Briane Pagel has for more than two decades dedicated his practice to consumer protection. He has helped countless families protect their homes, cars, and bank accounts from predatory lending and collection practices. In doing so, Briane has helped establish and clarify rights that will provide important protections for families for years to come.

Briane’s areas of practice include:

Student loan rights: Briane has sued student loan servicers for illegal practices, and helps borrowers get rid of their student loans without filing bankruptcy.

Foreclosure defense: Briane has successfully established that lenders must treat borrowers fairly before and during foreclosure. He brought a lawsuit that resulted in the first-ever jury trial in Wisconsin against a lender for unfair practices and convinced the jury to award the homeowners $90,000 in damages.

Repossession law: Briane brought the lawsuit that established that apartment dwellers are protected from repossession if their vehicle is in the building’s garage, and has recovered thousands of dollars on behalf of vehicle owners whose cars were illegally repossessed.

Debt collection: Briane was the first lawyer to sue large-scale collection firms that file hundreds of lawsuits each month, arguing that the practice is illegal under federal law. He established the right for Wisconsin credit card debtors to sue debt collectors and debt buyers who file lawsuits against consumers without first giving the debtor a chance to fix the default. He has also worked to require that medical providers comply with Wisconsin’s consumer protection laws when collecting medical debts.

Used car dealers: Briane has brought claims against used car dealers who sell shoddy vehicles, and has won punitive damage awards from juries for those claims.

Predatory lending: Briane has sued mortgage companies as well as payday and short-term lenders for not properly handling mortgage or credit accounts, for making loans that were impossible to repay, and for not answering consumers’ questions in a timely manner.

Invasion of privacy: Briane has recovered tens of thousands of dollars on behalf of consumers whose information was compromised by creditors or third parties.

For-profit schools: Briane has represented students who were taken advantage of by for-profit schools overcharging their students and then not delivering on what they promised.

Briane believes that consumer protection is more important than ever in the modern era, when credit scores can impact not just your purchases, but where you can live and what jobs you can have. He has helped countless consumers and their families to get out of debt without ever filing bankruptcy, often at no cost to his clients.

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin, 1998
  • Western District of the United States District Court of Wisconsin
  • Eastern District of the United States District Court of Wisconsin
  • Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

Representative Cases

  • $179,000 award for damages and attorney’s fees against a lender who engaged in harassing collection tactics, Schwoegler v. Security Finance, Dane County case 13 CV 3007.
  • $80,000 settlement against car lender who engaged in illegal repossession tactics, Stull v. Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation, Dane County case 11 CV 2672.
  • $73,000 settlement and court award against car dealer accused of falsifying credit application, Fifth Third Bank v. Norris, Green County case 14 CV 162.
  • Established that lawyers who engage in foreclosure activities are required to comply with federal laws about debt collection, Bieber v. J. Peterman Legal Group (Eastern District of Wisconsin federal court, 2015).
  • Forced debt buyers to comply with state-law protections before filing lawsuits against debtors, Johnson v. LVNV Funding (Eastern District of Wisconsin federal court, 2015).
  • Proved that student loan servicers must comply with Wisconsin state laws providing protections to debtors, Weber v. Great Lakes Educ. Loan Serv. (Western District of Wisconsin federal court.)
  • Prevented Minnesota bank from taking borrower’s Wisconsin property to satisfy Minnesota judgment. (MidCountry Bank v. Bork, Wisconsin Court of Appeals District III, 2016).
  • $110,000 settlement obtained from Summit Credit Union for illegal collection efforts in an attempt to repossess a car.


  • University of Wisconsin Law School, 1998, J.D., Honors
  • University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 1995, B.A. (Political Science)