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In a set of foreclosure cases decided in late February, the Court of Appeals resolved some of the questions that have plagued New York’s court system in the aftermath of last decade’s mortgage crisis. When borrowers defaulted on their mortgage loans, immediate foreclosure was not always the best option for mortgagee banks, especially in what was, for a number of years, a weak housing market. Suppose, however, the bank delayed in bringing a foreclosure action. When would the statute of limitations bar a foreclosure action or an action on the underlying mortgage debt, leaving the defaulting mortgagor with title free and clear of the mortgage? In the last few years, hardly a week has gone by without a case involving the application of the statute of limitations to defaulted mortgages. In Freedom Mortgage Corp. v. Engel and its companion cases, the Court of Appeals provided a road map for resolution of these cases.
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By Ian Sutton
There are several issues and terms to consider related to the development process that differentiate build to suit leases from a standard commercial lease that are important for the tenant to understand to effectively manage costs and effectively protect itself from delays in the development schedule.
By Andrew C. Kassner and Joseph N. Argentina Jr.
Section 365 of the Bankruptcy Code, which governs the disposition of executory contracts, has specific provisions regarding the disposition of commercial real estate leases in bankruptcy, including the rights of a tenant to remain in possession of the leased premises when the landlord files a bankruptcy case and rejects the lease. But what rights does a tenant have with regard to the security deposit delivered by the tenant to the landlord?
By Allison Dunn
The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently reversed a judgment in favor of a landlord in a tenant default matter, finding that a provision of a commercial lease that accelerated the remaining rent as liquidated damages is unenforceable as a penalty. The opinion "brings uncertainty to thousands of existing commercial lease agreements."
By Adam Leitman Bailey and John M. Desiderio
In the past two years, in litigations between commercial landlords and commercial tenants, appellate courts continued to issue decisions on topics, unrelated to COVID questions, that should interest all real estate attorneys and their clients.