Crunched Credit

Legal Commentary on the Commercial Real Estate Debt Market

A recent decision out of the District Court for the Southern District of New York may bring greater certainty to the interpretation of what constitutes a “financial institution” in connection with the safe harbor in section 546(e) of the bankruptcy code. The decision, In re Tribune Fraudulent Conveyance Litig., 2019 U.S. Dist. Lexis 69081 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 23, 2019), addresses whether transfers are protected from avoidance under the section 546(e) safe harbor when a “financial…
Note: This was republished on June 6, 2019 to reflect factual updates. Sutton 58 Associates LLC v. Pilevsky et al., is a New York case which gets to the heart of the enforceability of classic single-purpose entity restrictions in commercial real estate lending.  At issue is how far a third-party may go to cause a violation of a borrower’s SPE covenants, and whether those covenants are enforceable at all. A Defaulted Construction Loan and…
Beany & Cecil was a cartoon.  The Current Expected Credit Loss accounting rules, better known as CECL, which the FASB is insisting will go into effect at the beginning of next year for publicly traded banks and lenders and a year later for all other GAAP reporting entities is not.  Now, heaven forfend that I suggest that the work of the Financial Accounting Standards Board is cartoonish, but there’s a parallel in this pairing of…
Last year, a California Bankruptcy Court wiped out $10.2 million in default interest (“DRI”) when it ruled that a 5% DRI was an unenforceable penalty in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case where the construction lender fully recovered principal, interest, and other costs of collection. In acting as the borrower’s fairy godmother, the Court noted that the 5% DRI, an industry standard for construction loans, was unreasonable because it was not negotiated in detail at origination…
A new OnPoint from Dechert’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation team discusses a recent ruling from a federal court in the Southern District of New York. There, a pension plan that had acquired notes issued by a vehicle invested in a pool of sub-prime residential mortgage-backed securities is arguing that the vehicle’s assets are “plan assets” that are subject to ERISA. Essentially, the plan’s argument is that the notes should be considered equity for ERISA purposes…
God help me, I’m finally writing about climate change.  This commentary assiduously avoids the obviously political (we take the view that complaining about and belittling our elected representatives and the permanent bureaucracy for doing boneheaded things is entirely apolitical).  And while even the phrase “climate change” carries with it a certain frisson of a capital “P” political debate, this is not that.  So, please, don’t ball this missive up, toss it away and cancel your…