Ohio Bankruptcy Attorney: Richard West


Richard West

Founding Attorney

Rick’s Story – Tragedy changed his life, and you benefit.

“Life happens.”

Back in early 90’s tragedy struck Rick’s life, perhaps like yours now.

In less than a year’s time, he went through a difficult divorce, fell off the roof and broke his back.  Then came astronomical medical bills – he couldn’t work for months.

Without income, and no insurance, he lived on borrowed money.
When he couldn’t make even the minimum monthly payments, he got sued.

Sued by attorneys he knew . . . it was devastating.  He felt hopeless, humiliated. He couldn’t pay theses debts.

So . . .  he didn’t pay them.

Rick’s not proud of this, but not ashamed either.  Life happens. Sometimes you just can’t pay.  That experience changed Rick’s life, and his law practice, forever.

Rick knows firsthand the pain, the frustration and feeling of helplessness that you can only really understand if you actually live through it. His experience compelled him to close his general practice, so he could devote his entire professional career to helping good, honest people overcome impossible debt problems and financial disaster, and to rebuild their credit.

Just like he had to do.

And, while Rick knows that there’s more to life than money, he also understands that when there’s not enough money to make ends meet – it just destroys the quality your life.

He says, “I felt like a total failure.  I really wanted to pay the bills. I felt like I had done something wrong.”

“Eventually, I understood that none of this was true.  I had not failed.  My life took a turn for the worse, and knocked me down . . . hard!”

It took time for Rick to recover financially, and emotionally, from this setback.  Looking back, he says it was one of the most transformative experiences of his life.

“Financial disaster doesn’t mean you’re defeated,” says Rick,
“In fact, filing bankruptcy is often the first step to a better financial future.”

“What I went through I wouldn’t wish on anyone! But, because I’ve been through it, I understand in a way that other attorneys simply can’t.  It’s why I do what I do.”

Rick has been in private practice since 1986, and has helped over 20,000 clients and their families overcome debt, keep their property and rebuild good credit.

He’s the only attorney in Ohio who has created his own unique program to recover good credit after discharging debt in bankruptcy.

Married to his wife Belinda for nearly 30 years, Rick is also an experienced airplane pilot and avid scuba diver.

He joined the U.S. Navy right out of high school and served overseas for several years. Later he became a computer engineer for the NCR Corporation in Dayton, while working his way through college and law school.

However, his goal was always to become an attorney and help individuals, not corporations.

NCR offered me a job the first year I was in private practice after I helped them settle a big case.  Most new attorneys would have jumped at the chance,” Rick recalls.

“Even though the position paid 3 times what I was making, I turned them down.  I didn’t want to work for a big corporation law department,” he explains.  “Making a positive difference in the lives of the members of my community is what really motivates me.”

“And, there is no higher service I can think of than helping someone who feels like there is no solution, like their situation is hopeless, to recover their finances, and their sense of self-worth.”

* Rick is a Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Specialist, a legal certification conferred by the American Board of Certification and recognized by the Ohio Supreme Court.  Only 10 attorneys in Ohio hold this certification.  He is a Certified Credit Counselor, Certified Debt Arbitrator, and Certified Student Loan Counselor, non-legal certifications conferred by the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators, an organization which certifies professional non-bankruptcy debt arbitrators and counselors. He is the only attorney in Ohio, and perhaps the entire country, who simultaneously holds all of these certifications.  Rick graduated from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and the Temple University School of Law.  He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Tax Court, the United States Court of Federal Claims, The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, The United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, the Ohio Supreme Court, and is a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, The National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees, the American Bankruptcy Institute and the National Association of Consumer Advocates.