Free Legal Assistance Available For Low-income Individuals Affected by the 2021 Texas winter storm


Toll-free authorized help hotline

AUSTIN—The State Bar of Texas, the American Bar Affiliation, and authorized support suppliers throughout the state remind Texans {that a} toll-free authorized help hotline is on the market to low-income people and households affected by the Texas winter storm that started February 11.

The hotline—800-504-7030—is on the market in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese and connects low-income people affected by the catastrophe with native authorized support suppliers who will help with:

  • Help securing authorities advantages as they’re made out there;
  • Help with life, medical, and property insurance coverage claims;
  • Assist with residence restore contracts and contractors;
  • Substitute of wills and different necessary authorized paperwork misplaced or destroyed within the catastrophe;
  • Client safety points equivalent to price-gouging and avoiding contractor scams within the rebuilding course of;
  • Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure issues; and
  • Counseling on landlord-tenant issues.
  • Callers to the hotline can go away a message at any time. People who qualify for help might be matched with Texas attorneys who’ve volunteered to supply free, restricted authorized assist. Callers ought to be conscious there are some limitations on catastrophe authorized providers. For instance, help will not be out there for circumstances that can produce a charge (i.e., these circumstances the place attorneys are paid a part of the settlement by the courtroom). Such circumstances are referred to an area lawyer referral service.

Federal Catastrophe Declarations

President Joseph R. Biden issued federal disaster declarations for 108 Texas counties, making federal funding out there to people and companies who suffered damages within the storm. The help contains grants for short-term housing and residential repairs, low-cost loans to cowl uninsured property losses, and different packages to assist people and enterprise homeowners recuperate from the consequences of the catastrophe.

Texans who suffered losses because of the storm are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA), as they might be eligible help. Individuals can register on-line at DisasterAssistance.gov or through smartphone or web-enabled machine at m.fema.gov. Candidates can also name 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 (TTY).

On-line Assets

The Texas Authorized Providers Heart has created a webpage of assets at texaslawhelp.org. Search for a button on the prime for Winter Storm Uri. On-line winter storm assets additionally could also be discovered on the State Bar of Texas web site at texasbar.com/winterstorm.

Barratry or Improper Solicitation

The State Bar of Texas reminds the general public that in lots of circumstances it’s a crime in Texas for a lawyer or somebody representing a lawyer to contact an individual for functions of authorized illustration if the individual has not first requested the decision or private go to. The contact will not be unlawful if the lawyer will not be looking for cost or has a preexisting professional-client or household relationship with the individual being contacted.

In case you witness one thing you imagine to be improper solicitation, or barratry, please get the title and telephone variety of the individual making contact and report it to your native law enforcement authority or the State Bar of Texas Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s Workplace toll free at 866-224-5999.

Partnership Members

The next organizations have joined forces to supply a toll-free telephone line for Texas catastrophe victims to request free authorized help and to attach with volunteer attorneys to deal with circumstances arising from the current extreme climate:

American Bar Affiliation Younger Legal professionals Division (americanbar.org) — The ABA YLD, the biggest nationwide group of younger attorneys, gives management in serving the general public and the occupation, and promotes excellence and achievement within the apply of regulation. Its mum or dad group, the ABA, is the nationwide voice of the authorized occupation and the biggest voluntary skilled membership group on this planet.

Federal Emergency Administration Company (fema.gov) — FEMA coordinates the federal authorities’s function in making ready for, stopping, mitigating the consequences of, responding to, and recovering from all home disasters—whether or not pure or man-made—together with acts of terror. Via an settlement with the ABA, FEMA underwrites the price of working toll-free authorized help strains for victims in areas designated as federal catastrophe websites.

Authorized Support of NorthWest Texas (lanwt.org) — Authorized Support of NorthWest Texas is a nonprofit group that strives to satisfy the authorized wants of greater than 1.5 million eligible shoppers in its 114-county service space. The fifth-largest authorized support program in the US, LANWT gives all kinds of broad-based authorized providers to low-income and deprived shoppers together with household regulation, landlord/tenant circumstances, public advantages, wills, foreclosures prevention, client points, and group revitalization issues.

Lone Star Authorized Support (lonestarlegal.org) — Lone Star Authorized Support is the fourth largest service supplier of free authorized support in the US. LSLA serves 72 counties in Texas and 4 in Arkansas, from Texarkana, to the Louisiana-Texas Gulf Coast state-line, all the way down to Matagorda Bay, an space with over 2 million Texans eligible without cost authorized providers. LSLA has 14 workplaces all through east, southeast, and northeast Texas; masking client, housing, environmental justice, catastrophe restoration, tax aid, household regulation, home violence, sexual assault, crime sufferer rights, veterans advantages, and extra.

State Bar of Texas (texasbar.com) — The State Bar of Texas is an administrative company of the Supreme Court of Texas that gives academic packages for the authorized occupation and the general public, administers the minimal persevering with authorized schooling program for attorneys, and manages the lawyer self-discipline system.

Texas Authorized Providers Heart (tlsc.org) — Texas Authorized Providers Heart is a statewide nonprofit group whose mission is to supply high-quality authorized illustration, recommendation, advocacy, and schooling for free of charge to underserved individuals throughout the state. With greater than a dozen apply areas, our work touches nearly each side of civil regulation that impacts low-income Texans.

Texas RioGrande Authorized Support (trla.org) — Texas RioGrande Authorized Support gives free authorized providers to individuals who can not afford an lawyer in 68 southwestern counties, together with your entire Texas-Mexico border. Greater than 2.7 million residents of Southwest Texas are thought of eligible for TRLA providers. TRLA attorneys specialise in greater than 45 areas of the regulation, together with catastrophe help, household, employment, foreclosures, chapter, landlord-tenant, housing, schooling, immigration, farmworker, and civil rights.

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