One year into the pandemic, courts have almost uniformly found that COVID-19 does not permit commercial tenants to avoid their rent payment obligations. In this case, the court continued that trend, ruling that the pandemic was not a “casualty” that permits a tenant to abate its rent payments or cancel its lease. Authors Patrick J. Potter, Christian A. Buerger, Hugh M. McDonald, Patrick E. Fitzmaurice, and Jonathan Doolittle discuss a new case from the Southern District of New York that extends the trend of courts enforcing leases against tenants forced to close due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in “Court Finds Pandemic Does Not Satisfy Lease’s Casualty Clause.”
Over the past year, our attorneys have explored numerous insolvency topics affecting real estate. Together, the alerts in this series tackle many facets (and potential applications) of the Bankruptcy Code as potential balm and bane for owners, landlords and lenders trying to navigate a landscape made exponentially more treacherous by COVID-19 in Insolvency Issues, Real Estate and COVID-19.
A recent Chuck E. Cheese decision denies the debtor’s/tenant’s request to defer paying rent after the 60-day “rent holiday.” The Bankruptcy Court applied the “plain language” rule to hold that section 365(d)(3)’s rent holiday cannot be extended. In “Bankruptcy Court Rules Bankruptcy Code Does Not Permit Extended Rent Holiday for Retail Debtors” colleagues, Patrick J. Potter, Patrick E. Fitzmaurice, and Kwame O. Akuffo discuss that after that initial 60-day period expires, the debtor is required to pay post-petition rent. The court did not order the debtor to make a rent payment on the 61st day and deferred ruling on landlord remedies for tenants failing to pay post-petition rent, regardless of when the rent accrued.
In this video mini-series, Real Estate partner Caroline Harcourt and Insolvency & Restructuring partner Patrick Fitzmaurice and special counsel Jon Doolittle join forces to explore some of the key components of a commercial foreclosures. The trio provide a general overview of the pre-foreclosure process, outline important considerations when drafting a foreclosure complaint, offer guidance on the steps that go into obtaining a judgement of foreclosure and sale, and flag some a variety of important post-sale issues. Watch the video here.
An intercreditor agreement (ICA) involving a construction loan raises a host of complicated and unique issues that are not addressed in the typical ICA. As more fully described in the prior alert on Intercreditor Agreements (ICAs), and by way of a short introduction to mezzanine loans generally, the mezzanine lender in a single mezzanine loan structure makes a mezzanine loan to the mortgage borrower’s owner(s) (the “mezzanine borrower”) and the mezzanine loan is secured by the mezzanine borrower’s equity interest in the mortgage borrower (a single purpose entity that is not the property owner entity). In “Distressed Real Estate During COVID-19: Mezzanine Loans Behind Construction Loans—Special Considerations and Intercreditor Agreement Provisions”, colleagues Caroline A. Harcourt, Paul Shapses and Jacob A. Axelrod discuss that construction loans with companion mezzanine loans raise a host of concerns that are unique to more standard ICAs between a mortgage lender and a mezzanine lender.