In a recent appeal to the Second Circuit, Bronx Miracle Gospel Tabernacle Word of Faith (the “Church”), asks the Second Circuit for relief from the sale of its property by a bankruptcy trustee. The Church’s action seeks damages against the trustee and her counsel and the bankruptcy judge who approved the sale. The action claims that the Church’s religious rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) and the Constitution have been violated in the bankruptcy court. The Church’s appeal is the latest installment in a foreclosure battle that began with a mortgage loan in 2008. Although the Church has been largely unsuccessful in its years of litigation against its lender, this is nevertheless a cautionary tale about how a determined borrower can take advantage of the legal system to fight on for years to recycle previously dismissed claims and to promote claims of misconduct which lack substantiating evidence.
Continue Reading Bronx Miracle Gospel Tabernacle: Lender’s Nightmare Continues

A First Department decision from last month makes it harder for mezzanine borrowers to enjoin UCC foreclosure sales.

When there is a default under mezzanine loan documents, the lenders can retake their collateral by noticing and conducting foreclosure sales under the UCC. But mezzanine borrowers can seek relief from a court to enjoin UCC foreclosure sales.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, some borrowers succeeded in preventing mezzanine lenders from exercising their rights to a prompt UCC sale by obtaining injunctive relief in New York courts. One example was in the supreme court decision appealed from in Shelbourne BRF LLC v. SR 677 Bway LLC, No. 2020-03604 (1st Dep’t Mar. 4, 2021). The supreme court granted plaintiff borrowers’ motion for a preliminary injunction and enjoined a UCC foreclosure sale of interests in LLCs.
Continue Reading Prospective Loss of Equity Is No Basis to Enjoin a UCC Foreclosure, Appellate Division Holds