Commercial property foreclosures up in 2011
January 26, 2012 -- The Record
Scott Tross says the number of commercial real estate foreclosures is high and figures to go higher because many of the properties that secure the loans are worth less than the amount of outstanding debt. That makes refinancing difficult, he says.
Anxiety Mounts Over Maturing Real Estate Loans
January 24, 2012 -- The New York Times
Dennis Russo is quoted in this story, which notes that a large amount of commercial real estate debt is coming due in 2012 and that certain market conditions will make it tricky for borrowers to refinance their maturing debt. Dennis says the value of commercial property that was used as collateral for the loans has dropped significantly and that -- coupled with lenders’ and regulators' insistence on lower loan-to-value ratios -- will add to the difficulties that borrowers face as they try to refinance.
Of Strictures & Structures: Restructuring Commercial Property Loans
November 2011 -- Distressed Asset Investor
Dennis Russo looks at commercial real estate borrowers’ options -- and lenders’ prerogatives -- when it becomes necessary or advisable to restructure distressed debt. Dennis analyzes the costs and benefits -- and risks and potential rewards -- of a variety of maneuvers, including forgiveness of debt, lowering the interest rate, having the lender take a back-end piece of the deal, finding another lender to take out the original lender, putting the project into bankruptcy or finding a third party to take pay down the debt in exchange for equity.
Steinhardt Pledges Picassos for Real Estate as Art Loans Surge
October 18, 2011 -- Bloomberg News
Howard Spiegler says that lenders that never before made loans using fine art as collateral are now considering such arrangements because they tend to appeal to high-net-worth individuals. Stephen Brodie, who chairs our lending practice and has experience in both art-backed loans and real estate development loans, notes that real estate development is usually financed by two- or three-year, variable-interest renovation loans, which carry relatively high interest rates because lenders fear getting a half-finished project as collateral. Howard and Stephen commented on a loan from JPMorgan Chase to a former hedge fund manager and art collector, who put up as collateral 20 pieces of fine art -- including paintings by Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock -- to borrow money to finance the purchase of commercial real estate.
Tight Credit Conditions Will Lead To Restructurings, Defaults
July 13, 2011 -- Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review
Analyzing the plight of smaller companies that cannot refinance or satisfy existing debt, Paul Rubin says many have pledged all of their assets to secure existing debt and therefore lack additional assets to pledge toward new financing. This article goes on to say that because its remains difficult for such companies to obtain new credit, there likely will be an increase in restructurings, distressed acquisitions and defaults in the near- and medium-term future.
Welcome Mr. Congressman
April 27, 2011 -- Legal Bisnow
Mike McMahon's arrival at Herrick and work in Congress and the New York City council are profiled. This item notes that Herrick is the only firm in New York with two former members of Congress, and that Mike's government relations-centric practice will touch on the real estate, financial services, transportation and environmental sectors and will focus on infrastructure issues, among others.
‘Bad Boy’ Guarantees Snarl Billions in Real Estate Debt
January 19, 2011 -- The New York Times
Ray Hannigan analyzes the role of springing guarantees -- or so-called bad boy guarantees -- in commercial real estate lending workouts. Ray notes that in the last downturn -- in the late Eighties and early Nineties -- defaulting borrowers would file for Chapter 11 protection just before lenders moved to foreclose.
Auction looms for Rector Square housing
September 30, 2010 -- Crain's New York Business.com
Christopher Sullivan is quoted regarding the upcoming auction of Rector Square, the condominium project that Herrick, Feinstein foreclosed on, on behalf of our client, Anglo Irish Bank. He notes that large, well-capitalized, credit-worthy organizations -- such as investment funds -- have expressed interest in buying the project, which will be auctioned off as one bloc.
Anglo to auction off Rector Square Nov. 17
September 30, 2010 -- The Real Deal.com
Christopher Sullivan, lead litigation counsel to Anglo Irish Bank in its forceclosure on the condominium project Rector Square, notes that the entire project -- condo units, commercial components and parking garage -- will be sold Nov. 17 at auction.
Small Business Bill, Accounting Change Could Pack Wallop
September 27, 2010 -- GlobeSt.com
Howard Peskoe explains why pending legislation, designed to spur lending to small businesses, probably will not tend to cause those businesses to buy commercial property, rather than lease. But the bill, in combination with proposed changes to the accounting rule FASB 13, might do so, he says, because the changes would require businesses to include lease payments as debt on their balance sheets, possibly leading some to buy instead of lease.
