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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
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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
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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
123 Questions Answered

Q. After consulting a lawyer, I am still confused about whether I should open a probate case or leave it alone.
A: So it sounds like you found the hand-written 2015 will? If so, the will may have legal effect, since holographic wills can be enforced in Michigan. The decision whether to open probate depends on the assets of the estate, and the purposes that would be served by having a personal representative appointed. If you are named as personal representative in the 2015 holographic will and you need legal authority to wind up your deceased significant other's affairs, maybe probate is the way to go. But if the valuable items are not of much value, were left to you in the will, and are already in your possession, then maybe you don't need to open probate. Be advised though, the daughter has the right to claim exempt property of the estate under MCL 700.2404. That right may conflict with your right to the property if it has been left to you in the 2015 will. In any event, it's hard to say what the other attorney was thinking - have you followed up with the other attorney? This area of the law, and the contingencies that are involved in the fact pattern you've given, is complex and your questions can't be answered without an attorney knowing everything that's involved. You should talk to your attorney, or find another one to give you clarification. 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. I'm the personal representative in my mother's estate how do I have the deed to the house change the my name
A: Assuming you were in informal probate, assuming you have letters of authority that are unrestricted as to your powers, and assuming you're the heir/devisee who is entitled to inherit the house, then you could sign a personal representative's deed conveying the house from the estate to yourself. The deed would need to be recorded at the register of deeds, and a property transfer affidavit sent to the local assessor. If a principal residence exemption was in place for your mother, it should now be rescinded. If you will live in the home as your principal residence, you would file a new principal residence exemption affidavit claiming the exemption for yourself. 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. Michigan. How do I open probate years after death without an account balance?
A: The bank is right. To give you information, the bank has the right to require you to show proper authority over the account. But you may not need to open an estate to get the money transferred if the account is worth $23,000 or less. You could try to use an Affidavit of Decedent's Successor for Delivery of Assets Owned by Decedent, SCAO form pc598, along with the death certificate to the bank. Here is a link to the form and some instructions at the Leelenau County court's website. https://www.leelanau.cc/downloads/pkt_DE_affdavit_of_successor_for_delivery_of_assets_instrform.pdf If the bank will not give you the funds using the affidavit procedure, then you'll need to open an estate. If the account is above the small estate amount, you still would be able to dispense with notice to creditors and proceed to estate settlement because it has been 3+ years since death. An attorney can help you with this if you have more questions. 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. Ex wife did not refinance loan for house from divorce and mortgage just increased $10,000 w/o my sig. Is this legal
A: The divorce decree is binding between you and your ex-spouse, and isn’t binding on the mortgage company. So they have the right to continue reporting the loan as yours, until it’s paid in full. That’s the first part. But the second part is whether the loan documents you signed permitted future advances under the mortgage. You say that the loan was a conventional loan. If so, then future advances seem unlikely under the loan documents. Without seeing the documents you signed, and assuming that your loan was NOT a future advance mortgage, I would say no, a lender cannot unilaterally increase the amount of a loan without all applicants’ consent. Nor would a lender be able to convert a conventional 30-year loan to a future advance mortgage with the consent of only one of two co-debtors. The lender is bound by the contract you signed, the same as you are bound. If the lender is reporting the increased balance as your obligation to pay, then that could be (1) a breach of the lender’s contract with you, and/or (2) a violation of the fair credit reporting act. If #1, you might have a breach of co tract suit. If #2 and you wish to pursue the FCRA angle, you will need to keep documentation of loans you have applied for, and been denied, or been offered terms that were unfavorable to you because of the potentially false information appearing on your credit report. On the other hand, if you are still obligated on the loan, then the lender should have to give you information about the loan, including any recent transactions. It’s your loan, and it’s your business to know how the balance got where it is. I would start with the lender and asking them what happened, including a request for documentation before forming any conclusions. There are ways you can get yourself off the loan. One might be to negotiate a settlement with the lender for them to release you from liability on the loan. You could pay money, or if your claims above have merit, you could offer to release the bank from liability from your potential claims in exchange for being released from the loan. Another way to be released from personal liability on a loan is bankruptcy. What’s right for you? Only you and a lawyer working together can say. 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. filing for car I have, it dont run. I want to get rid of car, bank gave me release of lien paper. Can I sell it?
A: If you have a release of lien, the car is yours now and you can do as you wish with it. You can sell it but make sure you get what it’s worth. If you sell for significantly less than it’s worth, especially if sold or gifted to an insider like a friend or family member, it could hurt you in your bankruptcy. So make sure to keep good records of the sale, what you got for it, and how you spent the money afterwards. 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. My mom died about two months ago in Michigan, and my sister went to Probate Court in Wayne County to live in my mom's ho
A: It sounds like your sister has been appointed personal representative of the estate. Whether your sister can sell the house depends on how the house was owned by you and your deceased mother, whether it was joint tenants with right of survivorship, or whether it was tenants in common. If it was tenants in common, then the house is an asset of your mother’s estate now. Without more information, it’s hard to help you further. You should talk to an attorney to find out more. 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. is social security counted as disposible income in a chapter 13 bankruptcy
A: For purposes of the Chapter 7 means test, Social Security benefits are not income. But for purposes of Chapter 13 disposable income, yes, Social Security benefits are counted as income from which your allowable expenses are subtracted to arrive at disposable income in Michigan. In some other jurisdictions (other than Michigan), the answer would be different. 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. 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. my husband's grandmother lert a will. Upon her passing her surviving son & daughter will split the house . On her decis
A: Under Michigan’s Estates and Protected Individuals Code, a child is also defined as someone with whom the parent had an openly acknowledged parent-child relationship which continued until death of the parent. The 3rd wouldn’t necessarily have to have a DNA test or birth certificate to prove she has the right to inherit from the parent’s estate. You, or the 3rd child, should talk to a qualified lawyer in your area who can help in this situation.
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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