Attorneys

Education

University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., Magna Cum Laude
 - Dean's List

University of Wisconsin, B.A.

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit

Clerkships

  • Honorable Kathleen R. Gearin, Minnesota Second Judicial District Court
  • Honorable Natalie E. Hudson, Minnesota Court of Appeals
Photo of Benjamin E. Gurstelle
Benjamin E. Gurstelle
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Ben Gurstelle is a member of the Business Litigation section and the Bankruptcy/Creditors Rights practice group. He practices primarily in the areas of:

  • Bankruptcy and financial restructuring
  • Real estate and construction litigation
  • Financial services litigation
  • Trust and estate disputes and litigation

Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring
Ben represents debtors and creditors in all aspects of Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. He also regularly represents secured and unsecured creditors in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings, including lien-stripping actions, relief from stay motions, claims issues and debt reaffirmation.

As for bankruptcy litigation, Ben has significant experience representing businesses and individuals in adversary proceedings, including fraudulent transfer, preference and other "clawback" cases. He also represents student loan lenders and servicers in proceedings related to discharge of student loan debt.

Additionally, Ben has experience with agricultural lending issues as they intersect with bankruptcy, including issues involving agricultural liens, the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) and the Packers and Stockyard Act (PSA).

Real Estate and Construction Litigation
Ben has experience representing contractors and general contractors in all stages of complex construction disputes and contract disputes in state and federal courts. He also has experience representing parties in commercial lease disputes. Ben has successfully litigated cases through trial, obtained dismissals through motion practice and obtained favorable mediation results. 

Financial Services Litigation
Ben represents mortgage banking and financial institution clients in state and federal courts on a variety of commercial and consumer finance actions, including cases involving complex mortgage buyback disputes, TILA, RESPA, FDCPA, FCRA, federal and state consumer protection laws, and commercial and residential foreclosure statutes.

Trust and Estate Disputes and Litigation
Ben has significant experience representing trustees and individuals in litigation related to trust and estate asset disposition, including cases involving claims of breach of fiduciary duty, undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity, fraud, breach of trust and breach of contract.

Honors & Awards

  • North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association

Experience

  • Achieved dismissal of a series of lawsuits by borrowers against national mortgage lender challenging the validity of mortgage foreclosures under theories including "show me the note," improper assignment of the mortgage, quiet title and slander of title.
  • Agent's counsel for a national bank in connection with a $95 million secured, syndicated revolving credit facility to a large dairy cooperative.
  • Currently representing individuals in a will contest concerning matters of testamentary capacity, and alleged undue influence and forgery.
  • Defended a national loan servicer and obtained dismissals in numerous consumer mortgage defense actions involving TILA, RESPA, FDCPA, FCRA, federal and state consumer protection laws, and residential foreclosure statutes.
  • Defended agricultural commodity trader in preference actions and in defending claim objections in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases across the country. 
  • Defended company involved in the Tom Petters Ponzi scheme litigation for which substantial amounts are being sought under clawback theories.
  • Defended corporate fiduciary against claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Defended mortgage lender/servicer in lawsuit related to alleged violations of TILA, RESPA, state foreclosure statutes, and other consumer fraud claims, and in breach of contract lawsuit related to sale of mortgages.
  • Defended national bank in fraudulent transfer "clawback" actions arising under the bankruptcy code and uniform fraudulent transfer act in relation to bankruptcies filed by companies running an alleged Ponzi scheme.
  • Defending a lender bank in trial court and on appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals and Minnesota Supreme Court in "clawback" action seeking to recover amounts paid to the bank per its loan participation agreement. 
  • Defending national manufacturer of boat parts in preference and fraudulent transfer actions in bankruptcy court.
  • Ongoing counsel of financial institution in fraudulent transfer litigation arising out of Ponzi schemes. Representation includes internal investigations and development and implementation of legal strategies.
  • Represent global agricultural industry client in bankruptcy adversary proceeding and defense of proof of claim involving contract cancellation and offset as a forward contract merchant under the bankruptcy code.
  • Represent national bank in connection with multiple bankruptcies stemming from tax fraud conviction of Minneapolis-based real estate developer
  • Represent regional bank as creditor in individual chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy proceedings, including seeking relief from stay, reaffirmation, defending property valuation and lien stripping motions, and pursuing issues relating to bankruptcy plan terms.
  • Represented a large food producer in both state and federal court, defending against alleged antitrust violations.
  • Represented and successfully defended student loan lenders and servicers in bankruptcy adversary proceedings related to discharge of student loan debt.
  • Represented a national bank and affiliates as creditors in receivership involving a $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme and in related Chapter 11 bankruptcies.
  • Represented builder client in action commenced by homeowners association (HOA). Matter was confidentially resolved in client's favor at fourth mediation session one month before scheduled three-week jury trial.
  • Represented building owner in lease dispute with tenant and negotiated favorable settlement for client.
  • Represented high-end jeweler concerning claims arising out of cyber and internet fraud.
  • Represented national bank as secured lender in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy proceedings for large-scale commercial real estate entities. Successfully obtained conversion of case to Chapter 7 and favorable plan and sale terms.
  • Represented private lender and affiliates as creditors in receivership involving $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme and in related Chapter 11 bankruptcies in Minnesota.
  • Represented private school in matter concerning defamation and anonymous Internet speech.
  • Representing general contractor in dispute with subcontractor regarding subcontractor's breach of contract, fraud and failure to comply with Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry prevailing wage requirements.

Professional Affiliations

Turnaround Management Association, Member

Federal Bar Association, Member

Minnesota State Bar Association, Member