Dear clients and prospective clients,

Although we are working remotely during this pandemic, our “virtual office” is open for telephone and/or video appointments, the filing of bankruptcy cases, and providing services to our current clients. Please contact us via our website, by email or call us at 713-772-8037. Thank you for continuing to trust us with your bankruptcy matters. Our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by this worldwide pandemic. Be safe and healthy.

May 15, 2020 - ​Supreme Court of Texas Emergency Orders- The Supreme Court of Texas issued two emergency orders Thursday. The 15th Emergency Order permits residential eviction proceedings to resume on May 19 with deadlines no longer postponed. The order also allows warnings to be posted and possession writs to be executed starting May 26. The 16th Emergency Order allows collection of consumer debt as defined by Texas Finance Code Section 392.001(2) and issuance and service of garnishment writs and turnover orders to resume. 

May 14, 2020 - ​The Southern District of Texas Houston Federal Courthouse is scheduled to reopen to the public on Monday, May 18, 2020. The Bankruptcy Judges would like everyone to know that anyone entering the courthouse WILL BE REQUIRED TO WEAR A MASK AT ALL TIMES AND MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES.  At this time, virtual appearances are both allowed and encouraged.  

April 27, 2020Amended General Order 2020-11 - The Court extends the use of the Protocol for Emergency Public Health or Safety Conditions (adopted by General Order 2020-4 and invoked by General Orders 2020-10 and 2020- 10A) through May 31, 2020, subject to certain modifications. Chapter 13 trustees are not required to file motions to dismiss during the protocol period when the debtors become two payments delinquent. Audio and video participation will be allowed at all hearings during the Protocol Period. Personal attendance will be permitted at certain hearings, with certain conditions. Importantly the tolling provision contained in the Protocol adopted by General Order 2020-4 will terminate. This was having the effect of delaying debtors' discharges, because the 60-day period within which creditor can object to discharge or dischargeability, was tolled or stopped. It will restart on May 4, 2020. The tolling period will have been in effect for 41 days in the Houston, Galveston and Brownsville Divisions and in effect for 39 days in all other Divisions of the Southern District of Texas. To read the full text of the order go to txs.uscourts.gov/bankruptcy/genord

April 7, 2020 - The Houston Federal Courthouse (Bob Casey U.S. Courthouse at 515 Rusk) will remain closed to the public through May 1, 2020, and will reopen to the public on May 4, 2020, according to Special Order H-2020-10 signed by Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal. The Court remains open for business (not for the public), and pleadings may be filed through the Court's Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system. Parties may continue to file pleadings electronically and email documents to the Clerk's office pursuant to the Standing Orders available on the court's website, txs.uscourts.gov.​

April 3, 2020 - Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo orders foreclosure sales scheduled for April 7 in Harris County to be stopped due to the COVID-19 emergency. It's always possible this could change so before you rely on this, do your own investigation to be sure this order is still in effect and your foreclosure sale is not going forward. For example, one of Judge Hidalgo's orders releasing some prisoners from the Harris County jail due to the coronavirus emergency was enjoined (prevented from taking effect) yesterday by a state district judge. It's still unclear what will happen with respect to that matter.

April 1, 2020 - The Houston Federal Courthouse (Bob Casey U.S. Courthouse at 515 Rusk) is closed to the public through Friday, April 10, 2020.  Filings in bankruptcy and other cases can still be done through the Court's Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system. Parties without electronic access can file by mail or in emergency cases by email. See the notice on the court's website for details at www.txs.uscourts.gov. Our law office is still interviewing new bankruptcy clients and filing new bankruptcy cases, while we work remotely from home.

March 25, 2020 - We have closed our physical office in accordance with the orders of Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). We will be operating the law office remotely from our homes. Mr. Black and associate attorney Alex Higginbotham will continue to interview clients by phone and/or video. Our staff will gather information and documents from our clients for the filing of bankruptcy cases through our client portal and through email and fax. .Bankruptcy cases will continue to be filed through the bankruptcy court’s Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system.

March 24, 2020 - Order entered invoking Emergency Protocol for Brownsville, Galveston and Houston Divisions by Chief Judge David R. Jones. The Order invokes the provisions of General Order 2020-4, which requires hearings and Sec. 341(a) Meeting of Creditors to be conducted electronically using either audio or video and provides the manner of conducting the hearings and meetings. The full text of the order can be found at https://www.txs.uscourts.gov/bankruptcy/genord.

J Thomas Black
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Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization