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Illinois Court Holds Vacancy Clause Does Not Bar Vandalism and Theft Claim by Mortgagee

In a case of first impression in Illinois, a unanimous panel of the state’s Appellate Court recently addressed the interplay between a vacancy clause and a mortgagee provision and held that the insured’s failure to comply...more

Calculating Title Insurance Claims: Reduction in Value vs. Insured Claim

After a mortgagor filed bankruptcy, a lender brought claims under a ship mortgage insurance title policy. [See, First Am. Bank v. First Am. Transp. Title Ins. Co., 759 F.3d 427 (5th Cir. 2014).] The lender appealed the...more

The Basics of Commercial Real Estate Transactions: Important Contract Contingencies

Prior posts have discussed initial considerations in the purchase of commercial real estate and conducting due diligence prior to closing the deal. Today’s focus will now turn to contingencies often found in commercial real...more

FinCEN Flexes Its Muscles

The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has been flexing its muscles lately to remind everyone of its important role in money laundering enforcement. Jennifer Shasky, the current Director, a former...more

Commercial Real Estate and the Broader US Economy: What Me, Worry?

You know, as an economist, I am a pretty good piano player. I struggle every morning, marinating in the news cycle, to try to understand what’s happened to the US economy and what its impact will be or might be upon the...more

Key Points: Financing Leasehold Interests in Real Estate

Merely adding the word “leasehold” to your standard mortgage form does not create an effective leasehold mortgage. Scrutinize the underlying lease - often it is a ground lease. Does it...more

Section 546(e) Protects Two Tiered Securitization Structures

What happens when a debtor, whose loan is pooled and securitized, files for bankruptcy? Are payments made to investors recoverable as fraudulent transfers or preferences? Until recently, no published court opinion...more

Pros and Cons of Preferred Equity Investments

Real estate owners and developers have been increasingly turning toward preferred equity structures and investments in order to raise much needed capital for the purchase, renovation and development of real property where...more

Kaisa and Others Hope for a Miracle but Learn that Magic Does Not Exist

Kaisa Developments - The recent financial crisis of Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd. (“Kaisa”), a large-scale Chinese property developer listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (“SEHK”), continues to be in the headlines. The...more

Security on Large Construction Projects. The Payment Remedy You Probably Never Heard of

California has a number of statutory payment remedies available on construction projects. Some, such as the mechanics lien, are relatively well known and often utilized. Others, such as the stop payment notice, are somewhat...more

Sham Guaranties Are Hard To Come By

In prior posts I highlighted the difficult position occupied by guarantors of real estate secured loans. In short, while California law extends very strong anti-deficiency protections to borrowers, those same protections can...more

House Bill 59, Alabama Reinvestment and Abatements Act, Expands Alabama Abatements Significantly

The Alabama Reinvestment and Abatements Act, HB59, Act No. 2015-24 (the “Act”), makes several changes to Alabama abatement law and expands the list of industries and types of projects that are eligible for those abatements....more

Financing the Middle East’s Shopping Spree

The continuing strong economic conditions of the UAE and other GCC economies has led to an upsurge in consumer spending in recent years. With retail sales in the region expected to reach US$284.5 billion by 2018, the need to...more

Transferee Liability: The Lottery Ticket/Uranium Contract Rule

Mano-Y&M Ltd. v. Field (In re Mortgage Store, Inc.), 773 F.3d 990 (9th Cir. 2014) – A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid a transfer by the debtor as a fraudulent conveyance and then to recover funds disbursed by the...more

Crowdfunding: The Next Commercial Real Estate Frontier?

In a world where we buy groceries, book travel, and even date online, it should come as no surprise that online investment is becoming increasingly prevalent. The rapid shift towards an internet-centric world has made...more

From Handshake to Ribbon Cutting: Lessons in Implementing Economic Development Incentives that Avoid Clawbacks

Once an incentive agreement is in place, it is time for the company to get to work building and staffing the new or expanded facility. While the economics of a deal are typically still on track, the initial buildout/expansion...more

Rating Agency Developments

On March 25, S&P released its updated criteria for rating government-related entities. On March 25, Fitch released its updated criteria for rating commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) in Asia-Pacific (APAC), including...more

Bankruptcy Beat: Single Asset Real Estate Debtor Could Not Show That Plan with Substantial Balloon Payment had a Realistic Chance...

At issue in GRG Acquisitions, LLC v. MDM Golf of Gillette Ridge, LLC (In re MDM Golf of Gillette Ridge, LLC), Case No. 14-21565 (ASD) (December 23, 2014), was whether relief from the automatic stay should be granted to a...more

Does Non-Recourse Liability Still Exist?

Several years ago, the real estate financing market took an unexpected turn. In 2011, a court in Michigan rendered a decision which called into question whether a non-recourse loan was truly “non-recourse” (liability limited...more

7th Circuit Rules That Title Insurer Is Not Liable for Construction Liens Resulting From Lender’s Failure to Fund

The 7th Circuit has ruled that a lender is not insured by a title company for liens that arise after a construction loan became significantly out of balance and the lender stopped funding. In BB Syndication Services, Inc v....more

CMBS – Risky Business?

Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities (CMBS) loans are on the rise and many familiar with the market are concerned with the relaxed underwriting standards. Interestingly, looser underwriting standards and increased loan...more

Terminating a Lease Prior to Bankruptcy: Tricks and Traps

As many commercial landlords can attest based on experience, a tenant that files bankruptcy receives the benefit of rights and protections under the Bankruptcy Code that it would not have outside of bankruptcy. Among other...more

Options and the Right of First Refusal in Commercial Leases

In commercial leases, it is common for the tenant to be given the “option” to continue to lease their premises for a new term commencing immediately upon the expiration of the existing term. Although the option only favors...more

Lease Claims: You Snooze, You Lose

In re Sky Ventures, LLC, 523 B.R. 163 (Bankr. D. Minn. 2014) – After a debtor obtained court approval to retroactively reject a lease as of the bankruptcy filing date, the landlord moved to reset the rejection date and for...more

The Rise of Commercial Real Estate Crowdfunding

Investing in commercial real estate is a pipe dream for all but the highest net worth individuals. However, in July of last year, the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs defied conventional real estate logic and sold a fifteen...more

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