Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today on this needs to be said, I want you to take your pen and paper out because class is in session. This past year has really given us reasons to pause, thinking of our finances, having to read just to thinking that, oh, wow, I didn’t expect this to happen. Whatever this was in your life over this past year, so I think this is a great time for us to have a new friend to this needs to be said, Attorney Westbrook, I was nervous. I was going to mess up his name. He was welcome to this needs to be said, he’s going to be talking with us about some things it’s gonna help ease our, our nervousness. Welcome to “This needs to be said”, how are you?
I am doing well. Yeah! Brent Westbrook here. Thank you for having me on. I’m so glad to be here.
It seemed like I wouldn’t be able to miss mess that name up. Right! I am so funny. So this is our story for how we met. Okay. I messed up your name the first time. That’s it, that’s okay. Today we’re going to talk about bankruptcy, which some people probably have felt like it’s a bad word, but it’s not. It’s really a financial, liberation and opportunity that is in our constitutional rights for us to be able to reset ourselves when we find ourselves in a pickle. But I’m not the attorney here. So you’re going to talk with us, about some misconceptions that come along with bank, the bad word of bankruptcy. That’s right.
Yes. So I think everybody has seen a, either a news article or news story, you know, that, that talks about how, you know, one of the things they’ll talk about is how someone had to lose everything to get out of their debt, to start over and, you know, while that might be true for a very, very small percentage of the population, in general, you know, we can, we can kind of avoid that, that outcome at all costs for our clients and, and most people that go through bankruptcy do not lose everything. And you know, like you said, there is a stigma out there, you know, about that bad or word, that, somebody just mismanaged their money or they were irresponsible or, or, you know, just didn’t want to pay their bills. And of course that is just not our client. Right!
But you know, I think in, this has nothing to, directly to do with what we’re talking about, but I think it goes back to being in elementary school. Like there’s a solid right, and a solid wrong. And if you’re find yourself, if you find yourself in wrong, you must have done something. So I think somewhere that’s still in our head, especially when we’re judging others about something they have, they may have done, but that’s not necessarily the case life happens and that’s not a cop out. You don’t plan for something to be bigger than you can take care of it. We all do have people that overspend, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about, we have a medical deal. We had life happen. We, we did not intend to exceed our expenses and something, something happened and we couldn’t, we couldn’t, you know, stop it. These are the people that we’re talking about. So it’s not you did something bad other than being a human and that’s not bad. Right! You have a right to correct it. And that’s what bankruptcy allows you to do.
So other than a percent correct, other than I’m thinking of losing everything, because that’s one of the misconceptions, is there a way for me to keep my things and I say things, but those important things are our house, our car, those things we’ve invested in, how is there a way to maybe protect isn’t the right word, but is there a way, right?
Yes, absolutely! And I didn’t mean to cut you off there, but, no jump in. So right and, and yes, so people can keep or protect certain things and there’s laws out there that are called exemptions. And those are the laws that control what people can keep as they go through the process. you know, so they can plan in certain ways before they want you know, file for bankruptcy, if they need to, to maximize those exemptions and what they can keep, exemptions are different state to state, believe it or not. So bankruptcy is kind of a, a mix of both federal and state law and that the bankruptcy laws are the same. They’re all, federal law, federal statute, but your exemptions and what you can keep, can differ state to state. Each state has their own exemptions and then some states let people that file bankruptcy opt out of their state’s exemptions and use federal exemptions. But yes, the word that you were looking for their exemptions. Those are the laws that control what people can keep, right And most of the time, the, you know, over 90% of, of bankruptcy filings are what we call no asset cases where people that filed bankruptcy do not have to lose an asset.
Now that is good. That is good news, but this is something people you wouldn’t know. If you didn’t talk with someone like attorney whisper, I’m going to keep sending it. So I get it, get it, get it right. Smoke off my tongue. It’ll be Brent, look! I can remember Attorney Brett Westbrook. I’m going to get it right. But I’m just tickled. Cause like, how did I mention the name of it right but this back to the serious point of it, you would not know that you could, gosh, I want to say protect again. What’s the word exemption, listen, you have to tune in. We’re going to have, we’re gonna have fun with this I’m loving this already. So you wouldn’t know that you could have an exemption and bankruptcy if you wouldn’t have, if you didn’t have a conversation about it.
And I’m, I know that there is a feeling about it, but I’m hoping that in the conversations that we have, that you’ll overcome what you’re feeling about this situation. You may find yourself in and you really don’t know if you need to file bankruptcy until you talk with someone about it. So standing around with your friends, getting advice from what you guys have heard about bankruptcy, maybe someone’s been through one. And so they are the most expert in your circle. I’m not knocking that, but I’m also saying that your situation is unique and unique. It means it’s different from that friend. So go see what is said for you. Maybe it’s not an option for you. So another misconception I want to ask you is that, if I come to you and maybe I don’t need bankruptcy, do you just turn me away or do you, have any other help for me?
We try to cover all sorts of different options with our clients. Sometimes I feel like a client may come to us and they don’t have that much debt. So it’s best to try to settle a debt, right try to reach some type of negotiated settlement amount that a client can afford, get the creditors some money and avoid the client having to file for bankruptcy. You know, sometimes that is an option. you know, in sometimes bankruptcy is just unfortunately not a good option, but you need to, you know, you need to talk to somebody that you can trust and it’s going to give you the best advice, regardless of whether or not, you know, you hire them or not. And, and at the end of the day, I’ve got to sleep at night and, you know, we definitely want to steer people in the right direction and get them that help that they need regardless of, of which option is best for them. So,
And that’s another thing happened to talk to an attorney in my experience is very limited. You talk to an attorney when it’s going to turn out good for you. So I want people to get in the mindset that it’s not scary. It’s not scary. And I may have to do some things that I’m not interested in or willing to do at this point. But if you tell me, hey, you have to change those things so that you can get back on the right track. I just like any other life change we would have to make adjustment and who better than to have someone who knows what they’re doing and stop. We need to stop talking with our friends about very important things and our lives. They’re here to help you like really get it straight. So yes, and
We do, you know, and the good news is, is that the good information is free. You know, we do a free consultation. Doesn’t cost you anything to hear it right from a, you know, a respectable source that way, you know, you’ve got that peace of mind that you’re selecting the best option for you, and you can move on confidently.
Now that’s important, the best option for you. Now, we’re going to come back and talk again, some more of what you empower your clients with, but I want to wrap up this discussion our first time meeting with you and you know what I did not do with you, I’m going to do it next time. I did not introduce you. I just yanked you in here made you family.
I just have that effect on people. You do.
You do have to think I’ve done lots of recordings. And, I don’t think I’ve ever forgotten to introduce someone like, Hey, tell us about you. You, you got me, you mess up. I don’t know what happened. I know who to tell on you, but I want you to tell people how to get in touch with you outside of “This needs to be set. Sure.
So our website has, you know, several different ways, whatever you’re most comfortable reaching out, whatever method you choose, but it’s just www.westbrooklawgroup.com and you’ll find our phone number or other contact information there. Awesome!
Well, I want to tell that this needs to be said, audience, thank you so much for being a part of the show, let everybody know to tune in because we have awesome information here. And until next time have a super day. And I’ll talk with you again Attorney Brent. Thank you.
Look forward to it. You’re welcome.