Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School
American Jurisprudence Award Winner
City University of New York, Queens College
New York, New York
B.A., Political Science, 1993
All Michigan state courts
United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
Business, Creditors’ Rights, Credit Union, Banking and Finance Attorney
Steve is a trusted business lawyer, advisor and strategist who provides counsel and advice to individuals and companies on business and operational issues and serves as outside general counsel to a variety of businesses and organizations with an emphasis in credit union, financial services, agriculture and business representations. He routinely represents credit unions, agri-finance/farm credit institutions, banks, finance companies and businesses in:
- commercial disputes and litigation
- breach of contract actions
- note defaults
- collection actions
- UCC disputes
- claim and delivery/replevin actions
- loan documentation and workouts
- regulatory and compliance issues
- contract negotiation
- strategic planning
Steve, a board certified creditors’ rights attorney, also serves as national creditors’ rights counsel to small and large companies doing business throughout the United States and abroad.
Steve’s litigation practice is focused primarily on creditors’ rights and business litigation including federal and state receiverships, fraud litigation, loan workouts, collections and foreclosures, commercial litigation and consumer protection/Fair Debt Collection Practices Act/Fair Credit Reporting Act defense litigation. Steve also has extensive experience in asset tracing and recovery, judgment enforcement and judicial liquidations.
Serves as outside general counsel to credit union clients in a variety of representations including mergers and bank acquisitions, contract review and negotiation, regulatory compliance, contract disputes, regulatory actions and approvals, due diligence, CUSO creation and development, operational matters, strategic planning, field of membership expansion, litigation, claim and delivery, foreclosure and collection.
Served as lead counsel to a multibillion dollar in assets credit union during the merger due diligence process with another multibillion dollar in assets credit union.
Served as lead counsel to multiple credit unions of all sizes in multiple completed mergers with other credit unions.
Represented credit unions in statewide field of membership expansions.
Served and serves as lead counsel to multiple debt recovery and accounts receivable management companies in both individual and class action consumer protection/FDCPA/FCRA defense litigation as well as regulatory compliance review.
Represented international furniture maker in the design, implementation and maintenance of credit procedures and training program which resulted in the reduction of millions of dollars in bad debt write-offs to virtually zero.
Represented one of the country’s largest agricultural lenders in multiple multimillion dollar securitized transactions.
Served and serves as regional legal counsel to one of the country’s largest farm equipment financing companies in connection with loan defaults and workouts.
Honors and Recognitions
Business Review West Michigan, Business Leader Under 40
Grand Rapids Business Journal©, 40 Under Forty Business Leader
Grand Rapids Magazine’s Top Lawyers, Construction Law, since 2021; Bankruptcy and Creditor/Debtor Rights Law, 2023
Leading Lawyers: Banking & Financial Institutions Law; Commercial Litigation; Creditor’s Rights/Commercial Collections Law
Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Leaders in the Law
Michigan Super Lawyers®, Top Rated Business Litigation Attorney (including Creditor Debtor Rights: Business; Business/Corporate)
The Best Lawyers in America®, Banking and Finance Law, 2024
American Bar Association: Litigation Section; Business Section; Committee on the Uniform Commercial Code; ABA Advisory Panel
American Board of Certification: Board Certified in Creditors’ Rights; past Board of Directors
Federal Bar Association, Michigan
Grand Rapids Bar Association: Litigation Section, past chair
Michigan Lawyers Weekly, past Board of Editors
State Bar of Michigan: Litigation Section; Business Section
American Red Cross, past Board of Directors
Heart of West Michigan United Way – Project Blueprint/Schools of Hope
March of Dimes – Michigan Chapter, Grand Rapids Division, past Board member