Terri Jane Freedman, EsqChiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC, West Orange
The onset of the pandemic caused an economic panic as well as a health one. Commercial borrowers suffered from a lack of cash flow as their business failed due to economic forces including what became known as the “Amazon effect” of people switching from in-person purchases to online buying. Many lenders provided their borrowers with forbearances in an effort to stave off defaults and some of the pain was also deferred as the Payroll Protection Plan and other economic stimulus packages were implemented. Now, as those plans expire, the full effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt by many middle market companies in the region. With no clear end in sight and the work-force adapting to a remote setting, a growing number of commercial business loans will soon mature, default or otherwise come due without a means to secure replacement financing. Given this perfect storm, lenders will be forced to reexamine their loan portfolios and deal with troubled loans in a variety of sectors including retail, hospitality, office buildings, manufacturing and service industries. Lenders will need to act quickly and decisively and they will depend on you, their lawyer, for advice. Given this backdrop, hear from an experienced panel of lender attorneys who will discuss the fundamentals of representing secured lenders, from both inside and outside court proceedings, who will address current market conditions, dealing with troubled loans, the inter-play of government borrowings on traditional commercial loans, monetizing assets to avoid reduced asset recoveries, and the available lender remedies employed to establish a recovery path towards reducing exposure created by a distressed business loan.
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