Advising on Repossession Processes for a National Credit Union
Kegler Brown advised United Federal Credit Union on revising its notices of repossession to be compliant with Ohio laws. This included guidance on the differences between the credit union’s Retail Installment Sales Contracts and regular financing it had on its books. It also included variations based on whether or not the borrower was currently in bankruptcy or had been through a previous bankruptcy and whether or not the repossession was done voluntarily. Our team worked with the credit union to create forms for use by its associates that could be easily (and lawfully) completed during the proper handling of a vehicle repossession in Ohio. In addition, the credit union now uses our firm for subsequent questions on specific repossession matters.
$105,000 Foreclosure on Properties in 3 Ohio Counties
In 2016, Kegler Brown represented a loan servicer for a debt secured by four parcels of real property located in three separate counties in Ohio. The work of our lawyers enabled our client to file a single action, rather than three lawsuits in three separate counties, by filing a single foreclosure action in Franklin County, which also attached jurisdiction to the properties located outside the county.
Another defendant to the foreclosure disputed the client’s lien priority based on the borrower’s fraudulent loan application. Kegler Brown also bifurcated the lien priority dispute from the sale of the properties, allowing a faster sale to prevent the accrual of property taxes pending resolution of the lien priority dispute.
$1.5M+ Loan Collection Through Property Liquidation
Our client loaned approximately $2 million to the operators of a chain of tobacco stores, with the stores and other real property located in three counties serving as collateral. Kegler Brown filed a foreclosure suit in one county, but extended jurisdiction over the real properties in the other two. One of the borrowers filed bankruptcy, but our lawyers obtained a relief from stay and were able to proceed with the suit. An auctioneer was appointed to liquidate the properties after the foreclosure judgment was granted in mid-2016.
Cross-Border Asset Sale in the Robotics Industry
In May 2014, the lawyers at Kegler Brown represented RobotWorx in the sale of substantially all of its assets to Scott Technology Limited. RobotWorx is a leading integrator of new and used robotic systems and an authorized integrator of FANUC, Motoman, Kuka and ABB robotic systems. Scott Technology Limited, a publicly traded company in New Zealand, is an automated production systems maker that specializes in the design and manufacture of automated production systems for mining, meat and superconductor industries.
Exchange of Real Property Between U.S. Army and Private Industrial Park
Kegler Brown acted as counsel to a privately owned industrial park to acquire adjoining land from the U.S. Army through a federal exchange program in which the private party obligates itself to construct a facility at another government-owned facility and then exchanges the new facility for the property it actually desired to acquire, namely the adjoining U.S. Army-owned land. Our firm was integral to the negotiations, including navigating through the maze of government requirements for the exchange that included approval of Congress.
Creation of Dual-Rail Industrial Park
The lawyers at Kegler Brown acted as counsel to a community-based private non-profit economic development organization to acquire land through a state grant for the purpose of creating an industrial park that could be served by two competing railroads. Since the land located in the “dual-rail park” could be served by either railroad, it gave industries locating there a competitive edge when negotiating for rail transportation. In addition, because the land was acquired by a state grant, the land was offered at attractive prices (or even free) to prospective companies as an incentive to locate in the community. As a result, the community was able to attract several new companies that served the just-in-time needs of the automotive industry and created hundreds of jobs in the process.
Creation of Unique Rail and Truck Intermodal Facility
Our firm acted as counsel to the owner of a large industrial park in a series of unique transactions that created one of the first-ever non-railroad-owned intermodal facilities in the country, bringing together a mainline railroad, a national trucking carrier and the owner of the intermodal park. In a further attempt to increase rail traffic to the intermodal facility, our client entered into an agreement with the railroad to help finance the construction of a railroad turn-out 60 miles from the facility, which would allow unit trains that normally move north-south to move east-west to the client’s facility. Both projects involved the negotiation of novel agreements between the parties, as well as the attainment of state grants and low-interest loans to fund the projects. Kegler Brown was integral to the creation of the business strategy, as well as the many transactional documents required to complete the project.
Defended Architect in First-Of-Its-Kind Claim By School District
Kegler Brown successfully defended an architectural firm against claims that it negligently “assessed” the buildings and facilities of a public school district. The case arose because the State of Ohio was providing substantial funds for school districts to completely refurbish their campuses based on an “assessing” architect’s determination of need; the assessing architect was assigned under contract with the Ohio School Facilities Commission. The school district alleged that it lost hundreds of thousands of state dollars because the assessing architect failed to adequately determine its needs. In an attempt to hold the assessing architect liable and create a cottage industry for plaintiffs’ counsel, the district threatened to file suit. Our lawyers determined the threat to be real and, in order to avoid venue in the school district’s small rural county, we recommended filing a declaratory judgment action in Franklin County based on the State’s involvement in the project. The school district filed a counterclaim and sought to change venue. However, the court ruled that venue was proper in Franklin County. Ultimately, the case was tried to a jury with a favorable verdict for the architect, which discouraged further lawsuits against assessing architects across the state of Ohio.
Representation of Community Bank Using Personal Property as Collateral
Not every borrower has real estate to put up as collateral for a loan, but many have personal property that will provide adequate security to a lender. Personal property comprises just about everything other than real property, including goods, inventory, equipment, accounts, documents and instruments. Stock is also personal property, as are interests in partnerships and limited liability companies. Our firm provides ongoing assistance to a local community banking client in documenting secured transactions, including both the promissory note and the relevant security documents, and in perfecting the security interests to establish the bank’s priority vis-à-vis other creditors of the borrower. And we help levy on the collateral if the loan goes bad.