Real Estate Legal News - April 4, 2012 • Spring Edition



- Michigan Legislature Reacts Quickly To Dramatic Nonrecourse Liability Decisions

Michigan became the focus of national attention in the world of commercial real estate finance in December, when the Michigan Court of Appeals and the federal district court for the Eastern District of Michigan each determined that lenders could pursue remedies against borrowers and guarantors of loans when the borrowerproperty owners became insolvent and failed to make required loan payments, notwithstanding the fact that the loans were styled as nonrecourse obligations. The decisions, Wells Fargo Bank NA v. Cherryland Mall Limited Partnership, (Case No. 304682, Michigan Court of Appeals, currently on appeal to the Supreme Court of Michigan) (“Cherryland Mall”) and 51382 Gratiot Avenue Holdings, LLC v. Chesterfield Development Co., LLC (Case No. 2:11-CV-12047, E.D. Mich)(“Chesterfield”) caused consternation both in lending circles and among borrowers because the courts’ interpretations of the loan documents would have created potential liability for borrowers and guarantors of virtually all commercial mortgage backed securitization (“CMBS”) loans, when those loans had been marketed as “nonrecourse” obligations that would not result in personal liability for borrowers and guarantors except for certain limited “bad boy acts” such as fraud, misappropriation of rents, waste on the property, or similar issues...

- Supreme Court Decision Allows Landowners To Appeal EPA Administrative Compliance Orders

In a unanimous decision released on March 20, 2012, the United States Supreme Court held that administrative compliance orders issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) pursuant to the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) are subject to pre-enforcement judicial review. This decision is likely to have a considerable impact on the EPA’s future enforcement of environmental laws, providing new avenues for landowners to challenge the EPA and possibly delaying certain enforcement actions by the EPA...

- Dickinson Wright Offers Unique Cross-Border Real Estate Expertise

Dickinson Wright is one of the very few law firms in the United States and Canada with substantial real estate practice groups and expertise within its firm walls on both sides of the US and Canadian border. To reach this distinction, on January 1, 2011, Dickinson Wright combined practices with Aylesworth LLP, creating the newly formed Canadian entity Dickinson Wright LLP...

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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