Complex Debt Workouts

Complex Debt Workouts | Wernette Heilman PLLC

Insolvency can be solved.

Insolvency can be solved – without filing bankruptcy. Wernette Heilman PLLC can help. Attorneys Mike Wernette and Ryan Heilman bring a fearless and creative approach to debt workouts, finding both leverage and common ground where others may not even look. Don’t face the pressure of mounting business debt alone. Put Wernette Heilman PLLC in your corner.

Representative Matters

  • Engineered a favorable settlement of a $50 million debt on behalf of a Michigan contractor and his wife. The creditors, two of the largest and most powerful insurance companies in America, filed a collection lawsuit against the clients and their businesses based on written indemnity agreements the clients had signed in favor of the insurers. Had the insurers prevailed in litigation, the judgment would have eclipsed the value of all of the clients’ assets and left them destitute. Mike Wernette first obtained dismissal of the insurers’ federal court lawsuit, forcing the insurers to re-file in the client’s local state court. Mr. Wernette then filed defenses, counterclaims, discovery requests and a motion to compel the insurers to mediate, putting his clients in a proactive, not passive, position. Mr. Wernette successfully resisted the insurers’ motion for summary disposition in the state court and forced the insurers to mediate where, over the course of several mediation sessions, Mr. Wernette helped the clients craft a settlement that avoided bankruptcy, ended the litigation, and provided for the clients to retain sufficient cash and real estate to retire very comfortably.

  • Obtained favorable settlements on behalf of business borrowers and loan guarantors in several multi-million dollar collection lawsuits filed by national and regional banks, involving large discounts of debt and leaving the clients with sufficient assets to move forward and avoid bankruptcy. In one recent case involving a commercial property and its owners, Mike Wernette successfully resisted two motions for summary disposition brought by the bank, who sued to collect on signed, unpaid promissory notes, while working to focus the bank on a negotiated settlement rather than litigation. The bank increased the pressure during the lawsuit by initiating a foreclosure against the client’s commercial property, but Mr. Wernette challenged the foreclosure in court and the bank backed off. After prevailing at every motion hearing in the case for over a year, Mr. Wernette was able to leverage a settlement with the bank featuring a large discount of the debt, and dismissal of the lawsuit with no judgment against the client and no bankruptcy.

  • In another recent case, a local developer had been sued by a national bank to collect on a series of promissory notes and loan guarantees. After the bank obtained judgments against the developer and began garnishing his assets, the developer got Mike Wernette involved. Mr. Wernette used the Bankruptcy Code as leverage — calculating the effect of a bankruptcy filing on both the bank and the developer and assuring the bank that the developer would file Chapter 7 by a certain date unless the bank accepted a settlement featuring a steep discount of the judgment debt and the release of the garnishments. Within hours of the deadline Mr. Wernette had set, the bank took the deal. Debt resolved, bankruptcy avoided.