Financial Services and Creditors' Rights

The lawyers in our Financial Services department represent all types of creditors, from banks, commercial leasing companies and other financial services companies to small businesses and individuals.  Our practice in this area often involves primarily the following types of work, in which we have decades of experience:
Transactional documentation
We document real estate and commercial loans at origination, and later modifications, participations, loan sales and other transactions.  Many of our institutional clients use loan documentation software, and we frequently customize those computer-generated documents to reflect negotiated terms unique to a particular transaction.
Negotiation and documentation of workouts
We have for many years represented creditors in the negotiation and documentation of complex commercial workouts, often related to problem real estate loans.
Foreclosure, collection litigation and prejudgment remedies
A large part of our practice consists of collecting money owed to our clients – whether under loan agreements, promissory notes, leases or other credit obligations, whether on a secured or unsecured basis, and whether the amount at issue is many millions of dollars or less than one hundred thousand dollars.  We frequently employ prejudgment remedies, such as writs of attachment, claim and delivery (replevin), or the appointment of receivers, to secure our clients’ rights, gain leverage and induce early settlement.  We have substantial expertise concerning the unique remedies and legal issues that may be relevant in these cases, such as:
  • foreclosure on personal property collateral, and its recovery by claim and delivery;
  • foreclosure on real property collateral (including the hazards presented by California's "one form of action" and anti-deficiency statutes;  defense of lawsuits by borrowers attempting to stop foreclosure and of mechanics’ lien and stop-notice actions; and the assertion of claims (and litigation, if necessary) against title insurers);
  • collection from guarantors, including defeating guarantor defenses such as “sham guarantee” or defenses based on claims of exoneration, waiver, or estoppel; and
  • postjudgment remedies (levy of writs of execution against personal and real property, judgment debtor examinations,  wage garnishments and other more esoteric remedies).
We are frank in advising our clients when a case is weak or recovery is unlikely.
We represent creditors in bankruptcy cases of all types (from large business reorganizations in chapter 11 to small consumer liquidations in chapter 7) and in connection with nearly every type of issue that a creditor may face in such cases, including:
  • the negotiation of (and litigation over) chapter 11 plan terms;
  • litigating claim objections;
  • seeking relief from the automatic stay to permit foreclosure on real and personal property collateral;
  • opposing the use of cash collateral;
  • opposing attempts to obtain "priming" loans;
  • defending preference and fraudulent transfer actions;
  • suing to establish the non-dischargeable nature of certain debts; and
  • seeking the dismissal of bankruptcy cases in their entirety.
Lender liability and operations defense litigation
We defend our clients against
  • claims of lender liability;
  • claims  arising under Articles 3 and 4 of the Commercial Code; and
  • other claims arising from the operations side of a bank (e.g., “blocked” accounts, safe deposit boxes, improper account access or use).  
  • Our many years of experience in these areas, and our understanding of our clients’ operations, allow us to focus quickly on the issues critical to the case.
Regulatory compliance and operations counsel
We represent a number of independent banks in complying with federal and state regulations and dealing with day-to-day operations issues.