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Finance Real Estate & Bankruptcy Law News

October 8, 2020

In this issue:



   Closed Office   

Commercial Real Estate: Dealing with the Ongoing Impact of COVID-19

Robert A. Hamor

Those who own and manage commercial real estate face unique obstacles, and must plan strategically and act aggressively in order to navigate the challenges they face.

The path forward may be rocky, but as with past cyclical downturns, there are steps you can take to protect yourself as well as opportunities for those who emerge on the other side...

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Sixth Circuit: Creditor Did Not Violate Chapter 7 Discharge Injunction While Negotiating Release of Lien

Patricia J. Scott

Once a Chapter 7 debtor receives a discharge of personal debts, creditors are enjoined from taking action to collect, recover, or offset such debts. However, unlike personal debts, liens held by secured creditors “ride through” bankruptcy. The underlying debt secured by the lien may be extinguished, but as long as the lien is valid it survives the bankruptcy.

In a recent case, Duane L. Bentley v. OneMain Financial Group, LLC, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Sixth Circuit (the “BAP”) considered whether a lien holder, OneMain Financial Group, LLC (“Creditor”), violated the discharge injunction when it, according to the Debtor, refused to release its lien on a vehicle that the Debtor surrendered during his Chapter 7 case...

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   Patricia Scott

Patricia J. Scott

Patricia Email  Patricia Phone




I've Been Served with a Summons and Complaint—Now What?

Ray H. Littleton and Sydney Steele

While no one wants to be a defendant in a civil lawsuit, it is important to know exactly what to do when served with a Summons and Complaint.

  • First, remain calm and take a breath. Review the documents closely in order to verify that you are the intended recipient of the Summons and Complaint.
  • If the Summons and Complaint are intended for you or a business entity that you own or represent, take immediate action. The clock is ticking. Check the front page of the document to determine the time you have to file a Response to the Complaint. Contact an attorney as soon as possible so that they can assist you in getting a Response drafted prior to the Answer deadline.

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Second Wednesday Morning Breaks with Foster Swift

October 14, 2020

Foster Swift's Finance Practice Group continues to host a free-to-attend half hour Zoom session every second Wednesday of each month through 2020.

The next Second Wednesday session will be on Wednesday, October 14 from 9:00-9:30 am. Moderated by Practice Group Leader Patricia Scott, bankruptcy attorney Scott Hogan will present on the topic "Your Customer Filed Bankruptcy - What's Next?"

While bankruptcy is currently at an all-time low, many predict that it is simply the 'Calm before the Storm' and businesses should know their rights and what they can do to protect themselves as a likely surge of filings may happen in the coming months. See link for registration and information:

While not a substitute for legal advice, these ‘2nd Wednesday Morning Breaks’ will give individuals, business owners and managers an opportunity to gain insight in this changing legal environment and offers the chance to ask general questions following the presentations.

For those not able to attend, recordings of the previous sessions are available on the Finance practice page.




Recent Questions Regarding PPP Loan Forgiveness

Foster Swift business & tax attorneys Taylor Gast and Mike Zahrt discuss recent updates regarding applications along with answers to common questions to consider regarding the next steps in the PPP loan process.

Visit the following link to see the video in its entirety:




MDHHS Revives Face Mask Requirement, Gathering Limits, and Bar Restrictions through Emergency Order

On Friday, October 2, 2020, the Supreme Court held Governor Whitmer lacked the authority to issue any executive orders after April 30, 2020 to combat the spread of COVID-19. In response, the Director of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued an Emergency Order to place limitations on bars, the size of gatherings, and to require face masks in certain settings. The order is similar to previous executive orders issued by the Governor.

The Public Health Code gives the Director of the MDHHS the ability to prohibit gatherings and proscribe other regulations necessary to prevent disease, prolong life, and promote public health. The department notes the statute from which it derives this authority was passed in response to the 1918 Spanish Flu and was specifically intended to address epidemics. It is a misdemeanor to violate this order, and violators are subject to imprisonment of not more than 6 months or a fine of up to $200 or both.

To view more news items on the most recent executive orders concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and other hot topics on its legal impact on businesses, organizations and municipalities, be sure to visit our Coronavirus Resource Page. Updated regularly, this page posts articles, videos, podcasts and other tools to keep readers up to date and informed.

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Grand Rapids






St Joseph


Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC E-Newsletters are intended for general information for our clients and friends. This newsletter highlights specific areas of law and is not legal advice. The reader should consult an attorney to determine how this information applies to any specific situation.

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