Construction Loans

News & Analysis as of

Equitable Subordination: Construction Lenders Beware

Atlantic Builders Group, Inc. v. Old Line Bank (In re Prince Frederick Inv., LLC), 516 B.R. 778 (Bankr. D. Md. 2014) – A construction contractor contended that the claim of the debtor’s construction lender should be...more

Guarantors of a Construction Loan were Exonerated From Liability by a Bank's Misconduct Under the Loan Agreement, Notwithstanding...

California Bank & Trust's predecessor bank ("Bank") granted a $22.5 million construction loan to Five Corners Rialto, LLC ("Five Corners") to develop a 70-unit townhome project in two phases. Two principals of Five Corners...more

General Contractors Beware of Subordination Clauses

In California, a general contractor can usually rest assured that in the event of nonpayment, it can rely upon the remedy of a mechanics lien, which remedy is, in fact, even a constitutional right....more

AIA Construction Contract Issues: An Owner’s Perspective

MANY CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS ARE DOCUMENTED USING AIA FORMS. These forms focus on issues concerning the architect and contractor. It is in the owner’s interest to protect itself by negotiating the key provisions in the...more

A Cautionary Tale for General Contractors

Construction lenders often go to great lengths to ensure their deeds of trust have priority over mechanic’s liens. Typically, as part of the construction loan process, general contractors are asked to sign documents...more

Subordination Agreements with General Contractors are Enforceable

Lenders know that recording their construction deeds of trust after the commencement of construction is risky because of the possibility of losing priority to mechanic’s liens. A recent case sheds light on a strategy lenders...more

Vendees' Liens—Construction Lenders Beware!

A recent Arizona Court of Appeals decision highlights a lien priority risk for secured construction lenders when the financed project fails. The problem—known as a “vendee lien”—is most likely to arise when up-front deposits...more

Editorial: Court Gives Nod to 1932 Florida Supreme Court Case, Blocking Developers’ Ability to Avoid Additional Payments

We are often asked when representing a client in defense of a claim whether the client could avoid the liability asserted by the claimant by potentially buying the cause of action out from under the claimant. The most common...more

Mechanic’s Lien Reigns Supreme in the Battle of a Project Default? Not for a Waiving General

In what can only be described as a devastating result for a general contractor, the Fourth Appellate District held that a general contractor may prospectively waive the priority of a mechanic’s lien to the owner’s...more

Mechanics Liens — Smart Tools of Construction Industry Professionals, and Bane of Property Owners

In 1791, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison proposed the first mechanics liens legislation in order to promote development in Washington. The Maryland Assembly (which governed Washington at that time) passed the...more

Mechanics Lien Subordination: Illinois Further Limits Construction Lenders’ Ability To Ensure Priority Against Mechanics Liens

On July 16, 2014, Illinois enacted Public Act 98-764 (Senate Bill 3023) (“SB 3023”), which amends the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act (770 ILCS 60/ et seq.) (the “Act”) to prohibit subordination of mechanics liens on Illinois...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

Construction Lenders Beware: Unbonded Stop-Payment Notices May Be Worth More Than The Paper They Are Written On

A common perception in the construction industry is that the most valuable part of an unbonded stop payment notice is the paper it is written on, at least when it is served on a construction lender. While an unbonded stop...more

Applications Now Being Accepted for USDA Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Grant and Loan Program

On Monday, May 5, 2014, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will begin accepting new applications for grants and loans under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for fiscal year 2014....more

"Green" Light For Energy-Efficient Home Construction in Maryland

For those who believe that government programs may provide a stimulating effect on the private economy and promote positive changes in the ways in which we work and live, an enrolled bill, not yet signed into law, coming out...more

Reviving Construction Projects — How to Avoid Creating a Frankenstein Monster

Reviving dead or moth-balled projects presents risks and rewards. The rewards include a shorter ramp-up period. The risks include the revival of claims akin to the unintended creation of a Frankenstein monster. But those...more

Court of Appeal Confirms that Laborers and Materialmen Have Priority over Construction Lenders to Funds Used to Develop the...

A California Court of Appeal recently ruled that a construction lender must make available to stop notice claimants those amounts which the lender has already disbursed to itself on the construction loan. (Brewer Corp. v....more

There’s a Reason Why It’s Called a “Stop Payment” Notice Not a “Let Me Pay Myself First” Notice

In a decision published January 31, 2014 (Brewer Corp. v. Point Center Financial, Inc.), the California Court of Appeal (Fourth District) affirmed a trial court’s judgment holding a lender liable for contractors’ stop notice...more

Secret Lender-Buyer Side Deal Renders Seller Subordination Agreement Unenforceable

A California Appellate Court ruled recently that a seller’s subordination agreement was unenforceable where the buyer and the lender entered into a side agreement between themselves that the seller knew nothing about and that...more

Federal Reserve Board And OCC Publish White Paper On CRE Concentration Guidance

On April 3, the Federal Reserve Board and the OCC jointly published a white paper on the regulators’ study of bank performance in the context of 2006 interagency guidance regarding commercial real estate lending that...more

Commercial Real Estate Lending: Lessons from 2012 and Predictions for 2013

The combination of 4 speaking engagements and working on 4 new (or revived) lending products buried me during the last several months. Fortunately, I’ve navigated the course, and it is a new year. It is time to take a look...more

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