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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 Marisa L. Byram and Garrett L. Kinkelaar
Keystone Specialty Services Co. v. Ebaugh
Practitioners should take note that depending on the jurisdiction, a well-drafted exculpatory clause may afford additional protections to a commercial landlord, even from its own negligent acts.
By Jessie Yount
Real estate executives say the construction of the office of the future is well underway within the legal industry, despite a dip in leasing activity at the beginning of the year. However, there is a shift toward “densification,” as firms take advantage of favorable market conditions and make longer-term commitments.
By Steven M. Silverberg
In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court applied strict scrutiny to a sign regulation as it related to directional signs placed by a local congregation that held services at different locations each week. The Court took another look at the issue of strict scrutiny relating to “off-premises” signs in the case of City of Austin, Texas v. Reagan National Advertising , in which the majority concluded that strict scrutiny should not apply to determining whether the off-premises sign regulations at issue violated the First Amendment.
By Paul Bergeron
The commercial real estate industry is having little trouble shrugging off today’s challenging economic situations and its optimism is brewing with recent pandemic restrictions being lifted, according to a state of the market survey from DLA Piper.