RPTE eReport newsletter

December 2013

Group and Committee News

Real Estate Financing Group

Legal Opinions in Real Estate Transactions Committee
At the RPTE Symposia in Washington, D.C. in May, 2013, this Committee sponsored a program entitled “You Want WHAT Opinions from Us? A Look at the Real Estate Finance Opinion Report of 2012,” which discussed the 2012 report that was prepared jointly by the Committee and the respective legal opinion committees of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL) and the American College of Mortgage Attorneys (ACMA). The 2012 report was published in Vol. 47, No. 2 of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal. Because the 2012 report expressly excludes local counsel opinions, the Committee has now embarked on the preparation of a supplemental report on local counsel opinions. The local counsel report is also being undertaken jointly with ACREL and ACMA. The Committee is also preparing comments for submission to the Department of Housing and Urban Development on HUD’s form of legal opinion in FHA-insured multifamily housing loans. HUD has solicited public comments on all of its loan document forms in the FHA-insured loan program, and the Committee expects to provide extensive comments on the form of legal opinion which HUD requires borrower’s counsel to issue without any changes whatsoever (other than transaction-specific information). In a related matter, the committee is re-examining the current legal opinion forms promulgated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and intends to engage in discussions with those agencies regarding their forms. Although Fannie and Freddie are not as insistent as HUD that their opinion forms remain unchanged, borrower’s counsel are not generally permitted to vary substantially from the promulgated forms. The Committee is presenting a program entitled “Enforceability Opinions—What They Are and What They Are Not” at the RPTE Real Estate Financing Group Call on January 15, 2014, and members of the Committee will present an eCLE program on the basics of opinion practice on March 19, 2014 as part of the ABA RPTE’s fundamentals program. For further information regarding the activities of this Committee, contact Chair Charlie Menges at cmenges@mcguirewoods.com or Vice Chair David Kochanski at DKochanski@shulmanrogers.com.

Mortgage Lending Committee
The Mortgage Lending Committee continues to be active in various forms of mortgage lending, including mortgage servicing, workouts, distressed assets, and banking regulations. Once again, the Committee is supporting a CLE program at the 25th Anniversary of the RPTE Symposia in May, 2014. Committee Chair Wogan Bernard and Committee Vice Chair Anna Mahaney are taking a lead in this program, which will address the anatomy of a commercial real estate loan taking into consideration the point of view of the lender and the borrower and the steps to make a deal close. Please watch for upcoming Committee conference calls on relevant topics. For more information regarding the activities of this Group, contact Chair Wogan Bernard at Bernard@chaffe.com or Vice Chair Anna Mahaney at mahaneya@ballardspahr.com.

Workouts, Foreclosures and Bankruptcy Committee
This Committee continues in its mission to complete an updated version of the ABA’s publication covering foreclosure and related remedies in the 50 states. At this time, most of the state chapters have been updated and are available for online purchase, with the additional chapters expected to be available soon. Over the past year, this Committee was actively involved in the planning and presentation of programs in 2013, including an eCLE presentation that was held on February 19, 2013 regarding subordination, non-disturbance and attornment agreements. The Committee’s Chair, John Trott, has been an ABA advisor to the Uniform Law Commission’s Drafting Committee on Appointment and Powers of Real Estate Receivers. The Committee is also in the process of planning regular conference calls over the next year for participation by the membership covering topics of interest in the loan workout and enforcement and bankruptcy arena. Those interested in being more involved in or finding out more about this Committee should contact Chairperson John Trott at jtrott@coxcastle.com or Vice Chair David Campbell at dcampbell@mspc.com.

To learn more about the Real Estate Financing Group, contact Group Chair, Dianne Coscarelli at Dianne.Coscarelli@thompsonhine.com, or Group Vice Chair, Ed Levin at elevin@gfrlaw.com.

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American Bar AssociationPublished in the RPTE eReport, December 2013. © 2013 by the American Bar Association. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.
The materials contained herein represent the opinions of the authors and editors and should not be construed to be those of either the American Bar Association or The ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law unless adopted pursuant to the bylaws of the Association. Nothing contained herein is to be considered as the rendering of legal advice for specific cases and readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. These materials and any forms and agreements herein are intended for educational and informational purposes only. The authors and other contributors to the RPTE eReport are solely responsible for the content of their submissions, including the accuracy of citations to legal resource materials.