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Trent Harris

Trent Harris

Bankruptcy, collections, estate planning, and probate lawyer in Jackson, MI
  • Bankruptcy, Collections, Estate Planning...
  • Illinois, Michigan
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Summary

I'm a bankruptcy, collections, estate planning, and probate lawyer practicing in Jackson, Michigan. Born and raised in Jackson, Michigan, I've been a lawyer since 2008 and have spent most of that time in private practice as a solo practitioner. I also have worked several years working for a bank as in-house counsel handling debt collections and Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy matters.

I help individuals and families plan for and navigate legal issues in some of the most significant financial and legal events in their lives: births, deaths, marriages, divorces, job losses, illnesses, hospitalizations, long-term-care, and other major life events. My approach to clients features personalized attention, prompt communication, efficient service, and discretion at all times. I am admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in the State of Michigan.

Memberships:
Jackson County Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
Jackson Area Estate Planning Council
Probate and Estate Planning Section, Michigan State Bar
Consumer Law Section, Michigan State Bar

Education:
J.D., Chicago Kent College of Law, 2008
B.A., Albion College, 1999
Diploma, Jackson High School, 1995

Practice Areas
  • Bankruptcy
  • Collections
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
Fees
  • Free Consultation
    I offer free consultations by telephone.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Illinois
Michigan
Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Attorney
Crossroads Legal, PLLC
- Current
Founded consumer law firm to represent individuals in the areas of bankruptcy, collections, estate planning, probate, and employment law.
Collections Attorney
American 1 Credit Union
-
I represented the credit union in collections and consumer bankruptcy matters in courts throughout Michigan.
Attorney
Law Office of Trent Harris, PLC
-
I represented clients in estate planning, probate, real estate, and small business matters, mostly for transactional/drafting matters, but also some litigation.
Legal Intern
Allegiance Health
-
Worked as a legal intern supporting the Associate General Counsel of a mid-size regional hospital system. Worked mostly on contract and compliance matters.
Paralegal
Scarpelli & Brady, LLC
-
Worked as a paralegal for a five-attorney insurance defense litigation firm in Park Ridge, Illinois.
Education
Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology
J.D. (2008)
-
Albion College
(1999) Dual major in Economics & Management and Philosophy
-
Honors: Cum Laude
Awards
CALI Award
Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology
Received CALI Award for Law 273 - Evidence from professor Justice David A. Erickson for spring semester of 2007.
Dean's List
Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology
Recognized on Dean's List - spring 2007 and fall 2007 semesters.
Dean's List
Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology
Recognized on Dean's List - Fall 2006 semester.
Professional Associations
State Bar of Michigan # P73799
Member
Current
Jackson County Bar Association
- Current
Chicago Bar Association
- Current
Speaking Engagements
Bylaws are Mylaws, Nonprofit Network 2011 Governance Workshop, Community Action Agency, Jackson, MI
Nonprofit Network
Presentation discussing the role, relevance, and importance of bylaws to the board of directors and management of nonprofit organizations.
Websites & Blogs
Website
Crossroads Legal, PLLC
Legal Answers
132 Questions Answered

