Real Estate

  • September 29, 2014

    Firm Owner Admits Paying $1M In Bribes To JPMorgan, GMAC

    The owner of two San Diego-based mortgage investment firms admitted in California federal court on Friday that he paid $1 million in bribes to "insiders" at JP Morgan Chase Bank NA, GMAC Mortgage LLC and National City Bank in order to win bids for mortgage loans sold on the secondary market, according to federal prosecutors.

  • September 29, 2014

    Citi Unit, Others Get Thornburg Trustee's $2B Suit Trimmed

    A Maryland bankruptcy judge has pared a nearly $2 billion suit by Thornburg Mortgage Inc.'s trustee alleging that units of Citigroup Inc. and other banks made unfair margin calls and other improper agreements that brought the mortgage lender to its knees, finding that the agreements central to some of the claims are safe-harbored.

  • September 29, 2014

    HSBC Foreclosure Suit Remanded Amid Factual Dispute

    A Pennsylvania appeals court on Monday remanded a summary judgment for $609,367 against a homeowner who hadn’t paid her mortgage loans to HSBC Bank NA, finding the record unclear on whether the bank provided her with notices.

  • September 29, 2014

    Airbnb Orgy Victim Hits Condo Complex With $2.7M Suit

    A resident of a Manhattan condominium that was used for an “unauthorized adult sex orgy party” when it was rented through Airbnb Inc. urged a state court on Saturday to award him $2.7 million from the condominium complex for mental anguish and lost business opportunities.

  • September 29, 2014

    Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Target Force-Placed Class Action

    Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, other lenders and Assurant Inc. urged a California federal judge Monday to toss a putative class action alleging they ripped off thousands of homeowners with overpriced force-placed insurance, saying the plaintiff never paid for the insurance and thus wasn't harmed.

  • September 29, 2014

    NYC's Astoria Cove Project Gets Nod From City Planning

    The New York City Planning Commission on Monday approved plans for a 2.2 million-square-foot development on the Queens waterfront known as Astoria Cove.

  • September 29, 2014

    Texas Judge Decertifies Meritage FLSA Collective Action

    A Texas federal judge on Monday decertified a collective action against Meritage Homes Corp., holding that a group of home sales representatives aren't sufficiently similarly situated to move forward as a group in the Fair Labor Standards Act suit and ordered the parties to prepare for a November trial with six plaintiffs.

  • September 29, 2014

    RE Rumor Mill: Mark Zuckerberg, Cadillac, Urban Compass

    Mark Zuckerberg is said to be close to buying a Hawaii mansion for a reported $66 million, while Cadillac is supposedly close to signing for space in New York and Urban Compass is reportedly taking space on Park Avenue.

  • September 29, 2014

    Fortis Exploring Sale Of Hotel, Commercial RE Assets

    Canadian utility giant Fortis Inc. is exploring a liquidation of its hotel, retail and office property division, a subsidiary that holds nearly two dozen hotels and upward of 3 million square feet of commercial space, the company announced Monday.

  • September 29, 2014

    Hines Launches $250M India Residential RE Arm

    Hines Interests LP is launching an India residential real estate division, and has committed more than $250 million in capital to that new investment arm, the real estate firm announced Monday.

  • September 29, 2014

    Green Bond Bandwagon Promises Cash Returns For NYC

    A New York City proposal to market billions in so-called green bonds could reduce debt costs for the city by enticing investors who have stampeded toward guilt-free returns elsewhere, but buyers must tread carefully lest their money ends up funding projects not seen as environmentally relevant.

  • September 29, 2014

    JLL Secures $150M Financing For Hotel Property JV

    Commercial real estate company Jones Long LaSalle has secured $150 million in acquisition financing from J.P. Morgan on behalf of a joint hotel venture between asset manager BlueMountain Capital and Aimbridge Hospitality, the firm said Monday, inking another deal in a bustling market.

  • September 29, 2014

    Flagstar To Pay $37.5M In Mortgage Servicing Settlement

    Flagstar Bank FSB has agreed to pay $37.5 million to settle allegations that it prevented borrowers from accessing foreclosure relief and modifying their mortgage loans, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said on Monday.

  • September 29, 2014

    Microsoft Inks Deal For Fifth Avenue Flagship

    Microsoft Corp. has agreed to lease a space on Fifth Avenue currently occupied by a Fendi store for a new retail flagship that will open sometime in 2015, a Microsoft spokesman confirmed Monday.

  • September 29, 2014

    High Court Reverses Decision To Hear IndyMac Appeal

    The Supreme Court on Monday revoked its granting of cert in a dispute over whether a tolling provision should apply to certain securities suits, just days after the litigants said a settlement in the underlying class action wouldn’t impact the appeal.

  • September 29, 2014

    American Realty Capital REIT Sets Terms For $3.1B Offering

    American Realty Capital — Retail Centers of America II Inc. set terms Monday for an up to $3.1 billion primary offering on a so-called reasonable best efforts basis as the Maryland real estate investment trust seeks a capital infusion to expand its investments in larger shopping malls.

