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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 Tyler V. Friederich
A South Carolina appellate court recently affirmed a trial court’s decision that a landlord had tortiously interfered with a sublease by terminating the master lease after a fire damaged the subject building and such landlord was liable to the subtenant for punitive damages.
By By Jonathan Robbin
The Second Circuit recently held that a bare violation of mortgage satisfaction recording statutes without a demonstration of actual injury conferred federal jurisdiction, meaning that a mortgagor now has the ability to bring a class action in federal court. Thus, statutes designed to be merely remedial in nature can now be used punitively against lenders and servicers.
By Warren A. Estis and Alexander Lycoyannis
New cannabis businesses will need to lease commercial space in order to operate — and undoubtedly, many real estate owners are eager to meet this new demand. However, owners and prospective cannabis businesses have many legal issues and questions to consider before entering into lease agreements.
By Jeffery R. Mullen and Fred Warren Jacoby
We are only beginning to scratch the surface of the effect on the construction litigation visited on us by COVID-19-related impacts. However, the pandemic and its continuing impact has reinforced the importance of planning for the unexpected — and undefined — when negotiating construction contracts.