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Free legal assistance for low-income individuals affected by Tropical Storm Beta

AUSTIN — Due to potential flooding and destructive conditions predicted in advance of Tropical Storm Beta’s landfall, the State Bar of Texas wants Southeast Texas residents to know free legal resources are available to low-income individuals affected by disasters.

A toll-free disaster legal services hotline — 800-504-7030 — puts callers in touch with legal aid providers in their area who can help with:

  • Assistance securing government benefits as they are made available;
  • Assistance with life, medical, and property insurance claims;
  • Help with home repair contracts and contractors;
  • Replacement of wills and other important legal documents lost or destroyed in the

disaster;

  • Consumer protection issues such as price-gouging and avoiding contractor scams

in the rebuilding process;

  • Counseling on landlord-tenant problems and other matters.

The hotline assists callers in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

People who qualify for assistance will be matched with lawyers who can provide free, limited legal help.

The State Bar reminds the public that in many cases it is a crime in Texas for a lawyer or someone representing a lawyer to contact a person for purposes of legal representation if the person has not first requested the call or personal visit.

The contact is not illegal if the attorney is not seeking payment or has a preexisting professional-client or family relationship with the person being contacted.

If you witness something you believe to be improper solicitation, or barratry, please get the name and phone number of the person making contact and report it to your local law enforcement authority or the State Bar Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s Office via email at CDCinfo@texasbar.com or toll free at 866-224-5999.