Be extremely careful choosing an advisor. Be especially skeptical of any “consultant” who charges an up front fee to locate a mortgage company to refinance your loan. In most cases, even if you can find a lender to refinance a defaulted loan, it is normally impossible to complete the transaction in time to stop a foreclosure sale. You will probably never receive a refund of any up front fees paid to these “consultants.”
How do you choose a bankruptcy attorney? Evaluate the following factors for each attorney you consider:
Board Certification. Is the attorney board certified? Attorneys that are board certified in Consumer Bankruptcy Law are specialists that represent non-business debtors and creditors in bankruptcy cases. To become board certified in Consumer Bankruptcy Law, an attorney must have:
Initial certification is valid for five years. To remain certified, a lawyer must apply for recertification every five years and meet practice, peer review and continuing legal education requirements.
A board certified attorney may indicate certification by stating that he is “Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization.”
The Texas Board of Legal Specialization has issued a brochure entitled What is a Bankruptcy Law Board Certified Attorney? “This brochure provides an overview of the requirements for board certification. A detailed list of the requirements for board certification is contained in the Standards for Attorney Certification of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
We recommend that you choose a board certified lawyer regardless of whether you hire Weber Law Firm, P.C. or another law firm. If you do not have any specific information about a particular attorney’s reputation or experience, you are more likely to receive competent advice and representation if the he or she is board certified.
Mr. Weber became board certified in Consumer Bankruptcy Law in 1997. He was recertified in 2002 and 2007.
Specialization. Does the attorney devote all or most of his practice to bankruptcy cases? Many attorneys that file bankruptcy cases devote a substantial amount of time to other practice areas such as personal injury, criminal, family, probate, immigration, real estate, or corporate law. Even board certified bankruptcy lawyers are permitted to devote as much as 70 percent of their practice to non-bankruptcy areas.
Again, if you lack any specific information about a particular attorney’s reputation or experience, you are more likely to obtain a good lawyer if that he limits his practice to bankruptcy cases. Mr. Weber limits his practice to bankruptcy matters and does not handle personal injury, criminal, family, probate, immigration, real estate, or corporate cases. He has represented debtors in over 2,500 bankruptcy cases.
Credentials & Ethics Information. Has the attorney been disciplined for ethical violations? We encourage you to check the credentials and ethics record of every lawyer you consider. Obviously, it is preferable to hire an attorney that has not committed ethical violations. You can check the general credentials and ethics record of any Texas attorney at the Texas State Bar website. Go to the “Find a Lawyer” tab at the bottom of the home page and specify the attorney’s name. This site will also provide other helpful information about the lawyer such as education, practice areas, year licensed, courts admitted and board certifications.
Personal Attention. Does the attorney personally handle the cases? You will never see or talk to an attorney at many bankruptcy firms. A legal assistant will interview you and take all of your calls. At some other law firms, an attorney will conduct the first interview, but after that, you will never hear from the attorney, and a legal assistant will take your calls.
You should insist on personal attention from your attorney! At Weber Law Firm we take pride in the personal attention given to our clients. Mr. Weber will personally discuss your financial situation and answer your questions. He will personally handle your case and will be available for consultation at any time. You will not be passed off to a legal assistant or secretary.
Education. Does the attorney have a quality legal education? A lawyer’s performance during law school and the quality of the law school are important indicators of the quality of the representation that you will receive. Mr. Weber graduated from the University of Houston Law Center in 1983 with honors (top 6 percent of his law school class; 19th out of 332). In 2015, the University of Houston Law Center ranked 59th by the U.S. News & World Report.
Office Location. Is the office location convenient? Our office is located in southwest Houston on Harwin Drive approximately 50 yards from the Southwest Freeway (Highway 59). There is free parking around and in back of the building. Please go to the Directions page to view a picture of our office building and obtain detailed driving directions to our office.