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Tannenbaum Helpern Triumphs In New York Court Of Appeals For Guarantors Of Mortgage Loan

04.04.2016  •  Press Release

New York, NY — Tannenbaum Helpern’s litigators Vincent J. Syracuse and Maryann C. Stallone successfully represented the guarantors of a mortgage loan in the New York Court of Appeals (PAF-PAR LLC v. Michael Silberberg, et ano.).

The case arises from a $13 million mortgage loan that was made to a real estate company and guaranteed by two individuals who were the borrower’s principals. The lender subsequently agreed to a $2 million reduction in the amount owed on the loan, modified the loan documents to reflect the $2 million reduction, issued a payoff letter and accepted the borrower’s payment at the reduced amount. Nearly three years after the borrower paid off the loan, the lender filed an action against the guarantors attempting to hold them liable for the $2 million loan reduction. The case was dismissed in the lower courts. When the lender was granted permission to appeal to the New York Court of Appeals, the guarantors engaged Tannenbaum Helpern to represent them, drawing on Syracuse’s experience in handling several cases in that Court. Syracuse and Stallone were effective advocates and prevailed. On March 24, 2016, the Court of Appeals rejected the lender’s attempt to hold the guarantors liable for the $2 million and adopted Syracuse and Stallone’s argument that the lender lacked standing and lost the right to sue as a result of various documents that were signed as part of the loan payoff.

Syracuse co-chairs Tannenbaum Helpern’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice and has over four decades of experience representing clients in New York State and Federal Courts on the pre-trial, trial and appellate levels and in various alternate dispute resolution forums including mediation and arbitration. Early in his career, he was a law clerk in the New York Court of Appeals and worked in the Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York (Appeals Bureau). Syracuse’s practice includes complex commercial litigation involving real estate and debtor creditor issues and he is a co-author of the chapter on Commercial Real Estate in Haig’s Commercial Litigation in the New York State Courts. Stallone is a partner in the firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice with experience representing clients in complex commercial litigations. She has handled cases involving real estate issues, securities fraud, breach of contract, business torts, employment discrimination, intellectual property infringement, and professional malpractice. Stallone was recently named "Woman of the Year" by Festival of Song USA and was selected as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers for 2014 and 2015 and as one of the Top Women Attorneys in Metro New York Rising Stars for 2014 and 2015.

Carl Regelmann and Hannah Furst, associates in Tannenbaum Helpern’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice, were also involved in the case.

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