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December 2014 - Real Estate FOUNDATION

In this issue - The CERCLA Divisibilty Defense: Back from the Dead? - Springing Recourse for Breach of Solvency and Debt Payment Covenants? Does New York Need Cherryland Legislation? - Mid-Construction...more

Bankruptcy Beat: Connecticut Bankruptcy Court Approves Settlement In Two Related Cases with a Torturous Twelve Year History

The Chapter 7 case of First Connecticut Consulting Group, Inc. and James J. Licata (the “Cases”) began as Chapter 11 cases over twelve years ago. The cases were consolidated and remained in Chapter 11 for four years as...more

Sale Proceeds: Better Get the Carve-Out Right the First Time

In re Stacy’s, Inc., 508 B.R. 370 (Bankr. D. S.C. 2014) – A debtor sold substantially all of its assets after negotiating with its primary secured creditor for carve-outs from the sale proceeds for administrative...more

Loan to Own Variation: Bankruptcy May Not Provide The Answers

In re SR Real Estate Holdings, LLC, 506 B.R. 121 (Bankr. S.D. Cal. 2014) – A group of lenders moved to dismiss the debtor’s bankruptcy case on the basis that it was filed in bad faith, or in the alternative asked the...more

Determining “Value” Given By Good Faith Transferee In Fraudulent Transfer Action

The Bankruptcy Code allows a trustee to recover fraudulent transfers made by the debtor prior to bankruptcy. 11 U.S.C. § 548(a). An innocent recipient of a fraudulent transfer is not without a defense, however. The Code...more

Williams v. FDIC (In re Positive Health Management) - Lender Forced to Return Payments Made by Non-Borrower

On October 16, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit entered an order requiring a real estate lender, First National Bank (the “Lender”), to refund certain mortgage payments it received from...more

Bankruptcy by the Developer/Owner: Mechanics Lien Rights May Still Prevail!

The rate of bankruptcies among construction industry participants is higher than some think. The bankruptcy of a developer creates an “automatic stay” under federal law preventing almost all collection activities, including...more

Stay Relief: What Happens to “Unreasonable” Fees?

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. 804 Congress, L.L.C. (In re 804 Congress, L.L.C.), 756 F.3d 358 (5th Cir. 2014) – After an oversecured creditor obtained relief from the automatic stay and foreclosed on some property, the...more

Just When You Thought You Were Out, They Pull You Back In

It is a rare occasion for a secured lender to foreclose on collateral with a value in excess of the entire debt owed, particularly following a bankruptcy filing by the borrower, but on that rare occasion the lender should...more

Credit Bid (Round 2): What Does It Take to Show “Cause”?

In re Charles Street African Methodist Episcopal Church of Boston, 510 B.R. 453 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2014) – In connection with a proposed sale of real property, a chapter 11 debtor sought to prohibit the mortgagee from...more

Business Finance & Restructuring Q&A Series

The following discussion examines a number of factors that have complicated the bankruptcy process. It also offers a look at how out-of-court restructurings might be a more viable course for distressed business owners to...more

Post-Petition Interest: Not Very Predictable

A senior mortgagee battled the debtor and a junior mortgagee over its entitlement to post-petition interest: If and when did it become oversecured and thus entitled to interest? Was it entitled to interest at the default...more

How Remote is Bankruptcy Remote? Is an Operating Agreement Restriction Against a Bankruptcy Filing Without the Unanimous Consent...

Nonrecourse financing is common in today's commercial real estate lending market. So too are the use of special purpose entities ("SPEs") and limited guaranties from SPE members of all or a portion of the debt, the latter of...more

Keeping the Benefit of Your Bargain: Strengthening Your Right to Prepayment Premiums

Anyone involved in commercial lending transactions is familiar with provisions of loan agreements that provide for compensation to the lender in the event the indebtedness is paid in advance of the contemplated due date....more

The Meridian Sunrise Village Opinion Redux

In my last post I discussed the Meridian Sunrise Village v. NB Distressed Debt Investment Fund Ltd. opinion handed down by the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington in March of this year. The...more

Waiving Statutory Foreclosure Provisions

The recently issued opinion of the Colorado Court of Appeals, in Armed Forces Bank v. Hicks, 2014 COA 74. No. 13CA0875 (June 5, 2014), is significant for commercial real estate lenders. In Hicks, the Bank was the...more

New Jersey Tax Sale Law Gives Purchaser of a Tax Sale Certificate a Tax Lien on the Underlying Property

The New Jersey Supreme Court, in In re: Princeton Office Park, L.P. v. Plymouth Park Tax Services, LLC, determined that under the Tax Sale Law, N.J.S.A. §§ 54:5-1 to -137, a purchaser of a tax sale certificate acquires a tax...more

District Court Denies Distressed Funds the Right to Vote on Bankruptcy Plan

The US District Court for the Western District of Washington (the "District Court") recently affirmed a bankruptcy court decision that prohibited a transferee of a secured lender's interest in a loan from voting on a debtor's...more

Florida Law on Assignment of Rents Provisions

A recent bankruptcy decision from a New Jersey Bankruptcy Court (In re Surma, 504 B.R. 770 (Bankr. D.N.J. 2014)) has once again drawn attention to the effect assignment of rents provisions in mortgages can have, depending on...more

Prepetition Default Interest — Take Nothing For Granted

The case is In Re Shree Mahalaxmi Inc., 503 B.R. 794 (Bankr. W.D. Tex. 2014). After a mortgage lender learned of a prepetition default during a bankruptcy, it filed an amendment to its proof of claim to add prepetition...more

In re Free Lance-Star Publishing Co.—Virginia Bankruptcy Court Restricts Secured Creditor's Ability to Credit Bid

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (the “Court”) issued an opinion limiting the ability of a “loan to own” secured creditor to credit bid at an auction for the sale of substantially all ...more

Deviation From Statutory Scheme In Sale Of Receivership Property

The sale of real and personal property in a receivership estate is governed by 28 U.S.C. §§ 2001 and 2004, and both contain procedures for both a public and private auction of property. Regarding personal property, § 2004...more

Lenders' risk: Who really owns the collateral?

Unlike real estate transactions where a lender can obtain title insurance, secured lenders are often relying upon the representations and warranties in their loan agreement and the borrower’s audited financial statements, if...more

Assignment of Rents May Not Allow Golf Course Lenders to See The Green

Much to the chagrin of golf course lenders, bankruptcy and appellate courts around the country have consistently held that a properly-perfected mortgage or security interest in golf course revenues, including cart rentals and...more

West Virginia Bankruptcy Courts Split on When Foreclosure Sale is Final

Lenders that exercise their rights to foreclose upon collateral are often met with a bankruptcy filing near or shortly after the date of sale. Obviously, if a lender learns of a bankruptcy prior to the foreclosure, the sale...more

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