Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy Law Firm

Fighting for creditors’ rights

Butler Rowse-Oberle PLLC is a creditors’ rights and bankruptcy law firm with a long history of exemplary service and experience. The firm and its predecessors have represented the same clients for nearly 70 years. We have helped financial institutions, bankruptcy trustees, community associations, and other secured and unsecured lenders protect their rights and their assets. Our attorneys have played pivotal roles in landmark cases that continue to bolster the rights of creditors today. Each client receives personal service, responsiveness, and integrity.

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Our History

Our creditors’ rights law firm began in the 1950s when Kenneth C. Butler started representing credit unions in Michigan. His sons, Kenneth C. Butler II and John W. Butler, followed in his footsteps, representing credit unions and growing the firm to represent other creditors. Continued growth occurred when Karen L. Rowse-Oberle joined the firm, after which it was renamed Butler, Butler & Rowse-Oberle, PLLC. The firm changed to Butler Rowse-Oberle (BRO) PLLC in 2017 with John and Karen being principal equity partners. The firm has grown to ten attorneys accompanied with a growth of support staff to administer our clients’ needs.

Our Attorneys

We are a specialized creditors’ rights and bankruptcy law firm. Our attorneys work specifically with creditors’ rights cases, including cases involving financial institutions, community associations, bankruptcy trustees, and other secured and unsecured lenders. We give each of our clients personalized service and attention, ensuring that prompt and cost-effective measures are maintained. Our attorneys’ integrity, hard work, and expertise have been continually recognized by Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, along with Board Certification by the American Board of Certification regarding consumer bankruptcy matters. We combine the technology and resources of a large firm with the individualized service of a boutique firm.

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Landmark Cases

Our attorneys have been a part of landmark creditors’ rights cases that continue to affect decisions today. We have litigated case authority that strongly supports credit unions, and other lenders throughout Michigan. While every case receives our focus and attention, these cases presented unique challenges. With careful scrutiny and confident litigation, we resolved these vital cases in favor of lenders.

  • In re Kunkel
  • In re Houston, 2012 US DIst LEXIS 138398 (ED Mich)
  • McDonald v Chambers/Dort Financial Credit Union, 2021 US App LEXIS 728 (6th Cir.)

Serving Clients With Distinction

“I have been a practicing attorney for over twelve years. In that time, I have worked with the attorneys and staff of Butler Rowse-Oberle in two capacities.

I represented consumer bankruptcy debtors in the earlier part of my career and often found myself “on the other side of the table” from their attorneys. In every case I found them to be zealous advocates for their credit union clients, while also demonstrating the utmost in professionalism and courtesy. They are lawyers’ lawyers and have the respect of the bench and bar wherever they practice.

In the last five years, I have led a charge off Recovery team here at Advia. In that capacity, I manage a small in house group of attorneys and paralegals devoted to this challenging portfolio of business. Given our asset size, it would be impractical for my team to pursue every charged off member, so I also work with several law firms and collections agencies across Advia’s footprint in the Great Lakes region.

We have hired John, Karen, Jim and their team to mitigate our losses in bankruptcy and help us recover charged off assets throughout Michigan. They are consistently a pleasure to work with. Just as importantly, they are a top performing vendor, bringing back dollars to our membership at increasing rates in terms of both volume and percentage of balances placed with them.

They have earned our trust and are an asset to the Michigan Credit Union Community.”

Zack Fallstich, JD, CUERME
Staff Attorney and Manager of Recovery
Advia Credit Union

“I have been in collections for forty plus years and have worked as a collection manager for 35 of those. During that time I’ve had the opportunity to work with several attorneys and law firms. Butler Rowse-Oberle has represented my credit union for 30 of those years. They have the absolute highest level of professionalism and integrity. I’ve seen this up close when we did “the right thing.” It all starts at the top with attorneys John Butler, Karen Rowse-Oberle and Jim Graham. They always keep their clients’ best interests in mind and are cost-effective when litigating. Even when I’ve had an in-house attorney, we still relied on BRO for advice.

BRO is a leader in the credit union industry. They are deeply committed to their clients and they feel that our success is their success. BRO has a broad range of creditor expertise from bankruptcy to contract law to real estate to compliance. Their attorneys, especially John and Karen, are annual speakers on various topics for the Credit Union Collection Consortium. They have highly knowledgeable staff who possess great communication skills and follow-up. They are always available and happy to help.

I feel very comfortable when BRO is handling a case for me and I could not recommend anyone more so than them. Their success speaks for itself.”

Jim St. Aubin.
Community Alliance Credit Union.

