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Don’t Overreach If You Want Your Arbitration Clause To Be Enforceable

As the cost of resolving disputes in court has escalated, businesses have increasingly included clauses in their contracts requiring that any disputes be resolved by binding arbitration instead. Congress has enacted the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) to foster and bring order to this practice and courts have consistently recognized that the FAA evidences a strong…

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Release Me! Trial Court Upholds Validity of Bargained-for Release

In a recent case brought against a Maryland Bank, RMG argued, and the Circuit Court of Baltimore County held, that a voluntary waiver in a standard loan modification agreement was enforceable, and cut off lender liability claims alleged by the borrower (including fraud). In its decision, the Court explicitly distinguished between the waiver at issue…

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Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure Amendments Take Effect

On December 1, 2015, amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and official forms took effect. The amendments primarily affect debtors filing for relief under the Bankruptcy Code. However, changes to the Proof of Claim form and the addition of a form that must be filed when a claim is based on a debt…

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The Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Same Sex Marriage

Bankers and others lenders are required to comply with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”), codified at 15 U.S.C. § 1691, et seq., which generally makes it unlawful for any creditor to discriminate against any credit applicant on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age. This can present challenges when…

A Review of Maryland Recordation and Transfer Taxes Exemptions

Despite Maryland’s almost complete elimination in recent years of the Indemnity Deed of Trust exemption, which developers and lenders had relied on for decades as a means of avoiding payment of Maryland recordation taxes, planning opportunities are still available for those seeking to reduce the amount of recordation and/or transfer taxes that might otherwise be…

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Who Gets the Kickback From "Bad Boy" Carve Outs in Loan Documents?

As the uncertainty resulting from the Cherryland and Gratiot cases, holding that non-recourse carve outs in real estate mortgage loans are enforceable against borrower and guarantors, continues, it is important for borrowers and guarantors and lender to incorporate the intent of the parties with respect to non-recourse carve outs in the loan documents. A recourse…

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Buying Paper Subject to ECOA Claims

Persons who acquire debt from banks and other lenders are always worried about what they don’t know about the loan or lending relationship. That is one of many reasons why loans are typically sold on a discounted basis. Generally speaking, all other things being equal, the more the purchaser knows about the loan and lending…

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Compelling Arbitration In Multi-Document Transactions

Financial institutions play a vital role in the purchase of consumer goods. Many products can only be purchased by consumers with financial assistance. In these situations, the consumer is usually required to execute multiple documents with the retailer. One or more documents will govern the sale of the product and may contain a clause mandating…

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Check Twice, File Once –The Bill Dollar Mistake

Imagine the scene. You are a loan officer for the lead bank in a series of nine figure syndicated loans. Each loan facility has a large portfolio of properties. The Collateral in the portfolio changes seemingly every day, and always under a tight deadline. Just yesterday the CFO called at five o’clock. “Hey Jim, what’s…

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