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Category Archives: Debt and Judgment Collection

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An Exception to the Fair Market Value Rule: Use the Foreclosure Sales Price for a Deficiency after a Third Party Purchaser

Posted in Commercial Lending, Debt and Judgment Collection, Residential Foreclosure, Special Assets Litigation

If the value of a foreclosed property is less than the loan amount, lenders may seek a deficiency judgment from borrowers and guarantors after the foreclosure sale. In most cases, the lender is the sole bidder at the sale and takes title to the collateral property, so the court must determine the fair market value… Continue Reading

Obtaining a Deficiency Judgment in Georgia – Overview of Procedures

Posted in Banking Operations, Commercial Lending, Commercial Real Estate Lending, Debt and Judgment Collection, Residential Foreclosure, Residential Real Estate Lending

A previous post discussed the non-judicial foreclosure procedure used in Georgia. This post discusses the steps that a Florida bank doing business in Georgia, or with clients owning property in Georgia, must take to obtain a deficiency judgment against the debtor. A power-of-sale foreclosure is truly non-judicial; the procedure does not contemplate any involvement of… Continue Reading

Case Update: Authority to Endorse Note and Mortgage IS Self-Authenticating

Posted in Banking Operations, Debt and Judgment Collection

In our August 29, 2013 post, we reported on a shift in the case law regarding the self-authentification of the authority to endorse a note and mortgage. Subsequently, however, the court in Bennett v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company granted the bank’s motion for rehearing, and summarily reversed its previous decision. In the subsequent opinion… Continue Reading

Status as a Debtor not Enough to Confer Appellate Standing

Posted in Bankruptcy, Debt and Judgment Collection

“Standing” is a legal term of art that refers to a party’s ability to bring a cause of action, to intercede in one or to appeal the court’s judgment. To prove appellate standing in a bankruptcy proceeding, a party must show that “he was directly and adversely affected pecuniarily by the order of the bankruptcy… Continue Reading

Collecting Deficiency on Wholly-Unsecured Nonrecourse Loan (in Chapter 11)

Posted in Bankruptcy, Debt and Judgment Collection

Some of you who read the title of this post may have done a quick double-take, as it is well established that lenders may not collect a deficiency on a nonrecourse loan under state law. However, the Bankruptcy Code provides some relief to a holder of a wholly unsecured nonrecourse loan when the debtor files… Continue Reading

Detroit Judge Clears Way for Largest Municipal Bankruptcy in Country’s History

Posted in Debt and Judgment Collection

The oral summary of Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes’s opinion lasted roughly ninety minutes, and the forthcoming written opinion is rumored to be over one hundred and forty pages in length. In making his decision the Detroit bankruptcy judge green-lighted the City’s hopeful recovery through Chapter 9 bankruptcy. The court noted that “this once-proud city cannot… Continue Reading

Georgia Non-Judicial Power of Sale Foreclosure – Overview of Procedures

Posted in Banking Operations, Commercial Lending, Commercial Real Estate Lending, Debt and Judgment Collection, Residential Foreclosure, Residential Real Estate Lending

Given our geographic proximity, it is not uncommon for Florida banks to do business in Georgia or with clients owning property in Georgia. This geographic proximity, however, does not lend itself to equivalence of foreclosure procedures. This is because, unlike Florida, Georgia recognizes non-judicial foreclosures. Indeed, power of sale foreclosures, as they are called, are… Continue Reading

What is an Allonge?

Posted in Commercial Lending, Debt and Judgment Collection, Residential Foreclosure, Special Assets Litigation

Given the importance of the allonge in establishing a bank’s standing in commercial foreclosure cases, you may be surprised that the term “allonge” is nowhere to be found in Florida’s Commercial Code. In one case, the court describes an allonge as “simply an elegant-sounding legal term for a supplemental attachment to a note in which endorsements… Continue Reading

BAPCPA Backfires: Unsecured Creditor’s Returns Decrease in Post-BAPCPA Landscape

Posted in Bankruptcy, Debt and Judgment Collection

A new study published by the American Bankruptcy Institute has found that the aggregate effect of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), which was passed in part to improve creditor returns in consumer bankruptcy proceedings, has actually had the opposite effect since the Act’s sweeping changes to the consumer bankruptcy… Continue Reading

Chapter 20 in the Eleventh Circuit: Modification of Secured Claims Impermissible Without Discharge

Posted in Debt and Judgment Collection

Nearly a year ago to the day, we published a post regarding the uncertainty that bankruptcy practitioners and lenders faced when a Chapter 7 debtor received a discharge, and subsequently filed a Chapter 13 petition to strip wholly unsecured liens (The Threat of Lien Stripping in “Chapter 20″ Bankruptcy). So-called “Chapter 20” filings had firmly divided… Continue Reading

When the FDCPA and the Bankruptcy Code Conflict: Which Controls?

