. First things first, let's talk about the filing fee for bankruptcy. As of December 1st, 2020, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee went up from $335 to $338, and the Chapter 13 filing fee increased from $310 to $313. Now, these changes were pretty small, so I wouldn't expect them to have a major impact on you. However, when it comes to attorney fees, there might be a bit more to consider. Inflation could potentially lead to higher costs for bankruptcy attorneys. They might have to pay their employees more and deal with increased living expenses themselves, especially if they're based in cities like Dover or Newark, or anywhere else in Delaware. So, while the filing fee itself might not be a big concern, it's worth keeping an eye on attorney fees, as they could be affected by inflation. It's always a good idea to stay informed and be prepared for any changes that might come your way.

Would My Bankruptcy Cost Be Higher in Wilmington Than in Newark?

You might be wondering whether it's better to hire a local attorney or in a town like Dover to save some cash on bankruptcy costs. 

With a population of 70,635, Wilmington takes the crown as the most populous city in Delaware. Logically, you might assume that the cost of bankruptcy attorney fees would be higher there compared to a smaller city like Newark.

While the cost might indeed be higher in Wilmington, there's a twist. The bigger city also means more bankruptcy attorneys competing for your business. And when the competition heats up, prices tend to cool down. So, it's possible that the total cost of filing for bankruptcy, including those attorney fees, could be much higher in your city than in Wilmington.

Most bankruptcy attorneys offer free consultations. You can get multiple perspectives without spending a dime. Our bankruptcy cost calculator below takes all these variables into account to give you an estimate of the all-in cost.

Why Do Some Attorneys Charge Higher Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Fees? 

When it comes to Chapter 13 bankruptcy, attorneys in Newark usually charge a standard fee known as the "no-look fee." However, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a whole different ball game. The fees for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can vary like crazy.

When it comes to determining the cost of a bankruptcy lawyer, several factors come into play. Let's break it down:

  1. The type of bankruptcy you're filing – Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
  2. The complexity of your case – whether you have assets or not. 
  3. Your location – whether you're in Wilmington or Dover.
  4. The level of connection you have with your attorney. 
  5. The attorney's expertise – how many years of experience they have.

Let's say you're making $10,000 more than the median income in Delaware and you still want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Your attorney will have to spend extra time looking at your expenses to see if you qualify for Chapter 7 despite your higher income. The overall cost of your bankruptcy might go up.

If you want to dive deeper into the world of bankruptcy lawyer fees, I recommend checking out this article: Understanding Bankruptcy Lawyer Fees. It'll give you a more detailed look at what to expect and help you make an informed decision.


Now, I hope this article has given you some useful insights into the costs of filing bankruptcy with a lawyer in Delaware. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. And if you want to get a quick estimate of the bankruptcy costs in Delaware, check out the free Delaware bankruptcy cost calculator below.

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