Attorney Brent Westbrook Talks With Katherine On “This Needs To Be Said” About Bankruptcy

 

Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today on “This Needs to Be Said”, our friend attorney Brent is back and he’s gonna introduce himself this time. Aren’t you? Yes, Ma’am we skipped it last time. No problem. No problem. So, yeah, so I am Brent Westbrook. I’m an attorney in St. Charles, Missouri. We’re just a suburb west of St. Louis, Missouri. We focus our practice here, Westbrook law group on bankruptcy work and helping financially distressed people, get financial, relief that they need so that they can move on and get a fresh start in their life. Fantastic! How did you get into bankruptcy? You know, I went to law school and my first year it’s, it’s hard to find a job that summer after your first year. And I kind of lucked out and got a job working for a very good,” as an intern”, a bankruptcy judge in Kansas City, Missouri, and got to kind of see that side of it.

And he had some big chapter 11 cases in his courtroom. And, I could kind of see the people, the individual people that were coming through and the help that they were getting and, just got interested in it. And then, you know, got some experience, got hired by a firm that did bankruptcy work and eventually made partner in that firm and then moved over to St. Louis and opened my own practice. So here we are now. I have a question for you. So in law school, do you, when you went into law school, where you think in bankruptcy, or did you just want to be a lawyer how did you make your decision? Yeah, it’s kind of a, yeah. Good question. So I went to college thinking I was going to be a doctor.

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Oh, wow. Yeah. And my, most of my family’s in the medical field, so I kind of pivoted during, during college, and, went on to law school. My, my grandfather had passed away and we’d found out after he passed that it was, you know, there was a mistake that the physician had made. And so it kind of got me interested in law. And so when I was going to law school, I thought, man, I’m going to do trial work and we’re going to do medical malpractice and all this stuff, you know, I was not thinking bankruptcy work, but I got some experience there. And I think above all else, the nice thing about a bankruptcy practice is you get to work with people, you know, and you’ll get to help people. Yeah. That’s what I love people’s stories. I was going to a fourth grade. Oh, what was it I was gonna be a fourth grade school teacher. Oh yeah. I’m far from it.

It’s funny. You know, I think when I was real little, I wanted to be a fighter pilot, but that was because the movie top gun was out, you know so anyway then a doctor now a lawyer. So anyway, well, yeah, I mean reasonably, I mean, if most of the people in your family are in the medical field that would be natural for me. I would have gone into healthcare because of my mom but I thought I’d be a school teacher, you know, set up my stuffed animals as a kid. That’s what fourth grade will be. And I volunteered, went to school, got my degree to be a teacher, and then worked in the school system and decided they’d fire me. So I better find me another way to teach this what they’re doing in here. I, I can’t do the robotics. I’m a creative.

And I you know, I believed what they taught me in school. So yeah, it’s amazing how our lives pivot. Something makes you go, wait a minute, you know, let me do this. Can I still do the same thing Can I still educate, can I still bring education to people Information that’s useful Can I still do that Cause that was my point. It didn’t have to be based so that, yeah, the pivot, I understand that. So we got the introduction out of the way audience don’t you get me so that’s fine. We’re going to get into the topic of mortgage forbearances and what that actually means. And I think the other part is because I’m not that smart, I’m just reading notes, everyone. So I don’t want, y’all calling me, you have to call attorney Brent. I want to sound as less legal as possible here and, and I understand that this is coming to an end. So is this as a result of the pandemic over the past year Yes. Yes. We’re seeing, you know, mortgage companies willing to, to put people in forbearances you know, for certain period of time, right due to the pandemic. Yes. Okay. Well, yeah. So Brent, for you, I’m gonna be quiet. How about that?

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I know the main thing. No, forbearance when you hear that word, you want to be careful because really what that is, it’s the mortgage company stating an agreeing that they’re not going to take negative action against you for a certain period of time. Okay. So I think sometimes when people hear forbearance, they think I’m not ever going to have to make the up those payments or, you know, they’re going to for sure put those payments on the back end of my mortgage loan, which sometimes they do, but you’ve got to apply for that and qualify and make sure that you get that in writing. ’cause I think you know, I think I don’t want people to get a false sense of security and, and I think it’s great that mortgage companies are working with people right now, you know, when everybody’s had such a hard time, but you also want to make sure that you do deal with those payments in a way that, that you can and, and do follow through and apply to get those modified and put on the back end of your loan or some other, you know, resolution that you can, you can deal with and that your mortgage company’s going to approve.

So you said qualifies. So this isn’t an automatic thing for those who have a mortgage, they were not automatically put into it. I think that’s what you’re saying. You can get put into forbearance. So for example, let’s say, you’re, you know, you go into mortgage forbearance and they, they put you in forbearance for six months. You just want to make sure that you understand that those six months of payments don’t go away. Sometimes the mortgage company will do a loan modification and take those six months of payments and put them at the back end of your loan. But, sometimes they’re do you know, right at the end of the six month period. So yeah, so you want to be proactive, make sure that you’ve got a plan in place to get those payments that were part of the forbearance dealt with, so that you can stay in your home.

So is this the time to come and see a bankruptcy attorney or are there some tips for people to check and see where they are w what, what tips would you give them What I would give them is to, you know, if they’re in a forbearance contact the mortgage company and apply for that loan modification, you know, if that’s what they’re trying to do to get the payments put at the back end of their loan, or, you know, let them catch up over a certain period of time where they can afford to make those payments and catch up the payments that were in forbearance but get it in writing, get it done that way. It’s not just out there in limbo. And you know that you’ve got a plan in writing and you guys are on the same page, right Yep. Yep.

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And there are options. Even if the mortgage company says all the payments are due, sorry, you were behind when you went into forbearance and now we can’t do the loan modification, put them on the end. You still can save your property in a bankruptcy case so there, there are other options to keep you in the property, even if the forbearance, yeah. Even if you don’t get that loan modification or the mortgage company wants you to make up those payments that were in forbearance in a way that’s impossible for you. Well, excellent. This is a good time for you to let them know how to get in touch with you to have a free consultation, to talk about their situation. The information we share on the show is general information to give you comfort, to understand attorneys are approachable, and this topic of bankruptcy, isn’t scary, but you don’t call me.

You will call attorney friend. So tell people how to get in touch with you outside of “This Needs to Be Said”. So our website has all of our contact information on it. So it’s www.westbrooklawgroup.com. All of our, you know, phone number, email, any of those other, you know, Facebook, all of that stuff. The links are right there on the website. And, that’s the best way I am so excited to have these calls. You’ve been so much fun. So I’m looking forward to what’s to come next. So thank you so much for joining us on “This Needs to Be Said”. And until next time have a super day attorney Brent. Thank you. You too! Thanks for having me on.

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