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J. David Krekeler

J. David Krekeler

Krekeler Strother, S.C.
  • Bankruptcy, Collections, Consumer Law
  • Wisconsin
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I’m a financial problem solver who can think through unique and customized solutions for farmers, small business owners, debtors and creditors. As a principal shareholder with Krekeler Strother, S.C., I work with a team of legal professionals that can deliver financial answers. We provide the information you need for Chapters 7, 11, 12, and 13 so you can make the best choice for your future and ease your mind. I enjoy presenting on debtor-creditor matters and try to find ways to make it fun.

Practice Areas
    Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Debt Relief
    Consumer Law
    Class Action, Lemon Law
  • Free Consultation
    Please fill out the inquiry form at After we receive your information, a free assessment call evaluates potential next steps.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    Accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Past Chairman
Wisconsin District Bankruptcy Bar
Past Chair and Committee Member
Solo & Small Firm Conference, WI State Bar
National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
Speaker at training events
Legal Action of Wisconsin Volunteer Lawyer Project
Board of Directors
Bankruptcy, Insolvency and Creditor's Rights Section, WI State Bar
- Current
University of Wisconsin - Madison
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University of Missouri - St. Louis
B.S. | Business Administration
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State Bar of Wisconsin
The Fellows of the Wisconsin Law Foundation is an honorary program, which recognizes members of the profession in Wisconsin who are known by their peers for high achievements in their profession and outstanding contributions for the advancement and improvement of the administration of justice in the State of Wisconsin.
Best Lawyers in America 2007-2021
Best Lawyers in America
Wisconsin Super Lawyer in Bankruptcy 2007-2021
Super Lawyers
One of Madison's Best Bankruptcy Lawyers
Madison Magazine
Nominated to Executive Register, 2013 & 2011
InBusiness Magazine
Professional Associations
Wisconsin State Bar  # 1011125
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Articles & Publications
Recent Decision Gives New Guidance on Harvester's Liens
Small Business Restructuring Act: Simplifying Chapter 11 Bankruptcies
Inside Track
Agricultural Clients: Help them Get Paid
State Bar of Wisconsin Rural Ag Blog
Wisconsin Leads Nation in Farm Bankruptcies
State Bar of Wisconsin Rural Ag Blog
A Business, a Way of Life: Representing Family Farms with Financial Problems
State Bar of Wisconsin Rural Ag Blog
New Tax Law May Help Distressed Farmers
State Bar of Wisconsin Rural Ag Blog
Board Certified, Business Bankruptcy Law
American Board of Certification
Websites & Blogs
Krekeler Strother, S.C. - Debtor-Creditor Law Firm in Madison, WI
Legal Answers
14 Questions Answered
Q. Been paying private school loan for 13+ years and basically all in interest. Will filling for bankruptcy get rid of it?
A: Answer: It is unlikely that your private student loans will be discharged based only on the facts provided.

Explanation: Generally, student loans, whether public or private, are not part of the discharge debtors receive in a bankruptcy. To discharge student loans in a bankruptcy, a debtor must show that the student loans would impose an “undue hardship” on the debtor. See 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(8).

“Undue hardship” is not defined in the Bankruptcy Code nor has Congress provided guidance for its interpretation. Courts have defined the “undue hardship” test using a three-part test called the Brunner test.

The Brunner test requires the following:

(1) That the debtor cannot maintain, based on current income and expenses, a “minimal standard of living for [himself] and [his] dependents if forced to repay the loans;

(2) That additional circumstances exist indicating that this state of affairs is likely to persist for a significant portion go the repayment period of the student loans; and

(3) That the debtor has made good faith efforts to repay the loans.

A debtor must satisfy all three parts of the test to discharge their student loans.

The first part and third part are arguably the easiest to overcome. If your expenses outpace your income before accounting for your loan payments, and you can demonstrate your repayment record, these two parts should be satisfied.

The second part of the Brunner test is typically the hardest. Courts have called the second part of the test a demonstration of a “certainty of hopelessness.”

This vague situation is not a product of the Brunner test itself but rather what its application requires a judge to do: “a judge asked to apply a multifactor standard interpretating an open-ended statute necessarily has latitude; the more vague the standard, the harder it is to find error in its application.”

Although your change in income may be drastic, a reviewing court may also view the change as temporary.

Without more information substantiating the likely persistence of your financial situation and inability to overcome it by other means, you are unlikely to satisfy the requirements for a discharge of your student loans.

Alternatives: You may have some alternatives depending on what types of loans you have, however. If your loans are:

(1) Not entirely private, such as a private loan that is federally guaranteed by the government; or

(2) If your loans were not used to only pay for qualified educational expenses;

Then you may not need to a bankruptcy or apply the “undue hardship” standard to get your loans under control.
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Q. What is the best approach to negotiate with a collection agency after garnishments have been issued?
A: A: There is no single best approach to negotiating with a collection agency. How you proceed will depend upon the facts and circumstances.

But there are some basic considerations. Always start with goals. what are you hoping to accomplish? What is it that your opponent wants? Perhaps more importantly, what does each side really need? Needs must be met. Wants are negotiable.

Once you have these goals determined, there are other factors to consider. These include

Is there any dispute as to liability or amount?

What is the best alternative for your opponent to a negotiated settlement?

What is the worst alternative for your opponent to a negotiated settlement?

What is the most likely alternative for your opponent to a negotiated settlement?

In other words, what options are available to you and the collection agency if you do not settle?

How much will the collection agency obtain by garnishment?

There certainly are tactics which you can employ to reduce the amount which can be garnished. Those tactics vary with the circumstances, of course.

An experienced insolvency lawyer should be able to review your financial situation and design a strategy for negotiations.

I have taught courses and seminars to Wisconsin lawyers on negotiations and workouts. It is both an art and a science.
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Q. Should I get a lawyer involved?
A: Almost certainly. You clearly have claims for breach of contract, but you might also have claims under Wisconsin’s theft by contractor statute. All monies paid to a contractor by an owner for improvements constitute a trust fund in the hands of the contractor. These monies can only be used for labor, services, materials, plans, and specifications for the improvements. You have not received all of the goods and services, so it is highly unlikely that the monies have been used as required by the statute. Improper use constitutes theft by the contractor and by any officers, directors, members, partners, or agents responsible for the misappropriation.

You may also be able to recover any monies which they have received as a salary, dividend, loan repayment, capital distribution or otherwise by any shareholder, member, or partner, even if such persons were not aware of the misappropriation.

If you can prove a claim for theft by contractor, you may be able to recover treble damages. The theft by contractor statute, 779.02(5), refers to the criminal theft statute, 943.20, and civil claims under that statute qualify for treble damages under 895.80.

You might also very well have a claim under Wisconsin’s Administrative Code ATCP 110, which outlines requirements for contracts between homeowners and home improvement contractors. The goal is to protect consumers by ensuring that they have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions of their home improvement contract.

You probably have other claims, such as unjust enrichment or quantum meruit, but your question does not provide enough facts to fully analyze those.
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Contact & Map
2901 W. Beltline Hwy, Suite 301
Madison, WI 53713
Telephone: (608) 258-8555
Fax: (608) 258-8299