Thomas J. Hainje




Assistant: Cynthia Garcia-Leclerc



As a member of Messerli Kramer’s Banking & Finance group, Thomas Hainje works with business owners, lenders, lessors, landlords, creditors, and individuals in a wide range of matters including the navigation of all manner of real estate transactions; negotiating and drafting loan documents and leases; negotiating workouts; enforcing loan documents and leases; enforcing creditors’ rights in bankruptcy; and forming, structuring, selling and securing financing for entities.

In addition to his transactional background, Thomas has advocated for clients in a vast array of cases before the Minnesota District Court, Wisconsin District Court, Minnesota Bankruptcy Court, and in U.S. District Court.

Thomas is dedicated to providing his clients with practical counseling, and his clients rely on his real-world knowledge, diligence, experience and creative problem solving to lead them through difficult transactions, and when necessary, prepare them for litigation.

Whether Thomas is handling a complex transaction, litigating to enforce client rights or simply advising a client on a routine matter, his attention to detail and acute understanding of a diverse range of business, real estate, financial and economic issues allows him to identify the important details of any client issue and develop the optimal strategy for a positive resolution.

Thomas has extensive experience assisting clients with Residential and Commercial Real Estate (Transactions, Financing and Litigation); Loan Documents (Drafting, Review and Enforcement); Leases (Drafting, Review and Enforcement); Bankruptcy (Creditors’ Rights); Real Estate Titles (Title Examinations, Title Claims and Title Litigation); Business and Corporate Law; Commercial Transactions; Foreclosures; Evictions; Redemption Reductions; Initial Registrations and Proceedings Subsequent to Initial Registration (Torrens); Replevins; Breach of Contract Litigation; Collections; Contract Drafting; and Structured Settlement Transfers.

Representative Experience
  • Represented credit union in a boundary dispute involving injunction litigation where a house was mistakenly constructed over the property line with the adjoining landowner; resulting in a negotiated settlement and boundary realignment with adjacent property owner.

  • Foreclosed million dollar residential property, subsequently negotiating terms with potential buyers, drafted purchase agreement, and closed on the sale of the property; providing a full recovery for bank client.

  • Defended bank’s interest in mechanic’s lien litigation; alleging and establishing priority of bank client’s mortgage over mechanic’s lien.

  • Represented custom guitar manufacturing and repair company in negotiating, drafting and finalizing lease agreement with St. Paul commercial property owner to secure a highly visible storefront location.

  • Represented residential apartment landlord in action involving nonpayment of rent, property damage by tenant, and false injury claim through a successful investigation into and defense of the false injury claim and subsequent eviction of the tenant.

  • Represented bank in foreclosure of real property owned by land trust, defended title against various unlawful investor deeds and mortgages, and negotiated and drafted purchase agreement; resulting in the sale of the bank’s interest in the property.

  • Represented wedding planner in review and negotiation of revised lease agreement with downtown Minneapolis property owner and property manager.

  • Represented several Airbnb clients in drafting template leases, occupancy agreements, and management agreements; allowing clients to successfully rent and manage vacation rental properties.

  • Represented investor and developer in the acquisition of foreclosed property through the purchase of a junior lien and simultaneous redemption from foreclosing lender.

  • Negotiated and resolved boundary, access and driveway dispute between adjoining property owners through negotiated settlement and shared driveway agreement.

  • Represented bank in Torrens proceeding prior to post-foreclosure on commercial property involving several parcels of land, resolving legal description issues registering title to all parcels in the name of client.

  • Represented bank in drafting loan documents for multi-million dollar financing of a major residential, commercial and recreational development project in downtown Des Moines Iowa.

  • Represented bank in drafting loan documents for multi-million dollar financing of a major residential, commercial, public transportation and recreational development project in Denver Colorado.

  • Represented bank in drafting loan documents for multi-million dollar financing of multiple stage construction and development project involving a bank, strip mall and new restaurant in a popular Minnesota shopping center.

  • Represented bank in drafting loan documents for multi-million dollar financing of major re-development and improvements for prestigious private Minnesota Country Club.

  • Represented bank in drafting loan documents for various multi-million dollar acquisitions of mid to large sized apartment complexes in six states.

  • Represented bank in drafting loan documents for multi-million dollar re-development of mixed use residential and commercial complex in downtown St. Paul.

  • Represented bank in multi-million dollar bridge financing for developer seeking to construct, lease and then sell large residential apartment complex in Minneapolis.

