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7th Circuit affirms District Court in mortgage dispute

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that financier Morgan Stanley acted lawfully when selling a loan to another party.

In 2005, 20 limited liability companies joined together to invest in property in Indianapolis. They formed a new company – IP of A Fund Manager – and vested in that company the authority to negotiate and execute a loan on their behalf with Morgan Stanley, naming Edward Okun as the manager. Okun executed a loan, mortgage and reserve security agreement with Morgan Stanley.

The group had already secured a loan in 2004 for $7.1 million, which Morgan Stanley refinanced, lending the investors $6.1 million to refinance the property, with the additional $1 million placed into escrow accounts.

Morgan Stanley decided to sell the loan, ultimately agreeing to sell it to an Okun-controlled entity, IP of A 5201 Lender LLC. As it structured the sale, Morgan Stanley agreed to offset the purchase price of the loan by the amount of funds available in several escrow, reserve and impound accounts, in which it held a security interest and which were, under the terms of the loan with the investors, required to reimburse the investors for maintenance, taxes and other property-related expenses. IP of A 5201 Lender, now holding the loan, never re-established the escrow accounts, depriving the investors of $1,361,184.63 in which they, too, had an interest.

In 2008, Okun was convicted of wire and mail fraud, conspiracy and other crimes.

In IP of A West 86th Street 1, LLC, et al., v. Morgan Stanley Worldwide Capital Holdings, LLC, No. 11-2891, the investors alleged Morgan Stanley breached its agreement and committed conversion when it allowed Okun’s company to use escrow funds to finance the purchase of the loan. But the 7th Circuit found that nothing in the loan’s promissory note, mortgage agreement or reserve security agreement precluded Morgan Stanley from structuring the sale of the loan as it wished.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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