Stephen M. Mertz

Senior Counsel


Steve Mertz partners with clients in matters related to defaulted corporate trust transactions, bankruptcy, business reorganization and commercial finance.

Corporate Trust and Securitization Default Practice

Steve represents trustees, master servicers, securities administrators, investors and other parties to troubled ABS, RMBS, CDO, CLO and other structured products transactions. The matters have included bankruptcy cases of parties to the transactions, servicer default and transfer issues, disputed transaction administration issues, claims by and against the trustees and other parties, RMBS repurchase claim litigation and settlements, trust instruction proceedings and other matters.

Bankruptcy and Restructuring Practice

Steve represents corporate trustees, creditor committees and secured and unsecured lenders in bankruptcy cases, SIPA liquidation proceedings, receiverships and out-of-court restructurings. He has represented corporate trustees and committees in the Lehman Brothers (Bankr. S.D.N.Y), Farmland Industries (Bankr. W.D. Mo.), Centran Corporation (Bankr. D. Minn.), Ruhr/Paragon (Bankr. D. Minn.), First Merchants (Bankr. D. Del.) and numerous other bankruptcy cases. He represented the SIPA trustee in MJK Clearing (Bankr. D. Minn.), which was the second largest Securities Investor Protection Act liquidation proceeding, involving approximately 175,000 customer accounts totaling in excess of $10 billion. His work also includes representing one of the largest unsecured creditors in a Chapter 11 case involving what once was one of the largest commodity brokerage firms in the United States.

Steve has represented secured lenders in numerous bankruptcy cases both in and outside of Minnesota.

Steve's bankruptcy practice includes defending preference and fraudulent conveyance actions. He also represents franchisors, retailers and equipment and real property lessors in bankruptcy cases and on bankruptcy-related issues.


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota


University of Iowa College of Law
J.D. with high distinction, Order of the Coif (1990)

University of Iowa
B.G.S. Phi Beta Kappa, with highest distinction (1987)

Insights & Events

Leadership & Community

Pro Bono

  • Debtor/Creditor
  • Landlord/Tenant

Professional Associations

  • Minnesota State Bar Association — Bankruptcy Law Section


  • Best Lawyers® — Commercial Finance Law, 2023-24; Litigation - Bankruptcy, 2023-24
  • Faegre Baker Daniels — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2016
Awards Methodology
No aspect of these recognitions has been approved by the highest court of any state.
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