July 12, 2010 -- The Commercial Observer
Gary Eisenberg's practice and outside interests -- including professional sports -- are profiled in this story in the New York Observer's real estate-related publication. The story, which ran in the paper's weekly Sit-Down space, which features professionals prominent in New York commercial real estate, alludes to Gary's colorful use of the language to describe various phenomena in the world of distressed debt and foreclosure and includes his predictions for where those markets are headed.
In Distressed Buys, Look Before You Leap
June 16, 2010 -- GlobeSt.com
Gary Eisenberg is quoted on how to avoid legal pitfalls when buying a loan-to-own note, in this story, which covered a Herrick-hosted seminar on buying distressed commercial real estate.
Reports of criminal probe send Goldman Sachs stock plunging
May 1, 2010 -- Los Angeles Times
Steven Feldman casts doubt on the likelihood of the DOJ's bringing a criminal action -- no less a successful criminal action -- against Goldman Sachs, saying the SEC probably shared with the DOJ information throughout the civil investigation. The DOJ would probably be farther along in its work than it appears to be, if this were likely to be treated as a criminal matter, he says.
You Violated a Loan Covenant. Now What?
March 16, 2010 -- MSN Business on Main
Bruce Levine describes the three kinds of loan covenants, and analyzes how lenders and borrowers can work together to keep borrowers from defaulting. Part of that, he says, is having a realistic plan and showing the bank that circumstances are likely to improve.
BofA Lawyers Rebuked in Cabi Case
March 10, 2010 -- The Wall Street Journal
Bankruptcy judges tend to look with disfavor on creditors who are overly harsh with borrowers during difficult economic times, and those tactics can backfire, Stephen Selbst says.
New Financial Order
March 2, 2010 -- NYinc
Loan workouts and extensions are the order of the day, Dennis Russo says in this story that analyzes commercial real estate investment sales, equity waiting to be deployed and commercial mortgage backed securities about to mature. The Treasury Department and IRS have adopted rules that pressure special servicers of loans, who are guided by numerical calculations, not empathy, Russo says.
Community Banks May Be Next in Line for TARP Funds
December 23, 2009 -- GlobeSt.com
Howard Peskoe says a plan that the Treasury Department is considering -- which would require Congressional legislation and would allow small regional and community banks to borrow at favorable rates, with the intention that the money be loaned to small businesses -- can not harm the commercial real estate finance market. Howard casts doubt, however, whether the plan will work or represent a boon to real estate lending.
Hicks creditors look for response from NHL
August 17, 2009 -- Sports Business Journal
In a story about how creditors of the Dallas Stars are seeking repayment of loans they made, Irwin Kishner notes that most professional sports leagues' debt policies forbid creditors from taking over franchises in mid-season.
Conversion Time: A slumping residential market has some developers turning their condos into rentals
January 2009 -- New York Construction News
Dennis Russo, who represents condo developers and lenders and who has developed condo projects himself, says developers' plans to turn stalled condo developments into rentals are confounded by the inability of rent revenue to cover debt service. He notes that the only scenarios where rent cover the debt are when lenders restructure the loans or the developer has owned the property for a long time.
Deutsche Bank slashes price tag for two Macklowe buildings
December 9, 2008 -- The Real Deal,com
Dennis Russo opines that Deutsche Bank cut the asking price on two buildings from Harry Macklowe's troubled portfolio because no large tenant is on the hook and none seems to be on the horizon.
Required: Empathy and Kleenex
November 9, 2008 -- New York Times
In this Fresh Starts column in the Sunday business section, Stephen Selbst examines the restructuring and workout job market for people laid off from financial services positions. He notes that professionals who put together the real estate finance deals that ultimately failed but understand collateral, and M&A bankers who have negotiating and deal-making skills, are best suited for the transition.
Instruments of Finance -- And Confusion
September 28, 2008 -- The Star-Ledger
Stephen Selbst is quoted in a front-page story on issues related to the $700 billion bailout/rescue -- what the fund's prospectus would look like, and the skepticism it would trigger, if there were a prospectus.
Politics Threaten Federal Rescue Plan
September 25, 2008 -- GlobeSt.com
Elizabeth Holtzman is quoted in a story on the $700 billion plan to rescue struggling Wall Street firms, opining that Congressional insistence on oversight, transparency and possible judicial review is necessary and not driven by partisan politics.
Opening The Vaults; Is Bank Secrecy Over?
July 2, 2008 -- ABC.com
David Rosenfield is quoted regarding the possibility that tax evasion is merely the tip of the iceberg in the case involving secret foreign bank accounts held by US citizens.