Bankruptcy / Alabama / Selma

Filing Bankruptcy in Selma: 7 Things You Need to Know

Written by Ben Tejes
Updated Oct 18th, 2022

You are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Selma. Bankruptcy is a common debt relief choice. 

In fact, many people in Alabama have received bankruptcy relief, and Selma is no different. In fact, there were 15,222 bankruptcies filed in Alabama in the year ending June 30, 2021 (Source). With a population of 17231, I’d estimate a fair number of those were in Selma.

The purpose of this article is to provide an extensive list of filing bankruptcy in Selma including:

  1. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Selma
  2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Selma
  3. Selma Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
  4. Finding a Reputable Bankruptcy Lawyer in Selma
  5. Estimating Loss of Belonging (i.e.
  6. Getting Bankruptcy Help in Selma
  7. Bankruptcy Alternatives and Conclusion

Without further ado, let’s get started with Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Selma

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common consumer bankruptcy in the United States. People appreciate the simplicity of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the cost of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and the speed of debt relief. For example, in Selma, you could get debt relief in about 120 days with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

One of the challenges of Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Selma is that you have to qualify. In order to qualify in Selma, you often have to pass the Alabama bankruptcy means test. You can estimate that qualification below in Selma. Let’s cover how you can qualify.

Chapter 7 Qualification

The first part of the means test is to understand your income in relation to the median income levels for Alabama. It considers the average family size and income.

To estimate your qualification, you can take the Selma Chapter 7 qualification calculator below that is specific to Selma.

Finally, the most recent Alabama median income levels is for cases filed on or after May 15, 2022, and can be found below.

# of PeopleAnnual Income
1$52,404
2$62,918
3$71,682
4$87,645
5$97,545
6$107,445
7$117,345
8$127,245
9$137,145

If your income exceeds the median, you can move on to the second part of the means test to estimate qualification. The second part of the means test is to understand your actual expenses. You can check out our guide covering trying to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy above the median.

For example, the average median rent amount in Selma is $612, but let's say your rent is almost double that amount. Could you potentially still qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because of those additional expenses? What you are able to state as ab expense is limited, and you can refer to the current national standard for the maximum amounts, but you may want to speak with your attorney about this situation.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Selma

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is known as a wage-earner bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a voluntary reorganization of debt.  In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the individual has debt that they can no longer manage and often own assets that exceed state and/or federal relief. Folks file Chapter 13 bankruptcy often when they do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  

Most individuals in Selma will qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy as long as they are below the debt limits.

Compared to Chapter 7, there is no liquidation in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Although, the discharge won’t be until around 3 to 5 years. The Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for 7 years.

Selma Bankruptcy Attorney Fees

When looking for a bankruptcy attorney, we recommend that you look for these 5 attributes: Rate, Reliability, Referrals, Reviews, and Relevancy. You can check our guide to find a top bankruptcy attorney in Selma.

The estimated Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer fee in Selma is: $1170 - $1500.

The estimated Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer fee in Selma is: $3500 - $4500. The Chapter 13 attorney fee is often set across the district, meaning that all Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in a district may charge around the same fee.

Selma Bankruptcy Attorneys

One of the most important things to do is to find a reputable bankruptcy attorney in Selma if you decide to hire one. This is legal advice related to finances that are going to affect your future. For example, making sure you are in the right bankruptcy chapter (Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13) could cost you thousands more and take you years longer.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer

As stated above, Selma has a population of 17231. In many cases, individuals in larger cities such as Huntsville or Birmingham would like a bankruptcy lawyer close by. In smaller cities, I have found that individuals have questions about whether the bankruptcy will show up in the newspaper or whether friends will hear about it. This is a valid question.

Regardless, you can check the Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers in or near Selma using the table below. You just need to input your zip code, and voila, you can choose which Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer you would like to speak to near or far away from Selma in a free bankruptcy lawyer consultation

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer

Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Selma may be a bit more intensive, so you may consider a Chapter 13 bankruptcy that is closer to you. That said, with the internet and the pandemic, many of the meetings are now online and you can generally submit your documentation online as well.

