Massachusetts is notorious for having hyper-technical rules about notarization.  The trouble started in 2009 with the bankruptcy case of Matthew H. Giroux.  Mr. Giroux signed a mortgage in front of a notary public.  He acknowledged to the notary public that he signed the mortgage voluntarily for its stated purpose.  The notary public signed where he was supposed to, affixed his notarial seal, and inserted the expiration of his commission.  The mortgage was then recorded in the appropriate registry of deeds.  The notary public, however, forgot to insert Mr. Giroux’s name in the certificate of acknowledgement (the notary block on the mortgage); so it said: “[B]efore me personally appeared _____________ to me known to be the person (or persons) described in and who executed the foregoing instrument . . . .”  The bankruptcy court didn’t like that and invalidated the mortgage.

Ok, lesson learned.  Notaries—don’t forget to fill in the name of the person who signed the mortgage.

Continue Reading New Forms May Alleviate Some Concerns About Massachusetts Notarizations

As I type this blog post, I am sitting at my desk with a four-inch-thick binder filled with title insurance forms—form policies, form endorsements, premium rate tables, survey requirements, etc.—and it occurs to me that many people who deal with real estate loans and title insurance on a daily basis may have never read a title insurance policy.

It’s probably not necessary for a loan officer involved in a real estate transaction to read the whole title insurance policy, but it may be helpful to have a basic understanding of the benefits and limitations of a lender’s title policy as well as some of the optional endorsements.  To provide a basic understanding of title insurance, this post is the first in what will be a series of articles on title insurance from a lender’s perspective.

Continue Reading Title Insurance: What is its Value?

The use of unitranche financing creates opportunities for lenders and value for borrowers.  There are some risks that lenders must understand in these structures.

With the volume and competition of middle market financings growing, many loan officers and lenders are asking, “What can we do better in order to get more business?”

In an acquisition financing scenario, unitranche may be a good path for you and your borrower.  Continue Reading Unitranche Financing – is it for you?

Massachusetts bankruptcy courts have invalidated mortgages containing defects, including the failure of lenders to observe strict formalities in the execution of mortgage acknowledgements.   Continue Reading The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Lends a Helping Hand to Inadvertent Lender Omissions in the Execution of Mortgage Acknowledgements

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

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

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

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

When Borrowers and their lenders think about environmental due diligence, they immediately focus on Phase I/Phase II/ Environmental Site Assessments. That’s a good thing, and is an essential requirement when acquiring real estate. However, when the deal involves an on-going business operation, another type of evaluation – a compliance audit – is needed.

Continue Reading Compliance Audits as part of Environmental Due Diligence- It’s more than just a Phase