Meet the Kostopoulos and Associates Legal Team!

Throughout the bankruptcy process, you will interact with many different people. Here's some info to help you get to know us better.

Rita Kostopoulos


Certified Legal Consumer Bankruptcy Specialist

By the American Board of Certification

*Also Licensed in California

Detroit bankruptcy lawyer A. Rita Kostopoulos is the founder of The Fresh Start Center Law Firm. Rita was admitted to the Michigan Bar in November 2001. Rita’s areas of practice are consumer bankruptcy, business law and real estate law. In addition, Rita holds a Real Estate Brokers License and is the owner of Sparta Realty LLC. Rita also owns Astro Title Company.


Rita attended Wayne State University and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Degree with a major in Management in May of 1998 (“Cum Laude” ); and immediately enrolled at the Wayne State University Law School (J.D. received in May of 2001). Rita is a former law clerk to the Honorable James Biernat Sr., Macomb County Circuit Court, from 2000-2001. In addition, she was employed at the law offices of Lupo & Kockzur PC in Detroit.


State Bar of Michigan; State Bar of California; admitted to practice in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan; in the United States District Court, Western District of Michigan, ; Consumer Bankruptcy Association Member, American Bankruptcy Institute Member, and member of the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association. In addition, Rita is president of the Hellenic Bar Association, speaks reads and writes Greek fluently.

Heather Burnard


Heather Burnard is an associate in the firm of Kostopoulos & Associates, PLLC. Heather received her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1999. She graduated with her Juris Doctorate from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2002. She is licensed to practice in the State of Michigan as well as the Eastern District of Michigan since 2004. She has been a member of the Oakland County Bar Association, Young Lawyers of Oakland County, American Bankruptcy Institute, Consumer Bar Association, and National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. Heather has attended many seminars presented by these organizations in order to keep current on the bankruptcy laws and trends.

E-Mail Heather at:

Toni Valchanov


Toni is an Associate Attorney in the law firm of Kostopoulos & Associates, PLLC.  Toni attended Oakland University and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with a minor in Business in 2003.   He received his Juris Doctorate degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2011 and was admitted to the Michigan State Bar and the Eastern District of Michigan.  While in law school, Toni enrolled in Oakland University and received his Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Business Economics in 2012. 

E-Mail Toni at:

Leo Alexander

Leo is the Office Manager/Bookkeeper for Kostopoulos & Associates PLLC. He has been with the firm since December 2004. Prior to his entry in the legal environment, Leo was a retired Mechanical Engineer and Business Investor. He was formerly employed at Boeing Aircraft and AT&T.

Kristen Cady

Kristen Cady has been a legal assistant in the law firm of Kostopoulos & Associates, PLLC since 2008.

Bridget Rodway

Bridget Rodway has been a legal assistant in the law firm of Kostopoulos & Associates, PLLC since 2008.

Tina Kostopoulos 

Mrs.Kostopoulos is a mail clerk in the law firm of Kostopoulos & Associates PLLC.

Nada Zaya

Nada has worked as a legal assistant at Kostopoulos & Associates PLLC since April 2010. 

Ellen Reams

Ellen joined Kostopoulos & Associates in December 2012. She graduated in June of 2009 with her Associates degree in Paralegal Studies. She has been working in the Bankruptcy field for almost four years.