“Having worked in the credit union industry for many years, I understand the rarity of a firm such as Butler Rowse-Oberle PLLC. Rather than being “just another client”, John Butler and his team are always available anytime for consultations and questions, even providing his cell phone number to clients! The Butler Rowse-Oberle team are knowledgeable, dependable, and friendly. Their complete understanding of how credit unions function and the member-focused mentality are invaluable as a partner of Extra Credit Union. Excellent service and knowledgeable professionals set them apart from other law firms.”

Mark Milligan
Payment Solutions Manager
Extra Credit Union.

“Our credit union has been a satisfied client of BRO for over 20 years. We utilize a number of creditor rights attorneys and BRO is one of the most professional and ethical firms we have the pleasure of working with”

David Harris
Asset Recovery Manager
Genisys Credit Union.

“I have been working with Butler Rowse-Oberle for several years and have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences doing so. They are 100% dedicated to protecting credit unions and creditors rights. The staff is always very friendly and knowledgeable. I have personally been able to grow and learn a lot in my career from working with Butler Rowse-Oberle. Whether it’s Collections, Bankruptcy, Probate, etc., BRO Law has you covered. I would highly recommend Butler Rowse-Oberle to any financial institution looking for dedicated attorneys who are professional, knowledgeable, and always going the extra mile to make sure your rights as a creditor are protected.”

Anthony Artico
Director of Lending Services & Loss Prevention
Memberfocus Community Credit Union

“We have been working with Butler Rowse-Oberle for over 25 years. The years include Team One Credit Union, and other financial institutions in the past. They truly are there for the Credit Union whenever we need them. The attorneys and staff are always responsive and very timely in getting back with us whenever we have questions. Their staff is very experienced and knowledgeable in all aspects of Collection Law. We have had a truly great partnership with them through the years and we consider them an extension of our own Collections Department.”

Grant Thomas
Collections Supervisor
Kathy Hubbard
Bankruptcy Specialist
Team One Credit Union.

“Financial Plus Federal Credit Union has been a client of Butler Rowse-Oberle attorneys at law since 2018. We value their industry knowledge and they have been a trusted resource for the company. We have established a strong relationship with Butler Rowse-Oberle and their primary objective is always to protect the interest of the Credit Union. We would highly recommend this firm to any business seeking collection and bankruptcy legal assistance. Their level of professionalism and client service is outstanding.”

Jeff Naessens
Collections Manager
Financial Plus Credit Union.

“Our company has been in the Michigan collection industry for 45 years. For 35 of those years, I have personally been involved in several roles from sale, ownership and association officer. Throughout my tenure, the firm of Butler Rowse-Oberle PLLC are an integral part of the legal landscape in Michigan and resource/partner for me. They are knowledgeable, altruistic and have their client(s) best interest in mind”

James N. Angelo
President
JJ Marshall & Associates, Inc.

“We have been working with BRO law firm since 2015 and it’s been a wonderful relationship with them from the very beginning. Recently in 2019, Elizabeth succeeded in winning a case in probate court and Court of Appeals which resulted in NEFCU being able to maintain our rights to set off which prevented a huge loss. Accounts we submit are worked promptly and thoroughly resulting in excellent service.”

Pearl Hall
Collections Supervisor
New England Federal Credit Union

“Elizabeth and the whole team at Butler Rowse-Oberle, PLLC have done a fantastic job recovering on our probate cases. I never hesitate to send our files to Elizabeth and know that she will use her expertise to resolve the matter quickly and with maximum results. I highly recommend Elizabeth and Butler Rowse-Oberle, they will not disappoint!”

Cathryn Latinen
Account Resolution
Risk Management

John W. Butler – Partner

is a founding shareholder with the law firm of Butler Rowse-Oberle PLLC.
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James A. Graham – Partner

is a shareholder with the firm of Butler Rowse-Oberle PLLC.
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Sarah A. Vorgitch – Associate Attorney

is an associate with the firm.
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Catherine A. Hartkop – Associate Attorney

is an associate with the firm.
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Kelly L. Scola – Associate Attorney

is an associate with the firm.
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Karen L. Rowse-Oberle – Partner

is a founding shareholder with the firm of Butler Rowse-Oberle PLLC.
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Winnifred P. Boylan – Partner

is a partner with the firm of Butler Rowse-Oberle PLLC.
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Elizabeth K. Butler – Associate Attorney

is an associate with the firm.
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Andrew I. Johnston – Associate Attorney

is an associate with the firm.
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Rachel Hawrylo – Associate Attorney

is an associate with the firm.
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