The financial crisis that has unleashed a staggering number of bankruptcies and foreclosures around the nation has left many cash-strapped consumers frantically looking for ways to recession-proof their assets.
And that is where Weldon “Reed” Allmand steps in. An experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney and owner of Allmand Law Firm, PLLC in Dallas TX, he is on a self-proclaimed mission to turn downward economy into an upward trend – at least as far as saving people’s homes and protecting their money is concerned.
A tall order indeed, considering that Dallas County is suffering from record levels of foreclosures. Nationally too the numbers are alarming: one in every 25 homes in the U.S is currently in foreclosure, with millions more expected in coming months. On the bankruptcy front, the news is grim as well: the total number of U.S. bankruptcies filed during the first six months of 2009 increased 36 percent over the same period in 2008.
Amid the economic turmoil, Allmand, born in 1975, offers hope and tangible relief to financially ailing clients, allowing them to avoid devastating losses.
“I understand and empathize with their predicament and use the legal system to help them hold on to their assets, dignity, and sanity,” says Allmand, who has saved numerous homes from foreclosure. “My philosophy is ‘help good people through bad times.’”
Allmand’s vision is rooted in his own financially precarious childhood in Abilene “My father always had difficulty holding a job and supporting our family, so after my parents divorced when I was 12, my sister and I got jobs to help make ends meet,” he recalls. “I remember what it felt like as a child to worry that our car would be repossessed or home foreclosed on. I knew that I wanted a career that would give me financial security and allow me to support a family.”
That desire and drive to succeed led Allmand to Abilene Christian University in Abilene TX, where he majored in Finance and Accounting, graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, followed by a Juris Doctorate from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in Fort Worth.
The combination of business and legal education with both the religious and laic perspective has helped Allmand fulfill his personal and professional goals.
“Abilene Christian University emphasized using your profession to be a servant for God. I wanted to accomplish this but was uncertain how I could do so in the legal field,” he says. “I feel that I was ‘led’ into the bankruptcy profession for a reason, and I am so grateful to have an opportunity to serve families in financial distress by finding a solution to their problems.”
Talking about saving properties from foreclosure is one thing, but actually going the extra mile and bringing positive results is quite another. This is where Allmand’s experience and expertise in consumer bankruptcy – most specifically in Chapters 7 and 13 – makes all the difference.
“Our firm has proven time and again that filing for bankruptcy can be a legitimate choice to maintain assets and start a new financial plan,” he explains. “It invokes the power of federal law called the bankruptcy ‘stay’ which forces creditors to cease all collection efforts immediately. This means that after a bankruptcy is filed creditors cannot foreclose, repossess, sue, garnish, call, or undertake any other actions to collect a debt without first getting permission of the Bankruptcy Court. This allows the consumer to basically call a ‘time out’ and freeze creditors in their tracks while they reorganize their debts in Chapter 13 or discharge them entirely in Chapter 7.”
In fact, Allmand has made a name for himself in the consumer bankruptcy niche – as extensive media coverage in Los Angeles Times, Fox News and CBS-TV, among other news outlets – demonstrates. His second office in Hurst TX has become the largest filer of bankruptcies in Northern District Dallas, and the firm is in the top 10 nationwide for volume of filing. All this goes to prove that Allmand is not only a legal whiz, but is also committed to pulling all the stops to save people from what he calls “unimaginable hardships that could turn their entire lives upside down.”
During his 10-year career as one of the leading bankruptcy lawyers in the Dallas area, Allmand has worked on several large cases for high-profile clients, but, he emphasizes, all cases and all clients are equally important to him.
His commitment and dedication to smoothing out the rough financial patches, as well as a sensitive and respectful way he treats those who are on the brink of losing all that they own, is appreciated by scores of grateful clients.
“I was very reluctant about filing bankruptcy after hearing so many horror stories,” one client relates. “What really helped make up my mind was the very useful information about laws and procedures given to me at no expense by Mr. Allmand. Having exhausted my resources, this really helped me. After my first meeting, I not only felt relieved but confident in my choice. I left assured that things would get better.”
Another client, William Figueroa, says he is thankful to Allmand for “helping me keep my home for my three boys.”
Such testimonials, Allmand says, “are heartwarming and prove to me that I had chosen the right path in life – to help people in what seem to be truly hopeless situations.”
The Power Within
Being a busy bankruptcy lawyer in the midst of the worst recession in decades is an all-consuming job, but Allmand still makes time for some personal pursuits. He financially supports a variety of charitable, religious, and community organizations and projects in the Dallas area with generous donations. “I have been blessed in life and giving back to the community I am a part of is my way of helping others and thanking God for my good fortune,” he says.
Allmand’s hectic schedule also doesn’t prevent him from engaging in some of his eclectic and versatile hobbies, including martial arts, yoga, acupuncture and meditation.
How does his practice of martial arts, yoga and meditation help his practice as a bankruptcy attorney? “In many ways, actually,” he answers. “By its very nature, my work and constant worry about my clients are very stressful. All of these activities help me relax, give me inner peace and harmony. When my mental energy is restored, I am not only a much better lawyer, but also a happier person!”
Clearer mind and better focus – not to mention his faith – help Allmand confront and tackle numerous challenges inherent to his job. “I know that financial hardships can fall on good people through no fault of their own,” he says. “I am just thankful because I can make a positive and meaningful impact on the lives of people in crisis.”