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Real Estate and Distressed Debt

The firm’s Real Estate and Distressed Debt practice group combines a traditional full-service real estate practice with the depth and experience of our attorneys representing creditors, mortgage, note and lien holders. Today’s marketplace demands expertise in distressed properties—and lawyers who understand that buying, selling or developing real estate in a difficult market is as complex as the times. The firm provides counsel to traditional institutions, developers and investors, as well as lenders and purchasers of distressed debt and distressed debt portfolios.

Investors and Developers turn to Budd Larner for the complex and difficult deal—where there is value in a property or development tract but obtaining control, clear title, government approvals and financing requires a mix of traditional and non-traditional thinking along with a wide-range of expertise.

Real Estate Transactional/Financing:

Our attorneys represent major lending institutions, banks, developers, sellers, buyers, landlords, tenants, syndicators and investors in all aspects of banking and real estate. We are involved in the financing, acquisition, sale, leasing, development and syndication of all types of residential, commercial and industrial properties, including multi-million dollar shopping centers, office buildings, condominiums, industrial parks, commercial properties, educational institutions and charter schools, hotels, restaurants, racetracks, vacant land and multi-family residential projects (market rate and affordable).

Our attorneys and paralegals are experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of banking and real estate law. They understand the intricacies of a transaction and its relationship to issues of sophisticated partnership, corporate, environmental, bankruptcy, business, and litigation matters.

Our attorneys have also developed an expertise in representing borrowers in complex tax credit and bond financings. These include transactions involving various forms of government or government backed financing, including Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and Qualified School Construction Bonds as well as other financing through the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.

Land Use and Redevelopment:

From minor subdivisions to large-scale redevelopment projects, Budd Larner represents a wide range of developers in connection with the government approvals and, if available, public financing incentives and tax abatements necessary to successfully obtain financing and begin construction. Our attorneys have served as counsel to some of the largest redevelopment projects in the State of New Jersey, and work with clients from the start of representation to craft a plan that maximizes the chances of approval and identifies the appropriate public incentives the project could be obtained. This includes assistance with the development of Redevelopment Plans, the negotiation, drafting and approval of Redevelopment Agreements, land use approvals, the purchase of property in redevelopment areas and, if necessary, counsel in condemnation actions and identifying and procuring tax abatements and other incentives.

Our attorneys also represent developers before New Jersey’s planning and zoning boards in traditional land use applications pursuant to the State’s Municipal Land Use Law. We begin by working with the client and the project’s other professional consultants to craft the appropriate legal strategy that presents the strongest legal and practical arguments for approval. We have a strong reputation for the highest quality advocacy and representation before planning or zoning boards, with a wide range of experience in urban, suburban and exurban municipalities.

If necessary, Budd Larner’s attorneys will litigate land use and redevelopment matters. Our attorneys have regularly filed actions in lieu of prerogative writ challenging denials of land use applications, as well as challenges to “area in need of redevelopment” designations.

Tax Appeals:

Budd Larner’s Tax Appeal practice is a wide-ranging and sophisticated practice that represents commercial and residential property owners by counseling and reviewing each client’s assessment and litigating real property tax appeals, including case management and settlement conferences, motions, and trials before Tax Court of New Jersey and County Boards of Taxation. Our extensive research contributes to our success rate on appeals and minimizes work for our clients. Budd Larner’s attorneys are armed with extensive knowledge and persuasive arguments which provide the maximum long-term value for our clients.

Before making the decision to file an appeal, our tax appeal attorneys calculate the advisability of filing by conducting a thorough study of the property and examining the tax assessment, the structure, the location and surroundings, and comparable sales and leases in the area. We usually do not receive payment unless a recovery is made. Hourly rates are also available. However, no fee will be charged for a preliminary analysis of a potential appeal.

Distressed Debt:

Budd Larner is well-recognized as a leader in transactions and litigation associated with distressed debt, and recognizes that today’s debt transactions and foreclosure litigations are often more difficult and complex that they appear. The firm represents traditional lenders such as banks, as well as holders of mortgages, notes, municipal liens and judgments.

Our services include:

• Traditional real estate purchases and development where the property has significant debt and/or liens attached.

• Residential and commercial foreclosures on behalf of banks and other lenders or mortgage holders when faced with the need to foreclose on properties. Our attorneys have foreclosed on property in every New Jersey County as well as in New York, and have argued matters before the New Jersey Superior Court, New Jersey Appellate Division, New Jersey Supreme Court, New York Supreme Court, New York’s Appellate Courts, the New Jersey Federal District Court and the New York Federal Southern District Court.

• Negotiating, drafting and reviewing Loan Purchase and Sale Agreements, as well as the due diligence associated with the purchase of the debt. These transactions include both investors purchasing loans from banks, either before or after a foreclosure process has begun, and lenders selling distressed loans and loan portfolios.

• Litigation on behalf of lenders in those foreclosure actions where defenses are raised or where there are other intervening factors and legal roadblocks for the lender to successfully foreclose.

• Developing and implementing strategies for minimizing exposure and procuring a faster return on investment, including the filing of receivership actions and negotiating settlements involving deeds in lieu of foreclosure or forbearance agreements.

• Corporate loan modifications.

• Land use and zoning approvals for otherwise distressed property that investors want to rehabilitate and re-position to put back into the active real estate market for sale to a purchaser.

• Resolution of title issues in forced-sale transactions.

• A tax appeal on properties on behalf of the old or new owners after the foreclosure process has completed.

• Creditors rights, i.e., bankruptcy, practice on behalf of lenders and other mortgage holders when those entities foreclosed upon invoke bankruptcy protection.

Construction Liens
Budd Larner represents property owners, developers, builders, contractors, engineers and architects in all aspects of the construction lien process. Budd Larner has collected millions of dollars for clients who filed liens, and successfully defended and settled claims by contractors and sub-contractors seeking payments based on their lien claims.


For more information, please contact:

James B. Daniels

Henry A. Larner

Frank A. Biancola