Regardless, you can use the table below to find a Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer in or near Selma. Also, the fees are just estimates, and may not be reflective of the actual cost of the attorney fees.

Zip code
sort_numguidhas_phoneFirmRatingReviewsRelevancyFree ConsultPayment PlansContactClick to Call

Bankruptcy Exemptions in Alabama

As you live in Selma, you are often able to use the Alabama bankruptcy exemptions to help you keep your belongings.

One of the biggest questions people have is whether they are able to keep their homes in bankruptcy. This is where bankruptcy exemptions come into play. As Selma has a home ownership % of 45.2% and an estimated estimated home value of $86710, you can understand that many people want to keep this asset. You can often keep your assets using bankruptcy exemptions.

Here are the Alabama bankruptcy exemptions. The exemptions are revised on different occasions, so you may wish to check the most current information on exemptions. Also, as a reference, Alabama is a place that does not allow you to use federal bankruptcy exemptions. You often have to choose which one to use, so a bankruptcy attorney can help you with that option.

Homestead Exemption

The homestead exemption is often broken down by age and whether you are married. 

  • Single and under 65: $16,450
  • Single is 65 or older: $16,450
  • Married and under 65: $32,900
  • Married is 65 or older: $32,900

Alabama specific homestead bankruptcy exemption text: “Ala. Code 6-10-2 – Real property or mobile home to $15,500 after April 1, 2018; property cannot exceed 160 acres (husband & wife may double)” (Source)

Wildcard Exemption

The wildcard bankruptcy exemption in Alabama is $8,225.

Personal Property Exemption

The personal property bankruptcy exemption in Alabama is $0.

Special Exemption Handling for Alabama

Below is specific special handling of bankruptcy exemptions in Alabama.

  • Personal Property: Clothing may be exempt. Use wildcard exemption for furniture.

Bankruptcy Help in Selma

Unemployment can cause both frustration and angst about options. The most recent statistic I found is that the Selma unemployment rate is 14.6%. There may be resources available to help. In addition to the unemployment rate, Selma has a disability rate of 18.2%. As such, if you are truly in need and don’t have income, there are resources that may be available that can help you.

Check out the legal aid and free resources that may be available in Selma.

Legal Aid and Free Resources

Here are some legal aid resources that may be helpful to you in Selma.

The bankruptcy court and district may have free resources that are available to you. I have included the information below. 

Lastly, Selma also has a limited English rate of 0.3% and a poverty rate of 37.6%. If you have limited English, you may check out the court websites for Alabama for additional information on how you can be served. You can also see how filing bankruptcy without an attorney can work if you cannot afford a bankruptcy lawyer.

Courts and Districts in Alabama

Northern District

  • U.S. Post Office and Courthouse
    400 Well Street
    Decatur, Alabama 35601

Middle District of Alabama

Southern District of Alabama

  • US Bankruptcy Court
    One Church Street
    Montgomery, AL 36104
  • George W. Andrews Federal Building
    701 Avenue A
    Opelika, AL 36801

Debt Settlement in Selma

One of the most common alternatives to bankruptcy is debt settlement. A debt settlement firm would negotiate for a lower amount due on your debt in the case of financial hardship. The goal would be to reduce your debt in half. In this case, you would have a lower monthly payment.

If you are looking at debt settlement in Selma, you may want to consider a national debt settlement firm to a local one in Selma. For example, most of your creditors are probably national banks instead of local Selma banks. As such, you can potentially get lower fees by using a national firm. You should strongly consider the pros and cons and credit score impact before taking the plunge as Ascend only recommends 2 debt settlement firms nationwide that both offer free phone evaluations.

Conclusion

Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Selma can provide debt relief. That said, you may want to consider the cost of bankruptcy in Selma, the different bankruptcy chapters, reputable attorneys in Selma and alternatives to help you make the most informed decision. 

You can also take our Chapter 7 vs Chapter calculator below to help you estimate the cost and qualification of Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Selma.