The ownership of and investment in real estate generates a great deal of conflict and litigation. To be successful your lawyer must be familiar with basic issues relative to the nature of the investments sold and acquired; the owner’s freedom to use the property (or any restrictions on that freedom); as well as issues relating to the client’s ability to raise money, whether from investors or lenders.
Past and present clients include:
- Borrowers with a so-called “equity finance” mortgage (i.e., a non-amortizing purchase money mortgage which was payable upon the sale of the property, and in which the “interest” is defined as the lender’s right to receive a specified percentage of the proceeds of sale). In this case of first impression under New York law, our clients argued that their mortgage was usurious because the “interest” sought to be collected exceeded New York’s 25% criminal interest rate. The Court sustained our complaint, rejecting the lender’s argument that the transaction was an “investment partnership” rather than a mortgage. The case was subsequently settled.
- Owners of and investors in real estate, and have represented banks and others who have loaned money secured by real estate
- The real estate subsidiary of a major international bank in connection with its commercial mortgage work-outs, foreclosure actions and related bankruptcy proceedings
- An investor in a real estate partnership whose partners had concealed their diversion of funds by repeatedly disguising their profits as return of capital. This case was settled at trial
- An owner of a property seeking to invalidate restrictive covenants on the property
- A non-profit owner of a nature preserve, in its defense of an action by a developer to declare that the developer has the right to build a road through the nature preserve