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Delaware Bankruptcy Laws

Key Points

Delaware is one of the “opt out” states. This means you're not permitted to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions when you're filing bankruptcy in the state of Delaware.

If you file a joint bankruptcy along with your spouse, then Delaware provides you with the opportunity to double your exemption amount. This can be done using the Delaware exemptions.


You've got the homestead exemption which protects a certain amount of the equity present in your home or principal residence. You get to exempt up to 125,000 dollars in terms of real property. This would also be applicable to a manufactured home you're using as principal residence.

Motor Vehicles

You're exempt up to 15,000 dollars for the equity in a motor vehicle, if it's necessary for your employment.


85 percent of your unpaid wages stand exempt.

Personal Property

Most personal properties like family's clothing, pictures, bible, books and the likewise are completely exempt.

As far as the tools that are essential for your business are concerned, then it shouldn't exceed 75 dollars in New Castle and Sussex counties and 50 dollars in the Kent County.

Tools of the Trade

A particular vehicle or tools that are necessary for your employment and that too up to 15,000 dollars of the value.


As the head of household you've got the scope to protect 500 dollars worth of any other personal property additionally. This would be apart from any tools of the trade.

Absolute or Total Exemptions

The following are 100 percent exempt as per state laws –

  1. Insurance benefits like life insurance proceeds, if the policy prohibits its usage to pay off creditors.
  2. Family bible, books, family pictures, pew or seat in a place of public worship, burial plot.
  3. You and your family's clothing.
  4. Pianos and sewing machines for personal use.
  5. The amounts payable under the retirement plans, annuities and insurance contracts.
  6. Kent County pensions of employees.
  7. Pensions of police officers.
  8. State employees pensions.
  9. Pensions of volunteer firefighters.
  10. The Delaware college investment plan accounts.
  11. Unemployment compensation benefits.
  12. Workers' compensation benefits.

District of Delaware


Street Address:
824 Market ST N
3rd Floor
Wilmington, Delaware 19801

Mailing Address:
Same as Street Address.

Contact Number:

Working Hours: Monday through Friday
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Excluding Federal Holidays

Updated on:

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