Michelle M. Bertolino

Shareholder, Creditors' Rights & Consumer Bankruptcy Chair

Protector of Creditors' Rights

Michelle focuses on the representation of creditors in collection matters and protection of creditors' rights in bankruptcy. She is creative and practical, and with 25+ years of experiences, she knows how to efficiently and effectively protect creditors' interests and recover their money and collateral.
She regularly represents credit unions, banks, lenders, leasing companies, and other financial service providers and creditors in bankruptcy matters, foreclosures, and consumer and commercial collections.
Before joining Farleigh Wada Witt, Michelle represented debtors in Chapter 7 and 13 proceedings. With experience representing both creditors and debtors, Michelle has a unique perspective that allows her to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the other side and obtain the best results for her clients quickly and efficiently.

Little Known Facts: Past President and Director for the Credit Association of the Pacific NW which educates the community in the proper use of credit | Is an avid traveler and has been to over ten countries over two continents

Representative Matters

Michelle advises clients on all aspects of creditors' rights and remedies, and prosecutes and defends claims on behalf of creditors in state and federal courts in Oregon and Washington.
  • Creditor related aspects of Chapter 7, 13 and 11
  • Relief from the automatic stay
  • Dischargeability litigation
  • Preference defense
  • Chapter 13 litigation
  • Reaffirmation agreements
  • Defense of claims for alleged violation of the automatic stay and discharge injunction
  • Proof of claim defense and litigation
  • Objections to confirmation of plans
  • Bankruptcy lien avoidance litigation/lien stripping
  • Non-judicial and judicial real estate foreclosures
  • REO foreclosures
  • Short sales
  • Forcible entry and detainer (FED) actions
  • Drafting workout agreements, forbearance agreements and deeds in lieu
  • Loan delinquencies
  • Consumer and commercial debt collections
  • Pre-judgment provisional process
  • Post-judgment collection enforcement including personal property foreclosures, repossessions, levies, garnishments, and replevin actions
  • Contract forfeitures
  • Construction lien foreclosures

Speaking Engagements

Michelle presents seminars on topics such as bankruptcy and creditors' rights for the Northwest Credit Union Association, Oregon State Bar, and others. She also conducts on-site training sessions for clients. 


Willamette University College of Law (J.D. 1991)
Willamette University (B.A. Business Economics, 1986)


Oregon State Bar
Washington State Bar
U.S. Districit Court
     District of Oregon
     Western District of Washington
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
     District of Oregon
     Western District of Washington
     Eastern District of Washington


American Bankruptcy Institute
Credit Association of the Pacific NW
Oregon State Bar Debtor/Creditor Section
Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA)
Lease Enforcement Attorney Network (LEAN)

News & Events

FWW Alert: Summary of Oregon HB 2009 – Foreclosure Moratorium and Loan Deferral


On June 1, 2021, Governor Brown signed HB 2009, which extends payment and foreclosure relief to homeowners affected by the Covid-19 crisis. READ MORE

Lender's Ability to Secure Property Before Foreclosure


Real estate lenders may face liability for acting to "secure" a property before a foreclosure sale under a recent Washington Supreme Court decision. READ MORE

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