About Us

Bankruptcy law in Grand Rapids and West Michigan

Oppenhuizen Law Firm, PLC is a Grand Rapids law firm that has deep roots in the community and a wealth of experience practicing in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan.  We have cases before the Court in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Traverse City.  James Oppenhuizen regularly speaks at the various Bankruptcy continuing education conferences put on by our local bankruptcy bar and has also been a speaker at national conferences put on by the American Bankruptcy Institute.

In West Michigan, we still do business based on our reputations and relationships.  At Oppenhuizen Law Firm, PLC, we value our reputation and relationships with the judges, court staff, the United States Trustee, various bankruptcy trustees and their respective staff members, and our fellow bankruptcy attorneys and their staff.  Maintaining strong professional relationships and connections enables us to provide the best service to our clients.  Having the trust and confidence of our colleagues benefits our clients every day.

But, maintaining our relationships with our clients is of the utmost importance to us.  We do this by maintaining consistent communication with our clients.  Many bankruptcy attorneys fail to keep in touch with their clients unless or until something goes wrong in their case.  We intentionally maintain contact, especially during chapter 13 cases so that our clients are informed and understand what is happening.  We also maintain our relationships by providing honest information and setting realistic expectations.  It is easy to gain new clients by telling clients what they want to hear about what bankruptcy can do for them, but it is difficult to maintain trust when expectations are set but cannot be met.  We strive to provide honest assessments in relation to what clients should expect during their bankruptcy cases.  We would not recommend bankruptcy to a client if the end result was not likely to be better for that client than their present circumstances.  Sometimes, setting realistic expectations for our clients involves explaining that certain sacrifices must be made.

We believe that a relationship of trust is essential to successfully representing our clients, and to our clients’ success in their cases.  Therefore, our clients should always expect honesty from us, when the news is good and when we have to convey an explanation as to why sacrifice is needed or things did not go the way we may have hoped.

We are also highly solutions oriented.  The service we provide to our clients at Oppenhuizen Law Firm, PLC is designed to help solve problems and ultimately make our clients’ lives easier and better.  Therefore, we work to understand your goals and offer options and paths that lead to you reaching your goals.

If you are interested in working with local West Michigan bankruptcy attorneys, based in Grand Rapids who value their relationship with you and see you as an individual who has unique issues, please click the link above and schedule your no-risk consultation to discuss your options!

 

James R. Oppenhuizen

James R. Oppenhuizen

Bankruptcy Attorney

Jim is a member of Oppenhuizen Law Firm, PLC, focusing his practice on bankruptcy, insolvency matters as well as various international law focused on doing business outside the United States, securities and start-up matters and investment-based immigration. Jim is a graduate of Calvin College and received his law degree from the Valparaiso University School of Law, graduating cum laude in 2005. He is admitted to practice in the Michigan State Courts, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
He is also a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the State Bar of Michigan, and is a frequent presenter on bankruptcy and insolvency issues. Jim also has spoken on international law, artificial intelligence, geopolitical security and strategy, alongside Benedetta Berti, Ph.D., Head of Policy and Planning in the Office of the Secretary General of NATO at the 2019 Globsec Bratislava Forum.

Sarah R. Reiniche

Bankruptcy Paralegal

Sarah is our paralegal. She has over 20 years of experience as a bankruptcy paralegal. In that time, she has helped countless individuals and families address the difficulty of handling debt. She has an extensive background in helping individuals and families complete their chapter 13 plans by helping address significant changes in their lives during their chapter 13 plans. She has long standing relationships with the chapter 13 trustees’ staff members, which allows for open, honest and effective communication. Strong communication with the trustees’ offices is essential to effectively use chapter 13 to solve financial difficulties. Sarah also has extensive experience assisting clients in chapter 7 bankruptcy cases. Sarah cannot provide legal advice, but has a depth of knowledge that serves our clients well and makes our representation of you as efficient and effective as possible.

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