Steve Rayman, the principal partner of Rayman & Knight, has been a Michigan attorney since 1979, and has spent 40 years in the field of bankruptcy, reorganization, and debt consolidation. Steve spent the first several years of his legal career representing secured creditors, mortgage holders and other lenders in bankruptcy and reorganization matters. In 1988, Steve decided to start his own firm in order to focus on representation of debtors in bankruptcy and reorganization. Over the past four decades, Steve has become one of Michigan’s leading specialists in bankruptcy and reorganization.
Unlike most bankruptcy attorneys who tend to specialize in either consumer or commercial practice, Steve has extensive experience in both. He is the only attorney in western Michigan to be certified by the American Board of Certification in both consumer and business bankruptcy. Steve has personally represented over 2,000 people in their individual debt consolidation matters. He has filed more Chapter 11 bankruptcies than any attorney in Western Michigan. One year, he alone filed one-third of all Chapter 12 (agricultural reorganization) cases in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan.
In addition to representing individual consumers and businesses in bankruptcy, Steve regularly represents bankruptcy trustees, and is sought-after for representation in large or complex cases. Steve has represented trustees in numerous cases with multiple millions of dollars in claims, and in at least one case in which claims exceeded one billion dollars.
Steve is frequently called upon to lecture on bankruptcy and reorganization matters. While most of these speaking engagements are for other Michigan attorneys, Steve has recently spoken about individual reorganizations in Washington, D.C. and about bankruptcy trustee matters in Palm Springs, California.
During his long career, Steve has come to appreciate the pressures that debt places on both individuals and businesses. Even after decades in practice, Steve appreciates the unique concerns of each client and case, and treats each one with the respect and attention they deserves.
- Bankruptcy, insolvency, and reorganization, including:
- Representing individual and commercial debtors in Chapter 7, Chapter 13, Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 bankruptcies
- Representing former business owners in out-of-court work-out matters
- Negotiating with credit card companies and other creditors outside on behalf of consumer debtors who are not in bankruptcy
- Representing bankruptcy trustees in the Western District of Michigan, including large and complex cases
- Representing creditors and other interested parties in bankruptcy, reorganization and insolvency, in both consumer and commercial cases.
- Representing creditors’ committees in reorganization matters
- Acting as expert witness in legal malpractice matters relating to bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors’ rights.
- The University of Toledo College of Law, Toledo, Ohio, J.D., 1979
- B.A., Albion College, Albion, Michigan, 1972-76
Admissions to Practice
- State Bar of Michigan
- United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit:
Memberships and Associations
- State Bar of Michigan
- Kalamazoo County Bar Association
- Federal Bar Association for the Western District of Michigan
- Steve coached the Kalamazoo Central High School Mock Trial Team to three State Championships, one year taking the team to a final ranking of 3rd in the United States at the National Competition
Featured Speaking Engagements and Publications
- Debtors Bar of West Michigan 10th Annual Conference, "Small Businesses Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?" Grand Rapids, Michigan - 2020
- Federal Bar Association Annual Bankruptcy Seminar, “If you Were the Judge, What Would you Decide?" (Volume VI) Crystal Mountain, Michigan - 2019
- Federal Bar Association Annual Bankruptcy Seminar, “If you Were the Judge, What Would you Decide?" (Volume V) Traverse City, Michigan - 2018
- Federal Bar Association Annual Bankruptcy Seminar, “If you Were the Judge, What Would you Decide?" (Volume IV) Harbor Springs, Michigan - 2017
- Federal Bar Association Annual Bankruptcy Seminar, “If you Were the Judge, What Would you Decide?" (Volume III) Mackinac Island, Michigan - 2016
- Federal Bar Association Annual Bankruptcy Seminar, “If you Were the Judge, What Would you Decide?" (Volume II) Traverse City, Michigan - 2015
- Federal Bar Association Annual Bankruptcy Seminar, “If you Were the Judge, What Would you Decide?" (Volume I) Harbor Springs, Michigan - 2014
- Federal Bar Association Annual Bankruptcy Seminar, “Bankruptcy Boot Camp”, Grand Rapids, Michigan - 2013
- Institute of Continuing Legal Education, “Representing Clients in Chapter 7 Proceedings – What the Hell Do I Do Now?”, Plymouth, Michigan – 2011
- American Bankruptcy Institute, “Protection of Retirement and Business Assets in Consumers Cases: Interests in Trust, Inherited Assets, Annuities, LLC and Corporate Issues, LaQuinta, California – 2009
- American Bankruptcy Institute, “Practical Strategies to Maximize the Debtor Ability to Get a Discharge in Chapter 13”, Washington, DC – 2009
- American Bankruptcy Institute, “Means Testing and Payment of Secured Debts on “Luxury” Items – In Re Carleton and the Tirade Over the Excalade”, Acme, Michigan – 2007
- Institute of Continuing Legal Education, “Creditors’ Rights 2006”, Kalamazoo, Michigan – 2006
- Lorman Education Services, “Collection Techniques and Law”, Grand Rapids, Michigan – 2006
- Real Property Law Section, State Bar of Michigan, “Bankruptcy Issues – What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You”, Kalamazoo, Michigan – 2005
- NBI, Inc., “Aligning Your Practice with the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005”, Grand Rapids, Michigan – 2005
- Lorman Education Services, “Collection Techniques and Law”, Kalamazoo, Michigan – 2005
- NBI, Inc., “Fundamentals of Bankruptcy Law and Procedure in Michigan”, Grand Rapids, Michigan – 2004
- Rayman, Steven L. “Standing to Pursue Avoidance Actions in Chapter 13: ‘Who’s on First? Trustee’s On Second?,’” NACTT Quarterly, Autumn 14, No. 1, 2001.
- Rayman, Steven L. “ §506(c) - Manna from Heaven,” Federal Bar Association, Western Michigan Chapter, Bankruptcy Law Newsletter, November, 2, No. 3, 1989.