Foreclosures, Receiverships & Distressed Property

Ulmer & Berne’s real estate attorneys are often called upon to represent lenders or borrowers in connection with properties that are the subject of pending or threatened foreclosure, receivership or bankruptcy proceedings. Attorneys in our real estate practice have acted as debtor’s or creditor’s committee counsel in conjunction with the firm’s corporate restructuring and creditors’ rights attorneys in bankruptcy cases with a predominant owned or leased real estate asset base. These have included retailers, nursing homes, restaurants, investment properties, and shopping center owners.

Whether it is negotiating the workout of millions of dollars of troubled loans, dealing with rejected leases or Chapter 11 cases, or pursuing the sale of distressed properties in bankruptcy or receivership proceedings, Ulmer & Berne’s real estate lawyers have the background to provide clients with critically needed advice in difficult situations.

Ulmer & Berne’s distressed real estate practice is comprised of attorneys with extensive experience in every aspect of distressed real estate investing. The team has represented lenders, developers, tenants, investors, trustees, and receivers in a wide variety of structuring transactions — both out of court and in state and federal proceedings.

Our attorneys represent lenders in bankruptcy, foreclosure and receiverships involving various types of real estate including offices, warehouses, manufacturing, retail, apartments, and residential condominiums. We also represent real estate buyers in receivership sales and develop strategies to overcome legal impediments to closing caused by uncertain case law.

Our deep expertise and wide contacts in this sector also allow us to draw from a wealth of contacts and resources outside the firm. We leverage longstanding professional relationships to direct clients to a variety of key resources, including:

  • Valuation expertise
  • Property management
  • Equity capital
  • Loan workouts/restructuring
  • Interim/crisis management
  • Asset sales

Ulmer & Berne’s approach in this area is to provide clients with solid, practical, cost-effective advice based on years of experience from every perspective of a troubled real estate transaction. We represent clients on several types of regional and national engagements, including acquisitions & dispositions, lending & development and bond financing.

October 30, 2020 – Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to share that Partner Michael S. Tucker has been elected to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation (CMBF), the charitable fundraising arm of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA). The CMBF raises critical funds...

Representative Experience

Real Estate Buyers and Investors

  • Counseled a purchaser of nursing homes that had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; prepared and confirmed a bankruptcy reorganization plan to acquire the nursing homes, in addition to all necessary licenses and operating agreements.
  • Represented strategic buyers in the purchase of bank loans to acquire a controlling interest in real estate, including hotels, multi-family projects and shopping centers.
  • Represented investor groups that were formed to provide short-term loans to struggling developers.
  • Counseled a tax credit investor with respect to its investment in a major Chicago historic redevelopment project; the project defaulted on the first mortgage financing due to construction over-runs, but the default was able to be leveraged for the client to negotiate a better collateral position.


  • Represented a secured lender in a work-out of $32 million in defaulted loans to affiliated borrowers secured by collateral assignments of oil and gas leases.
  • Counseled a lender in the exercise of state and federal law remedies in a loan work-out, restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings involving multi-site apartment complexes.
  • Assisted lenders in completing construction projects following a borrower’s default; used creative means to help lenders dispose of owned real estate, drawing on a wide range of professional contacts.
  • Counseled a lender in negotiating a multi-million dollar global settlement following a borrower’s default on multiple commercial retail sites located in Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia.


  • Counseled a national syndicator of low-income, multi-family housing developments in restructuring multi-million dollar project-related debt.
  • Represented borrowers in a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transaction that conveyed title to a multi-parcel office building development and a 168-unit multi-family apartment building.

    Receivers and Trustees

  • Counseled a federal receiver in the Northern District of Illinois, administering and selling manufacturing and real estate operations in Asia, Europe, and North America.
  • Counseled state receivers of investment real estate, including numerous office buildings located throughout Ohio and Illinois.