Garcia Rainey Blank & Bowerbank LLP, Attorneys in Orange County

Financial Institutions Practice Group

The Financial Institutions Practice Group is a subset of both our Corporate and Litigation practice groups.

On the litigation side, the attorneys in this practice group generally defend lawsuits brought against financial institutions, including in the banking and insurance industries.  The majority of these claims involve allegations of lender liability for breaches of various alleged duties and responsibilities.  We have represented lenders in foreclosure actions, have obtained the appointment of receivers to manage troubled real estate projects and have brought suit against developers when necessary, in order to enforce the terms of the loans at issue.  We also have expertise in factoring and have represented a leading factoring company in various lawsuits throughout the United States. 

In addition, the firm represents clients in a broad range of retail financial disputes involving mortgage lending, credit cards, automobile lending and leasing and other consumer financial products.  We have litigated matters involving the enforceability of guarantees, the appropriateness of contractual interest rates, the requirements for the replevin of collateral, and issues relating to letters of credit and governmental entities such as the FDIC.  In addition, we have litigated problem real estate and business loans.   

Our practice group includes lawyers who defend insurance class action cases as well as retail banking cases, and members of the practice area work closely with firm lawyers who represent defendants in retail securities brokerage class actions.

On the transactional side, our firm is experienced in secured and unsecured lending transactions, on both the lender and borrower sides.  Our experience includes syndicated credits, senior and mezzanine debt financing, and loan originations for the commercial mortgaged-backed securities market.  We have extensive experience representing banks, credit companies and other institutional investors negotiating and documenting secured transactions and equity investments in office buildings, retail centers, apartments, hotels and other income properties.  We also have significant experience representing borrowers, including real estate developers.  We also regularly represent lenders and borrowers in workouts, restructures and bankruptcies involving commercial mortgage loans and real estate investments.

Our approach to these matters is integrated on several levels, across practice groups. The approach begins with helping clients manage litigation risk through pre-litigation counseling, and a team approach to litigation that combines both litigators who have specific experience in financial services disputes, class action defense and defense of complex litigation.

The matters the firm has handled for clients include the federal laws and regulations applicable to this area such as the Truth-in-Lending Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act.  We also have expertise in state and federal laws of more general applicability that apply to this industry as well including deceptive trade practice statutes, federal and state RICO laws and antitrust laws. The firm has also represented clients regularly in seeking to enforce arbitration agreements in the context of consumer financial services. 

Representative Financial Institutions Matters

  • Represented numerous financial institutions in the making of real estate secured loans;
  • Represented numerous borrowers in the negotiation of loan terms;
  • Successfully negotiated loan “workouts” to prevent foreclosure and other creditor action;
  • Created new law by persuading the California Appellate Court that class-wide rescission is not an available as a remedy under the Truth In Lending Act;
  • Successfully defended financial institutions in actions related to bank liability for negligence pertaining to allegedly unauthorized bank withdrawals and fraudulent checks;
  • Prosecuted judicial foreclosure actions, breach of guaranty, and appointment of receivers;
  • Obtained deed-in-lieu of foreclosure and stipulated judgment securing guarantor's payment plan;
  • Successfully disposed of numerous predatory lending actions in State and Federal court from borrowers on behalf of lenders and mortgage brokers, including TILA, Quiet Title, RESPA, Fraud, Constructive Fraud, unfair competition, and breach of fiduciary duty claims;
  • Obtained appointments of receivers to preserve collateral and rents for lenders;
  • Quashed subpoenas on lenders from competitor lenders based upon privacy and noncompliance with rules on consumers;
  • Defended financial institutions in fraud/breach of contract class actions related to teaser rates;
  • Defended originating lenders against repurchase demands from lenders;
  • Tendered and handled insurance claims on behalf of lenders;
  • Prosecuted bad faith denial of insurance benefits on behalf of policyholders;
  • Conducted judgment debtor examinations of debtors for lenders with deficiency judgments after a judicial foreclosure; perfected judgment liens and obtain garnishment of wage orders;
  • Defended bonded stop notice claims against lenders;
  • Disposed of mechanic's liens in response to demands from lenders on developers;
  • Successfully tendered and obtained acceptance of title policy coverage for foreclosing lenders arising from encumbrances that were not extinguished from trustee's sales;
  • Obtained borrower's voluntary dismissal of breach of fiduciary action and fraud action against defendant mortgage broker after filing a motion for sanctions under C. C. P. Section 128.7 on the grounds the complaint was a transparent and improper attempt to strong arm the co-defendant lender into a loan modification by alleging baseless torts claims during the origination of the loan; and
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of borrower against construction lender who pursued a trustee's sale after failing to fund construction loan upon receiving an assignment of the loan from the FDIC.