Recent news of tumult in the subprime lending industry and the secondary market has led to renewed attention to the legal issues that arise throughout the life of a subprime mortgage loan. With experience in class actions, financial services litigation, structured finance, real estate and financial restructuring, Stroock provides unique, integrated legal services to underwriters, issuers and other participants in this increasingly complex economic arena.
Our attorneys are nationally recognized as experts in the defense of the class actions and regulatory actions that increasingly are being brought against financial services companies, including subprime lenders. Stroock has defended hundreds of such actions within the past few years alone, addressing a wide range of both origination and servicing issues. We are facile at both defending challenges to lending practices and settling those claims, if that is the most desirable strategy. Among our successes, we represented Household Finance in settling ten class actions on a nationwide basis through the consolidated matter entitled In re Household Lending Litigation. We also represented auto finance companies in successfully resolving discrimination cases brought under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act; and currently are representing student lenders in responding to similar claims. Drawing upon our significant underwriter and issuer experience, we also advise subprime and other lending clients on litigation avoidance.
In addition to our litigation expertise, Stroock is a recognized market leader in the securitization of prime, sub-prime and revolving home equity loans. Stroock was among the first firms to advise on mortgage-backed bond issuances, and in the last year alone, our Structured Finance and Real Estate attorneys have represented clients in the origination of over $8 billion of commercial real estate financings. We have served as deal counsel for issuances by Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. and many of its affiliates, issuers counsel for, among others, GRP/AG Capital, LLC and Thornburg Mortgage Home Loans Inc., a REIT, and underwriters counsel for issuances by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and GMAC Mortgage Corporation. We represent underwriters each month in connection with REMIC and other securities issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae. Our mortgage lending practice is also one component of a large, national commercial real estate practice. We represent institutional and private owner and investor clients in virtually all aspects of commercial real estate law, including sales and acquisitions, joint ventures, real estate development, commercial leasing, condominium and cooperative plans, land use and tax certiorari.
Considering recent developments in subprime Chapter 11 matters, Stroock also has a broad-based Financial Restructuring practice. Our attorneys are expert at solving complex problems for distressed companies or their creditors. For debtor representations, we often conduct orderly liquidations and comprehensive asset sales for small to multi-billion dollar companies, always with a view to balancing the maximization of recoveries for creditors with the protection of the debtor/seller’s rights. Whether it’s the acquisition of a portfolio or the servicing arm of a subprime lender, Stroock’s Financial Restructuring attorneys have extensive experience in representing clients in acquisitions of assets in Chapter 11 proceedings. For example, Stroock recently represented the buyer of the servicing platform of Aegis Mortgage Corporation.
In response to recent events, Stroock attorneys have lectured, published and provided commentary regarding the rapid growth of the subprime mortgage loan market; the recent sharp increases in subprime mortgage loan delinquencies and foreclosure actions; the potential impact of these delinquencies for the subprime lending industry and the secondary market for such loans; and possible regulatory and governmental responses to the situation.