The Best Houston Bankruptcy Lawyer
There are numerous options for selecting a Houston bankruptcy attorney. Hello, I’m Judge Jed Shaw and welcome to my website. Perhaps you’ve heard me on the radio at WORD-FM and reached out for some helpful advice, or maybe you were referred through the Better Business Bureau. It’s also possible you were simply searching for advice online from because your bills are mounting, and the creditors are constantly pressuring you. Whatever it was that brought you here, I’d like to say this.
I believe you are in the right place.
I’m an experienced Houston bankruptcy attorney and I’d like to offer you some helpful advice. First, my goal is to calm your nerves, alleviate concern, and dispel some fears your financial situation may be causing you. If you are like most people looking for a Houston bankruptcy lawyer, you may be considering a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. It’s possible that your creditors may have scared you into falsely believing that bankruptcy is your only option to deal with your financial burden. This is not necessarily true, in fact, it’s rare that bankruptcy is actually required to fix this. Most people who contact me are scared. They don’t know the facts about their financial options, and they’re desperately searching for a way to resolve their debts and obligations for their sake or the sake of their family. This is honorable, and while it’s possible that some people frivolously rack up credit card debt from spending sprees, the people who contact me are honest, hard working people who have found themselves in a financial predicament they never saw coming. There are a variety of reasons why it has happened. Here are a few reasons I see.
Reasons People Seek Out A Houston Bankruptcy Lawyer
Our nation is experiencing one of the worst economy’s the US (including Texas) has seen in recent history. The number of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies have risen sharply as a result. The tough economy has resulted in job losses, and during these interruptions it’s common for good, hardworking people to find themselves turning to debt to keep their households or businesses afloat. In other cases a medical situation has decimated savings, and unforeseen medical bills have reached a point where paying them back is a hopeless endeavor. Even still, I observe people who needed to take job positions that are far below their skill level and pay grade due to the job market constraints. This has made maintaining their previous standard of living very difficult. Despite their ability to tighten their expenses and cut back where they can, their bills just keep rising. Child expenses continue to be required, and an unforeseen need like home or auto repairs can send credit card balances to levels that they just can’t afford to pay back. My clients who are in situations similar to this are faced with very difficult choices. This is why people begin “Google’ing” Houston bankruptcy attorney, in hopes of finding answers to challenging decisions.
Difficult Decisions That Drive People Toward Calling A Lawyer
1. Should they use up their remaining retirement savings, empty their 401k’s, or neglect saving for their children’s future in order to attempt to payback creditors? Of course they know this is the right thing to do, but when their debt balances are greater than their savings, they often wonder if there is an ethical alternative to this slippery slope of draining their financial futures. (And yes, there is a better option, but I’ll touch on this later.)
2. Should they file a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Would this protect their assets, give them a “clean slate,” and afford them a legal remedy to get back on their feet? If you were to ask the average bankruptcy lawyer in Houston they would wholeheartedly recommend this option. Sometimes I would too, but if all the facts were presented you would see that bankruptcy is an option that should not be taken lightly, and used very sparingly. (These differences are explained on Wikipedia, here.)
The bottom line is this: Most people who need help these days are honest, hardworking people who have found themselves in a difficult place for a number of reasons, often outside of their control. They are in need of answers, but they don’t know where to turn.
Where to Turn: Should you ask a legal professional.
Due to the sensitive (and often embarrassing) nature of a bankruptcy consideration, most people don’t turn to friends or family for advice. You would be surprised how many people you know have struggled with the same debt problems, but I understand the desire to not ask friends for referrals. This is why most people reach out to the Better Business Bureau for a recommendation or simply Google “Houston Bankruptcy Lawyer” to find an attorney who seems trustworthy. While I am a licensed bankruptcy lawyer, let me explain how I am also much different than the average Chapter 7 or 13 option you’ll find online these days. Here is a little about my background which will help you understand my qualifications in offering you clear, straightforward, objective advice.
Legal Experience Matters
I have completed over 5000 successful legal cases over the past four decades. In addition to owning and operating one of the largest law firms in Houston, I was also privileged to serve as a Texas judge and Mayor as well. Service is very important to me, and this is why I have volunteered my time as a board member and chairperson for the many non-profit organizations listed on my about me page. Furthermore, I currently serve on the board of directors for the BBB for Greater Houston and South Texas. Please understand this. I don’t share these things to brag about myself, but to demonstrate this fact. I’ve been given a unique perspective on helping people with their financial dilemma’s because I’ve gained a 360 degree view of their situation. Here is what I mean. For years, my Houston law firm represented some of the biggest creditors in America. I am intimately acquainted with their entire playbook, and I know exactly what they can (and cannot) do to people who owe them money. Yes, it’s true that debts should be repaid, but you don’t have to be bullied around or made to think they can call your work, garnish your wages, foreclose upon your house, or take away your life savings. And no, they cannot put you in jail if you haven’t committed a crime. (Owing them money is not a crime.)
My leadership position at the BBB has opened my eyes to the countless scams and debt settlement schemes to prey upon people facing financial pressure. Many of these seemingly “easy way out” programs are quite the opposite, and become expensive traps that leave people in a worse financial position than when they began the “program.” If you are considering a bankruptcy alternative, please describe it because I can tell you if it is legitimate or not. In this case I’m glad to offer helpful advice, not as a Houston bankruptcy attorney, but simply as a friend.
As a Judge I became acquainted with Texas law for obvious reasons, as I had to reference it in the many cases I oversaw. This added yet another dimension to my legal understanding, and provided me with an expert view on how our laws are administered. Since I used to preside over lawyers and their legal arguments as my job, I feel this experience is extremely beneficial when it comes to educating Texas consumers on their rights pertaining to debts, wage garnishment, foreclosure, statutes of limitations on debts, and more.