  • Represented bank in drafting loan documents for the development of several large tracts of land into platted residential developments and individual lots.

  • Represented secured lender in real property mortgage foreclosure, the sale and assignment of a note and mortgage, and subsequent replevin action to recover commercial property secured by two separate security agreements.

  • Represented mortgage lender in complex litigation involving an injunction to stop a redemption period and an action to invalidate a junior lienholders foreclosure sale based upon notice and other statutory deficiencies.

  • Represented non-profit lender in complex foreclosure and title transfer dispute including a right of first refusal, negotiated a resolution securing housing for non-profit client’s customer while advancing the mission statement of the non-profit.

  • Represented secured lessor in Federal replevin action, and in subsequent lessee bankruptcy through the filing of a motion for relief from stay, and motion to turn over leased property for the sale of the recovered property.

  • Represented bank clients in numerous breach of contract/contract default lawsuits, and in subsequent collection remedies through settled payment agreements, levies, garnishments and/or recovery and sale of real property.

  • Managed complex commercial foreclosure involving multiple parcels and mortgages, successful Torrens proceeding subsequent to transfer title thereafter, and subsequently drafted purchase agreements and closed on the sale of the various parcels.

  • Represented commercial landlords in the 2017 Gander Mountain Chapter 11 Bankruptcy through various motions, objections, negotiations with multiple parties and the filing of proofs of claims and amended proofs of claims.

  • Represented numerous banks and credit unions in the filing of bankruptcy motions including motions for relief from the automatic stay, motions for objection to confirmation of Chapter 11 and 13 plans, motions for objection to disclosure statements, and otherwise represented creditors’ rights in all aspects of the various Chapter 7, 11, 12, and 13 cases.

  • Represented secured lender in preference payment dispute with Bankruptcy Trustee to a successful resolution for client.

  • Represented corporation in the formation and structure of three subsidiaries, obtaining initial and growth financing, and transacting the sale of portions of the various subsidiary entities to equity investors.

  • Represented limited liability company in drafting documents to effectuate the sale of shares to a parent corporation, assign contracts from the corporation to the limited liability company, and subsequently led the sale of limited liability company to a third-party buyer.

  • Represented nationwide contractor in the drafting of corporate policies, procedures and form contracts for use in various lines of business in multiple states.

  • Represented corporation in a loan payment dispute with secured lender resulting in a successfully negotiated resolution of all alleged defaults and the return of all seized collateral.

  • Represented client in the formation of a real estate investment company, and in the location of, title review of, purchase of, rehabilitation and sale of various residential properties in multiple states.

  • Secured trademark for start-up web based nationwide roofing company.

  • Formed a limited liability company and drafted loan documents to obtain private financing for start-up disaster-relief company.

  • Represented numerous structured settlement factoring companies in various counties throughout the State of Minnesota in the preparation of applications under Minn. Stat. Section 549.31 for court approval of transfers, and in hearings before the various courts.

  • Represented estate in complex probate involving a lost original will, a negotiated settlement with County Medical Assistance lienholder for a significant reduction in their claim, redemption of foreclosed real property, and subsequent sale of real property to provide various beneficiaries with a distribution.

  • Represented construction sub-contractor in payment dispute with general contractor, filing of a lien, and negotiated settlement resulting in payment in full for client.

  • Represented and successfully defended individual client in complex multistate car accident and insurance case involving an insurance coverage lawsuit initiated by client’s insurer in Minnesota seeking to declare the absence of insurance coverage for client.

  • Represented general contractor in successful defense against corporate misappropriation of name and license; proving false claims made against client.

  • Represented indigent and vulnerable adult pro bono in divorce case involving non-citizen spouse who obtained citizenship through marriage under false pretenses.

Publications & Presentations



  • Presenter, “Navigating the Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy” – Edina Country Club, September 2017
  • Co-Presenter, “Equipment Leasing Update” – Edina Country Club, September 2017

  • Presenter, “Amended CFPB: Changes to Mortgage Foreclosure and Bankruptcy Rules” – Private Client Presentations, 2017

  • Presenter, “Opportunities in Foreclosure” – Private Client Presentations, 2016-2017

  • Presenter, “Bankruptcy Overview and Update” – Private Client Presentations, 2015-2017

Professional & Community


  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin


  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Member
  • Hennepin County Bar Association, Member
  • Wisconsin State Bar Association, Member
  • Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Member
  • Turnaround Management Association, Member