OK, so you’re a sophisticated lending attorney in Metropolis who is comfortable with everything from aircraft financing to syndicated loans secured by casinos in Macau. Yet you feel a twinge of uncertainty when a business loan is to be secured by wine inventory made from grapes grown in both California and Washington. You know intuitively that anytime farmers, ranchers or food processors are in the mix, either as a borrower or a supplier to the borrower, the underwriting and documentation challenges are not uniform on a state-by-state basis, and are compounded by an overlay of federal laws designed to protect growers of perishable crops and providers of livestock. To get a reality check, you sometimes will secretly call your law school classmate who oddly returned to Smallville and now represents its one bank.
Continue Reading Farm Lending Pitfalls For Urban Lawyers

On June 4 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued proposals to address issues arising from the required transition away from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) scheduled for the end of 2021.  LIBOR has been widely used as a benchmark in consumer financial products such as adjustable rate mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), student loans and credit cards.  The CFPB released a more than 200 page rulemaking proposal calling for changes to its truth-in-lending regulations relating to the LIBOR transition.  The CFPB also simultaneously issued guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)  This blog will emphasize the proposal’s and the FAQ’s impact on adjustable rate mortgage loans and HELOCs.
Continue Reading CFPB Issues Proposed Amendment to Regulation Z and Guidance to Deal with LIBOR Transition

With the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a pandemic on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, businesses are likely to continue to feel its effects.  When businesses are unable to perform their contractual obligations as a result of COVID-19, force majeure clauses may become important.
Continue Reading Force Majeure Clauses and COVID-19 – Can Force Majeure Clauses Excuse Performance Under New York or Delaware Law in a Pandemic?

The recently released Department of Justice (“DOJ”) opinion (“DOJ Opinion”) concluding that the Wire Act prohibits both sports and non-sports related Internet betting and wagering, leaves the industry with the
Continue Reading DOJ Opinion Leaves Industry Hanging: If UIGEA Exclusions Don’t Modify the Wire Act What Does That Mean for Intrastate Gambling Transactions?

Where do marketplace lenders and secondary loan market participants find themselves on the issue of preemption of state usury laws after the June 27 denial of the petition for a writ of certiorari in Madden v. Midland by the U.S. Supreme Court?

In Madden v. Midland, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit refused to follow the “valid-when-made” rule when considering the scope of federal preemption of state usury laws under the National Bank Act.  The court held that the NBA did not bar the application of state usury laws to a national bank’s assignee.  In considering the applicability of the National Bank Act to a loan in the hands of a non-bank assignee, the Second Circuit considered a number of cases upholding preemption of state usury laws under the National Bank Act but invoked a seemingly new rule for applying section 85 of the National Bank Act (permitting a national bank to charge interest at the rate permitted by its home state).  The Second Circuit concluded that preemption is only applicable where the application of state law to the action in question would significantly interfere with a national bank’s ability to exercise its power under the National Bank Act.  The court reasoned further that where a national bank retained a “substantial interest” in the loan, the application of the state usury law would conflict with the bank’s power authorized by the National Bank Act.


Continue Reading Will Madden v Midland Disrupt Loan Sales and Platform Lending?