Posted in Bankruptcy, Commercial Lending, Debt and Judgment Collection

As most lenders and banking litigators understand, courts construe the language of the Fair Debt Collection Protection Act (FDCPA) very broadly. As we have discussed in previous posts, an initial communication to collect a debt must contain specific language that “the debt collector is attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained will… Continue Reading

Managing Litigation Cost – Florida’s Expedited Foreclosure Procedure

Posted in Debt and Judgment Collection, Loan Workouts, Special Assets Litigation

This article is the final article of a series and is excerpted from my book entitled Mortgage Foreclosure and Loan Collection: A Practical Guide for Lenders which is now available at Amazon.com. Here, we discuss Florida’s show cause procedure as a means of expediting mortgage foreclosure cases and therefore reducing cost. On average, a Florida… Continue Reading

Managing Litigation Cost – Discovery and Summary Judgment Motions

Posted in Debt and Judgment Collection, Loan Workouts, Special Assets Litigation

This article is the second of a series and is excerpted from my book entitled Mortgage Foreclosure and Loan Collection: A Practical Guide for Lenders which is now available at Amazon.com. Here, we discuss the impact of the discovery process and summary judgment motions on litigation cost. The discovery process can be a very expensive… Continue Reading

The Shell Game: Bankrupt Debtor’s Concealment of Pre-Petition Claims

Posted in Bankruptcy, Debt and Judgment Collection

Part I:  The Setup:  Treatment of Prepetition Causes of Action in Bankruptcy Proceedings In commercial lending, as in law, no single practice area exists independently of another. Bankruptcy law often intersects with contract law and even personal injury law when debtors find themselves as the plaintiff or defendant in a prepetition civil action. It is… Continue Reading

Authority to Endorse Note and Mortgage Not Self-Authenticating

Posted in Banking Operations, Debt and Judgment Collection

This post is no longer current.  The Third Circuit reversed its opinion in Bennett and held that authority is self-authenticating.  For more on the revised opinion, please see our updated post. Establishing the authority to foreclose a note and mortgage is simple when the note and mortgage are held by the original lender. In today’s… Continue Reading

Enforcing a Lost Promissory Note

Posted in Banking Operations, Commercial Lending, Commercial Real Estate Lending, Debt and Judgment Collection, Dischargeability of Debts, Loan Sales and Syndications, Residential Foreclosure, Residential Real Estate Lending, Special Assets Litigation

In Florida, it is well established that the original promissory note must be surrendered to the court as a condition of its enforcement. What do you do when you cannot find the original promissory note? Florida Statutes 673.3091 sets out a procedure to follow in order to  “reestablish” a lost note and provides that a… Continue Reading

New York Bankruptcy Court Clears Way for McNeal Rehearing

Posted in Bankruptcy, Debt and Judgment Collection

The long-awaited rehearing of In re McNeal has been given the green light from an unlikely source – a New York Bankruptcy Court Judge. The Chapter 7 lien stripping saga has been well documented in previous posts, and as we had noted, last February the Eleventh Circuit ordered that all proceedings – including a pending… Continue Reading

Motor City Meltdown: Municipal Bankruptcy in Brief – Chapter 9 Administration in a Nutshell

Posted in Bankruptcy, Bond Finance, Debt and Judgment Collection, State Tax Issues

From March 2012 to March 2013, 76,467 bankruptcy petitions were filed in Florida under Chapters 7, 11 and 13. In contrast, since the Great Depression less than 500 municipalities have filed for Chapter 9 protection. In fact, only twelve municipalities filed for bankruptcy protection last year. Nevertheless, once Detroit became the largest city in U.S…. Continue Reading

Dismissal for Failure to Prosecute: Debtor’s Bankruptcy Appeal Tossed for Delay by Eleventh Circuit

Posted in Bankruptcy, Debt and Judgment Collection, Student Loans

As creditors’ counsel, we have often faced debtors who file bankruptcy simply to delay and frustrate the collection process.  A recent case out of the Eleventh Circuit typifies the no-nonsense attitude that bankruptcy and appellate judges take with debtors who attempt to use the Bankruptcy Code as a vehicle for delay. In 2009 a pro… Continue Reading

The Perils of Post-Judgment Pre-Sale Modifications

Posted in Banking Operations, Commercial Lending, Commercial Real Estate Lending, Debt and Judgment Collection, Loan Workouts, Residential Foreclosure, Residential Real Estate Lending, Special Assets Litigation

A reasonable workout often remains the prudent choice for defaulted commercial real estate loans even in the context of a pending (or nearly completed) foreclosure action. Thus, it is not surprising that we have seen a number of foreclosure cases where the bank and debtor entered into a modification agreement after obtaining a foreclosure judgment… Continue Reading

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA): Ceasing Communications with a Debtor’s Attorney?

Posted in Debt and Judgment Collection

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) gives a debtor the right to notify a debt collector that he or she wishes the debt collector to cease communication with respect to the debt, with some exceptions. In situations where the creditor is communicating with an attorney representing the debtor, the question arises: does that statute… Continue Reading

Managing Litigation Cost: Pre-Lawsuit File Review

Posted in Debt and Judgment Collection, Loan Workouts, Special Assets Litigation

In today’s environment, clients are more cost-conscious than ever and this is in direct conflict with the ever-increasing cost of litigation. There are, however, some common sense ways in which a case can be managed in order to help minimize the associated fees and costs. This article is the first of a series and is… Continue Reading