Michael joined Hughes Watters Askanase in June 2012 to support the Firm’s Default Servicing Practice Area. The Firm’s reputation for excellence and quality along with opportunities to develop professionally in the practice of bankruptcy law and creditors’ rights were key factors that led Michael to join the HWA legal team.
Michael is certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for Consumer Bankruptcy Law. He was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 2008. He is licensed to practice in the U.S. District Courts of Texas (Southern, Western, Northern and Eastern). He also is licensed to practice in the U.S. Tax Court.
Before joining HWA, Michael worked as a bankruptcy attorney with Shapiro Schwartz, L.L.P. where he represented mortgage servicers and mortgage companies in all aspects of bankruptcy proceedings. Before that, he was debtor’s counsel and represented debtors in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings. Michael has been a licensed insurance agent in Texas since 1997. He completed undergraduate university and law school classes while working as an agent with Allstate Insurance.
Michael focuses his practice on representing the needs and interests of borrowers, working with debtors and their counsel to address issues that may arise and create a positive outcome for his clients and safeguarding his clients from abusive or frivolous filings. He also has successfully filed for dismissal with prejudice against repeat filers, objected to extensions of the automatic stay on repeat cases when appropriate, and sought and obtained in rem relief from the automatic stay as appropriate.
Michael also has experience handling objections to claims, notices of payment change and general defense of motions to enforce and adversary proceedings brought by debtors.
Some of Michael’s representative cases include:
- As Debtor’s counsel: Adversary on violation of automatic stay – vehicle. See In re Gay, S.D. TX 10-37186, adversary 10-3400.
- As Creditor’s counsel: Acquiring stay relief and subsequent dismissal of Debtor’s case w/ prejudice for bad faith filings. See In re Kelly, S.D. TX 11-34708.
- Objection to the extension of the automatic stay in repeat filings. See In re Bradley, S.D. TX 11-40242 and In re Medina, S.D. TX 12-30099.
- Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, University of Houston, 2004
- Juris Doctorate, South Texas College of Law, 2007
- Member, Houston Association of Young Bankruptcy Lawyers
- Member, Texas Bar Association
- Member, Texas Young Lawyers Association
AWARDS AND HONORS
- Gulf Coast Honor Society, 2002
- Recipient of George R. Brown Scholarship, 2002 through 2004
- Corporate Counsel Review, Associate Editor, 2006
- Guest attorney judge, 2012 Elliot Cup Competition, New Orleans, Louisiana
HOBBIES AND INTERESTS
When Michael isn’t practicing law, he enjoys spending time with his wife and children. He and his family reside in the Pearland suburb of Houston. Michael is also a “hobby author” with two novels published to date, both Southern fiction and one of which has gone on to be a Top 10 bestseller on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble in the ghost stories selections. He also enjoys auction hunting with his wife.