Q. How long will 4 heirs wait if selling estate to 5th heir on "land contract"?
A: A land contract is usually paid a little at a time. First, there’s a down payment. Second, there are monthly payments for most of the balance over time. Third, there’s usually a bigger lump sum payment due several (3-10) years later. When a land contract is made, the buyer has a vendee’s interest: possession of the property now, and the right to receive a deed at the end, if all payments are made. The seller has a vendor’s interest: legal title now, and the right to receive payments from the vendee, along with the duty to deliver a deed if the contract is fully performed. How long will you wait for your inheritance? If you mean all your money, it would be as long as the term of the land contract - the time when the balloon payment is due. If you mean your vendor’s interest, it would depend on whether the land contract is made between the buyer and the estate as seller, or whether it’s between the buyer and the other 4 heirs as sellers. You could close the probate and get your inheritance (vendor’s interest) faster if you conveyed the property from the estate to the heirs who will hold title, then did the land contract between the buyer and the other 4 heirs. As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified attorney about your specific situation before choosing to rely on information you get from internet discussion boards such as this one.
Q. Was advised to direct all questions to attorney rather than Trustee and now she won't respond. What are my rights?
A: No, the attorney doesn't necessarily have a duty to call you back. Under the trust code, a trustee has a duty to send certain information to qualified trust beneficiaries. That sounds like what you received with the accounting. If you are a qualified beneficiary of the trust, you also have a right to request reasonable information about the trust. If your request is reasonable, the trustee has a duty to give you the information. But if the trustee or his attorney believes your request is not reasonable, then they don't necessarily have a duty to give you the information you want. If you dispute the accounting and there has been no response from the trustee or the trustee's attorney, then you could hire your own attorney to communicate with your brother's attorney and see if they can work it out. Or, you could file a petition for supervision of the trustee in the probate court. The probate court has jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes like this that come up during trust administration. As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified attorney about your specific situation before choosing to rely on any information you get from internet discussion boards, such as this one.
Q. Looking for a lawyer interested in taking on a pro bono case to defend against lawsuit from Ford, any suggestions?
A: In short, yes. An automobile lessor can sue for a deficiency judgment under the lease. If it's in the contract, then that money can be collected in court. If your son wishes to contest the lawsuit, he would need to be able to articulate why he shouldn't be liable to the lessor. Does he have any defenses to the contract? Is he alleging that the repo sale of the truck wasn't conducted in a commercially reasonable manner? Vehicle lessors like Ford are familiar with the law and procedures for these situations, so it would be unusual for a lessor of their stature to have done something they weren't allowed to do under the contract or law. If your son does not have a defense, then he might consider offering to settle. Sometimes a creditor will accept less to settle, if it means not having to use legal process to collect the debt. Or, if settlement is not possible or your son cannot afford to settle, your son might consider exploring bankruptcy. If your son is indigent, then maybe he can work with a low-income legal services clinic in the area where he lives. Look in the phone book or on the Michigan State Bar website. Otherwise, your son should expect that an attorney will want to be paid for his or her work. As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified attorney about your specific situation before choosing to rely on any information you get from internet discussion boards, such as this one.
Q. My husband is custodian on utma accounts we opened for our children when they were born, we put 20 dollars a week in
A: Generally, no. Property of the your bankruptcy estate does not include any power that the debtor (you) may exercise solely for the benefit of [a person] other than [yourself], i.e. your child. See 11 U.S.C. 541(b)(1). Under Michigan law the funds in the UGMA account belong to your children, not you. See MCL 554.536(2). However, if you or your husband have transferred money to the UGMA accounts within 2 years before filing bankruptcy, the money transferred in the previous 2 years could be deemed voidable transfers and recovered by the trustee. Similarly, if you or your husband transferred money to the UGMA account to place money outside the reach of creditors, the transfers could be set aside on that basis too. Also, if your husband has used the account(s) improperly, for example by spending UGMA money on expenses ineligible to be spent from the UGMA account, then the protection of the accounts could be lost. As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified attorney about your specific situation before choosing to rely on any information you get from internet discussion boards, such as this one.
Q. Why would estranged spouse who left decreased for another man and lagged on signing divorce papers get all vs kin
A: Generally, a divorce in Michigan isn't legally final until a judgment of divorce has been entered. But, Michigan law creates an exception to this in the Estates and Protected Individuals Code: a "surviving spouse" does not include someone who, for 1 year or more before the other spouse's death, (1) was willfully absent from the decedent spouse, (2) deserted the decedent spouse, or (3) willfully neglected or refused to provide support for the decedent spouse if required to do so by law. MCL 700.2801. It's not clear from your question whether the estranged wife was apart from your brother for more than 1 year before his death. If she was, then maybe you might have an arguable case that the estranged wife shouldn't inherit from your brother's estate. You would need to show actions by the estranged wife "indicating a conscious decision to permanently no longer be involved in the marriage." See In re: Harris Estate, 151 Mich App 780, 787 (1986). Also, the facts you mention might be used for an action based on unjust enrichment - if she received money from your brother that was intended as divorce settlement, she shouldn't also be allowed to also keep the life insurance proceeds. You could argue your brother paid the estranged wife the money, and that was supposed to compensate her for the life insurance and whatever else she wouldn't get by being divorced. Being allowed to keep both is a double recovery by the estranged spouse. But it's not a slam dunk. These cases are highly fact-dependent, and judge-dependent. You should talk to a probate attorney who in the area where your brother last lived (his county of last residence) for more information. As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified attorney about your specific situation before choosing to rely on any information you get from internet discussion boards, such as this one.
Q. Can I file bankruptcy on one judgement that has been ordered against me and not all of my debt?
A: No, when you file bankruptcy you have to list all of your debts. However, the damage to your credit from bankruptcy is only temporary. If you pay your bills on time after you get a bankruptcy discharge, your credit score will probably go back up again relatively quickly, because your debt ratio will be better with less unsecured debt compared to your income and overall obligations. As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified attorney about your specific situation before choosing to rely on information you get from internet discussion boards such as this one.
Q. If a husband and wife own a home with no mortgage,and the husband alone by himself applies for bankruptcy
A: Creditors would not be able to go after the house owned by spouses as tenants by the entireties, unless both spouses were liable on the debt. But note, in a bankruptcy it would be the bankruptcy trustee, not creditors, that might do this. As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified attorney about your specific situation before choosing to rely on information you get from internet discussion boards such as this one.
Q. Has the law been altered as of 2019?
A: There isn’t an age minimum, but if you’re a minor you’ll need your parent to come with you to the tattoo shop and give permission. Here is a link to Michigan’s law on tattooing minors. http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(a1v3sujz11rki0tfhjvedhzc))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=mcl-333-13102 Also, tattoo shops are free to set their own rules about the minimum age of someone they tattoo. My recommendation is to wait until you’re older. A tattoo is forever, and not something to get without being really, really sure you want to live with it for the rest of your life. What seems like a good idea now may not seem that way when you get older. It can wait, at least until you’re 18 and can make your own decisions.
Q. Is it illegal for an agent to cash a money order deposit if we have not gotten an approval or keys to the house?
A: It sounds like you're talking about a Realtor who helped you to find a rental home, as opposed to buying. It may not be illegal for the Realtor to cash the check. The Realtor, whether an agent for the landlord or for you, holds the funds in escrow/trust. But if you have not been approved for the rental, or if you will not be approved for it, then the Realtor or landlord should give you the deposit back. It's unclear from the question whether there was one check for the deposit and application fee together, or whether there were separate checks for the deposit and application fee. Regardless, make contact with the Realtor, find out what the status is on your application, and if your application was not approved, ask the Realtor to give you your deposit back. If the Realtor does not cooperate, talk to a lawyer about possibly sending a demand letter or filing suit to recover the money. As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified attorney about your specific situation before choosing to rely on any information you get from internet discussion boards, such as this one.
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Contact & Map
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 1054
Jackson, MI 49204-1054
USA
Telephone: (517) 240-4236
Office
404 S. Jackson St.
Jackson, MI 49201
USA
Telephone: (517) 240-4236