In May, I posted about “Estate Planning in the Digital Age” and mentioned the practical limitations of shared passwords as a means of digital estate planning.  Recent cases suggest that relying only on password sharing, even if it works, is risky, both for family members and fiduciaries. Here’s why.

Continue Reading Password (Sharing) Risks Persist for Fiduciaries and Family Members

A bank director’s responsibilities are similar to directors of other types of corporations, including the duties of loyalty and care. Federal banking regulators have strong enforcement powers to address violations of law, breaches of fiduciary duty, or unsafe and unsound practices. When an FDIC-insured bank goes into receivership, the FDIC undertakes an investigation to determine the reason for the failure and whether to pursue claims against directors, officer or their parties for corporate waste, breaches of fiduciary duty or negligence.

Continue Reading What Community Bank Board Members Need to Know About D&O

On January 1, 2015, Connecticut adopted an additional method of foreclosure known as foreclosure by market sale.  This method permits an owner-occupant of a 1-4 family residential property who is in default of the first mortgage to obtain the lender’s consent to market and sell the property in order to avoid a judicial foreclosure.

Continue Reading Amendment to Connecticut’s Foreclosure By Market Sale Statute

One of the plethora of new procedures enacted in the 2016 General Assembly’s legislative session is a concept which is being dubbed a “judgment of loss mitigation.”  The procedure seems straightforward at first – a lender can seek to have the Court approve a modification of a mortgage loan and sanction the mortgagee’s priority over any other encumbrances of record or it can approve a conveyance of all interest of the mortgagor to the mortgagee within the new statutory structure.  So, why do lenders need to be aware of this new procedure?  And will this newly enacted process help anyone? Continue Reading Connecticut Foreclosures: Judgment of Loss Mitigation – Good, Bad or Unnecessary?

You might wonder whether lenders can enforce a guaranty of a loan from an individual or entity that has no formal connection with the borrower, i.e. someone who is not an owner or affiliated company. Generally, the answer is yes with some qualifications for potentially insolvent guarantors discussed below. However, lenders are well-advised to take the steps outlined at the end of this post to minimize the risk of a subsequent challenge by the guarantor.

Continue Reading Enforcing Personal Guaranties

As most people (at least in the banking world) know, a security interest is the granting of an interest in property to secure obligations, usually loan debt.  If the borrower defaults under its obligations, the bank can foreclose and take the collateral.

Continue Reading Collateral 101: Perfecting Security Interests in Common and Uncommon Collateral

In Connecticut, the General Statutes have granted “super” priority status to certain types of municipal liens.  As a result, these liens jump to the head of the priority line, even if your bank has a first-mortgage on the property. These liens include costs for property taxes, water and sewer assessments, violations of blight ordinances and a municipality’s costs in demolishing unsafe buildings.

Continue Reading Super Priority Municipal Liens: When Is Your First Mortgage Not First In Line?

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision today in the case of OneWest Bank, N.A. v. Robert W. Melina, No. 15-3063 (2d Cir. June 29, 2016) holding that a national bank is a citizen only of the state in which its main office is located, as stated in the bank’s articles of association.

Continue Reading U. S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit Decision: National Bank is a Citizen Only of the State in Which its Main Office is Located

Formerly known as a bankers blanket bond, and sometimes referred to as a fidelity bond, the financial institution bond as it is commonly known, is simply an insurance policy.  Though the term “insurance policy” does not typically appear in its title, financial institutions should view a financial institution bond as just that.   When faced with certain types of loss, financial institutions should be reviewing their financial institution bonds carefully to determine if coverage exists.

Continue Reading It’s Insurance: The Financial Institution Bond

Effective October 1, 2016 Connecticut will have finally updated its 1965 law governing Powers of Attorney (POA’s). The new law, called the Connecticut Uniform Power of Attorney Act, or “CT UPOAA”, makes many changes that estate and elder law attorneys think are long overdue, and useful, and it imposes new obligations on banks to whom POA’s are presented. (The changes are found in CGS Chapter 15, Sections 1-350 to 1-35, as amended by Public Act 16-40 this year.)

Continue Reading Connecticut’s New Power of Attorney Law