THE REAL ESTATE GROUP
Real Estate Finance
A staple of multifamily real estate financing for more than 25 years is the secondary market for loans secured by multifamily properties- including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and HUD— agency loans. Multifamily transactions originated for inclusion in the secondary market by select lenders provide an attractive choice for multifamily owners due to inherent certainty, as well as competitive pricing; the result is a consistent presence in all markets.
Cassin & Cassin attorneys who practice in this area not only represent a broad spectrum of lenders, but have also closed a significant share of agency loans. The firm’s industry leadership and durable, effective relationships with agency lenders have contributed to significant trust, satisfaction and accountability with the agencies themselves.
The highly disciplined performance of Cassin & Cassin’s team in representing agency lenders—from simple executions to more sophisticated, complex transactions and portfolios—has contributed to its well‐earned reputation as the firm of choice. Instinctively, knowledgeable team attorneys serve clients with a personal focus, and have advised and represented clients in a wide range of executions, e.g., construction and permanent loans; multi‐state and phased transactions; leasehold financing; bond financing with credit enhancement; affordable transactions with subordinate debt; seniors housing transactions and other specific products. In addition to assisting clients in closing transactions, the team also structures them and resolves difficult issues expertly.
Team attorneys guide lenders and borrowers through specific requirements with consummate confidence and ease, as they navigate these complexities with a full understanding of agency processes.
Notably, Cassin & Cassin is often asked by agency lenders for support in areas outside of transactional work, including servicing matters, drafting and creating documents from applications and commitments to participating in agency-run legal forums. The firm’s hallmark relationship management expertise has fostered superb client interactions.
Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities :: CMBS
Commercial mortgage‐backed securities (CMBS) have become a major source of commercial real estate financing over the past 20 years. Conduit loans originated for the CMBS market continue to fill an important niche in the real estate capital markets.
Cassin & Cassin attorneys have frequently closed conduit loans dating to the mid‐1990s. While other firms left this market in 2008, Cassin & Cassin has delivered continuous service and legal leadership for its clients. It consistently represents large institutional banks—including commercial real estate finance groups of marquee investment banks—and smaller, more traditional retail banks as well as mortgage banking and brokerage firms with origination platforms.
Conduit loans come with a specialized set of requirements: single‐purpose, bankruptcy‐remote entities; lockboxes; structured reserves; non‐consolidation opinions; compliance with the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code applicable to Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits (REMICs); and many others. The specific criteria and demands are often confusing and opaque to property owners—and to counsel who lack experience in this area.
Cassin & Cassin’s team of attorneys protect clients’ interests and ensure the integrity of the relationship by fusing wide‐ranging knowledge and expertise with conduit loan experience. They are also strong advocates as they communicate clearly all aspects of the CMBS market to brokers, borrowers and borrowers' counsel. Not only are closings streamlined and delivered effectively—they also reflect the team’s ability to work under very tight deadlines. The work ethic and considerable quality have attracted repeat business for the client from the broker and borrower alike.
At the same time, conduit lenders depend on their attorneys to close the loans and assist in the sale and securitization of the loans. A key advantage for the lender is Cassin & Cassin’s experience representing loan sellers, enabling the firm to assist in preparing disclosure documents—including large loan summaries for deals that have been closed—and compiling exceptions to representations.
Ancillary to the CMBS lending practice, Cassin & Cassin also represents conduit lenders in negotiating interim servicing and sub‐servicing agreements.
Balance Sheet Lending
The firm has extensive experience in the preparation of, and documentation for, the closing of loans that are secured by multifamily and commercial properties nationwide. Attorneys advise clients regarding rights and remedies arising from the origination, sale, syndication, participation, pooling and servicing of such loans, and they review and upgrade client forms, e.g., work from Cassin’s proprietary documentation.
Members of the Residential Real Estate Group represent purchasers and sellers of real estate properties for individuals in various types of transactions—ranging from residential homes to condominiums and cooperatives. In addition, the Residential Real Estate Group represents several lenders originating construction and permanent loans secured by all typed of residential real estate. The Real Estate Group also represents both tenants and landlords in the drafting and negotiation of leases, lease assignments and termination/buyout agreements. Several members of the Real Estate Group have also amassed significant experience addressing the labyrinth of New York City rent stabilization and control laws.