How Does This Relate to Your Bankruptcy Consideration?
While I am a licensed bankruptcy lawyer, my experience has provided me access to a bankruptcy alternative that most attorneys know nothing about. My past clients can attest to not learning about this anywhere else. While I can offer the standard Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing, those who contact me are relieved to discover that Texas law also affords them a different way out. Unfortunately, if you’re reading this and you are not a Texas resident, you cannot take advantage of our consumer friendly laws here. I’m sorry.
There are some people who should file for bankruptcy, but instead of the average bankruptcy lawyer recommending that 90% of people should file, my stance is the opposite. I find that only 10% should strongly consider Chapter 7 or 13. This may seem shocking, but my approach is based upon Texas law, not a strange program or fly-by-night loophole. In the height of debt concerns, bankruptcy may seem like the perfect way to clear the deck. It’s not. There are lasting effects that you need to educate yourself on, and if you’ll let me, I’ll share my honest opinion about it when you call.
The bankruptcy alternative I give my clients will not permanently scar your credit report, or embarrass you on future job and loan applications. Due to the fact that my clients are honest, hard-working people, their first question is often this. Is your bankruptcy alternative ethical? I share my background with them and explain that I would not offer an approach if it weren’t ethical, and aside from my commitment to integrity, my alternative is founded upon Texas state law. These consumer protections were put in place to help people, but unfortunately most Houston bankruptcy lawyers either aren’t aware of these laws, or don’t present them because it’s not in their financial interest to do so. How does it work? I don’t share all the details here, because creditors come to my site looking for “an edge.” But I will gladly expound when we talk by phone during my no-charge consultation.
Real Alternatives to Hiring a Houston Bankruptcy Attorney:
There are many, many people I have helped than listed on my reviews page. Their privacy is important to me, so I don’t offer names for prospective clients to contact. I’m sorry. You can get a glimpse of a few satisfied clients on my testimonials page, and I maintain an A+ record with the BBB that should offer additional confidence as well. (Yes I’m a board member of the BBB but I must abide by their rules, and complaints would still count against me if I received one, but I have not.)
What Should You Do Now?
There comes a point when you need to talk to someone about your financial situation. It’s important to find a person who will listen, and not make you feel bad or inferior for the situation you are in. However, you also need someone who can give you exceptional legal advice. This decision has long-term consequences, so you want to go in with your eyes wide open. Your creditors know the legal landscape, so unfortunately, you currently sit at an unfair advantage if you try to deal with them directly. Of course any Houston bankruptcy lawyer can offer you legal advice, but the difference is simple; they will only offer advice and the bankruptcy means test for you to decide between a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. The truth is they only get paid if you choose one of those. They don’t get paid for objective counsel in that sense, because their income is directly affected by your decision to file. Now of course you may decide to file bankruptcy after speaking with me. In fact, I may encourage it because it is in your best interest. However, too many people file bankruptcy unnecessarily based on common, general advice, and that’s too bad. Please don’t make that mistake.
Here’s What You Can Expect When You Call Me:
1. When you call we will have a friendly conversation about your concerns, the debts you are facing, and I’ll never make you feel bad or inferior. I have talked with Doctors, businessmen, and housewives, and I don’t judge people by the circumstances they find themselves in.
2. I will kindly listen to your situation, ask a few questions, and layout all the facts concerning your legal options according to Texas law.
3. My commitment to you is this: Before you end our brief conversation, you will be more knowledgeable than some of the average bankruptcy attorney’s in Houston you would have previously called. This is because I’ll share perspective on legal options outside of just Chapter 7/13, and many of them do not focus on this at all.
4. There is never a charge for this conversation, and if you forget some details, simply call back. You’ll don’t have to come to my Houston office, unless you wish to, as I work with people all across Texas who hear my broadcast over the radio. The majority of these choose to work with me by phone, and that works just fine.
5. No pressure: I’m not trying to build a law firm at this stage of my life, instead I’m building goodwill and helping others. You won’t feel obligation or pressure when we speak, instead, you will feel clarity begin to come as you learn about clear-cut options.
Your Next Step: You Make the Call
I’ve put a lot of work into demonstrating that you don’t have to be afraid, and that it is possible to ethically resolve your debts outside of the normal lawyer’s advice. Despite these efforts, I cannot truly help you learn what to do in your situation until you call. I caution you not to wait.
I realize this is a matter you probably don’t want to face, but please consider this. It only intensifies and becomes more problematic the longer you wait. One reason people don’t take action and call is that they aren’t sure if they should file bankruptcy or not. In other words, “they don’t know what they should do.” I understand that reasoning, but if this describes you, it is precisely why you should call. It’s my job is simply to layout all your options so that you understand what decision is best. This alone will provide clarity, allow you to process your options, and also lead to a wise decision. People who don’t reach out for advice now often get pushed into a hasty (and often unwise) decision later when their creditors get escalate pressure. Don’t let them do that to you.
Another reason people wait is due to money. They think they can’t afford whatever option is potentially available. Please hear this. While affordability concerns may be true when you deal with most Houston attorney’s, my alternative approach is much different. I have developed a very affordable way for you to get started, and I always work with people according to their means. Remember, I used to own one of the largest law firms in Houston. I intentionally don’t maintain that level of business or responsibility at this stage of my life. I’m not trying to build a business; instead I’m offering a lifetime of legal advice to help as many people as possible. Of course I do charge some fees to maintain my advertising, but these are nominal in the legal world and my help is not burdensome.
So what are waiting for? Pick up the phone and call me. Let’s figure out what is best for your situation today so that you can sleep well tonight.
by Jed Shaw