  • September 29, 2014

    Obama OKs Bill Helping Casino Dodge Supreme Court Ruling

    President Barack Obama on Friday signed a bill to reauthorize a questioned land-into-trust deal for an embattled tribal casino, which will help put to bed pending litigation that was greenlighted by the U.S. Supreme Court two years ago.

  • September 29, 2014

    Excel Pays DDR $223M For 3 Shopping Centers

    Real estate investment trust Excel Trust Inc. has bought three shopping centers around Salt Lake City from DDR Corp. for $223 million, a deal both companies said Monday fits their strategies as Excel Trust expands near other operations while DDR exits Utah.

  • September 26, 2014

    MBIA Lands 2nd Shot At JPMorgan In $168M MBS Suit

    MBIA Insurance Corp. will get another shot at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in its suit over $168 million in payments it had to make to investors in a Bear Stearns-sold mortgage-backed securities trust that busted in the housing collapse, according to a New York state court decision entered Friday.

  • September 26, 2014

    NJ GOP Leader Pushes For Compromise On Housing Policy

    New Jersey political leaders should work together to tackle affordable housing policy and take the issue out of the courts, which have repeatedly forced officials to rewrite regulations, the state Assembly's top Republican told Law360 in a wide-ranging interview.

Expert Analysis

  • A Landlord's Guide To Sublease Consents

    Robert E. Scher

    Several legal issues are typically not addressed in what is often a very short sublease consent document that the tenant and subtenant ask the landlord to execute. However, a landlord should use the consent to address three areas of concern, says Robert Scher of Ober Kaler Grimes & Shriver.

  • Liquidity Coverage Ratio Rule: Is Opaqueness Intended?

    Richard D. Jones

    The new liquidity coverage ratio rule doesn’t really clarify some key interpretative issues — such as what’s a sponsor? And what in heaven is an implicit obligation? Why kill the trees necessary to print a 400-page missive and be that obscure? asks Richard Jones of Dechert LLP.

  • 'Bluffed' Out Of A Coastal Permit Challenge

    Joshua D. Weiss

    A California court’s ruling in Barbara Lynch et al. v. California Coastal Commission emphasizes that there is no such thing as “under protest” acceptance of a coastal development permit, at least when the permit is issued by a nonlocal agency, says Joshua Weiss of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.

  • When Administrative Changes Require Notice And Comment

    Brian A. Bodansky

    Until the U.S. Supreme Court decides Mortgage Bankers Association v. Harris and whether the U.S. Department of Labor needed to allow notice and comment before changing who qualifies for the administrative exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act, there may be an increase in litigation over the exempt status of mortgage loan officers, says Brian Bodansky of Wigdor LLP.

  • AMJ Investments May Not Alter Texas Claims Landscape

    James W. Holbrook III

    A recent Texas appellate court ruling in United National Insurance Co. v. AMJ Investments LLC — involving claims for hurricane damage to an office building — is undoubtedly at odds with the litany of post-Castaneda cases that applied the independent injury requirement to Section 541 cases, but until other courts adopt the ruling, AMJ Investments is best viewed as an outlier, says James Holbrook III of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Opportunities And Pitfalls In The Legal Cloud

    David Houlihan

    Like "big data" and other effective software marketing buzzwords, “cloud” makes something that is very complex sound simple — and even friendly. Most attorneys are not prepared to dig into the distinctions between public, private and hybrid cloud models, or the niceties of how or where their data is transmitted and stored, says David Houlihan of Blue Hill Research Inc.

  • In 7th Circ., Parties Are Held To The Terms Of A Bargain

    Stephen M. Proctor

    In the recent case of Southern Financial Group LLC v. McFarland State Bank involving a purchase of distressed loans secured by 19 real properties, the Seventh Circuit took advantage of a "straightforward case" to display its freedom of contract philosophy, particularly for sophisticated commercial parties that are expected to know what they are getting into, says Stephen Proctor of Masuda Funai Eifert & Mitchell Ltd.

  • An Attempt To Close A California Tax Loophole

    Philip M. Hanaka

    It has become common practice in California to carve up ownership interests in entities that own real property among multiple parties so that no single party has a majority interest — in order to avoid tax reassessment. However, a proposed law could make the practice increasingly difficult, say Philip Hanaka and David Plantz of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

  • A General Counsel's Top 10 Billing Tips

    Francis M. Drelling

    Nothing makes an in-house counsel feel like they are being nickeled-and-dimed more than receiving a $3.50, stand-alone invoice. Forcing anyone to spend time on a $3.50 invoice is, quite frankly, just not cool, says Francis Drelling, in-house counsel at Specialty Restaurants Corp.

  • Ga. Ruling Will Curtail Systemic Condemnation Abuses

    Monica R. Owens

    The Georgia Supreme Court’s ruling in Dillard Land Investments LLC v. Fulton County will prevent condemnors from using proceedings as tools to test the strength of their position as to the value of a property and will restrict judge-shopping in hopes of getting more favorable awards, says Monica Owens of Pursley Friese Torgrimson LLP.