Alabama is divided up into three districts: Northern, Middle and Southern. The county where you reside dictates which district you file your bankruptcy case. Bankruptcy is under Federal law but every district has its own local rules which have to be followed in the bankruptcy process. Hiring an attorney who practices in the district where you will file your case should make the process very smooth for you. My office practices in the Middle and Southern District. I have learned through the years that the old saying “when in Rome, do as the Romans” holds true in going back and forth between the two districts. How we handle cases in Montgomery, Dothan, or Opelika is totally different than how we handle cases in Selma because of the local rules we have to follow. The end result for either District though is that you can get rid of unsecured debt (examples are credit card, signature loans, payday loans or medical bills) in a Chapter 7 “straight” bankruptcy or pay all or part of the debt back through a Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Gail Hughes Donaldson is a Managing Partner of the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Montgomery and Opelika, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. She’s been helping families work through the bankruptcy process since she started with Bond & Botes back in 1993 as a paralegal. Read her full bio here.