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Commercial Real Estate Finance Workout, Foreclosure and Litigation

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Miller Canfield’s commercial real estate workout and foreclosure practice is among the leading and most experienced practices of its type in the nation and is recognized as such by lenders, servicers, borrowers, guarantors, competing creditors and other firms. We earned our reputation through aggressive and successful litigation of some of the industry’s most prominent cases. We succeed in part because our attorneys are drawn from our Commercial Litigation, Banking and Finance, Real Estate and Bankruptcy Groups, and are well-versed in the challenges presented by distressed CRE assets. We truly understand the particular issues arising from the life-cycle of commercial real estate and CRE lending and the challenges presented by defaulted loans, troubled collateral and, at times, uncooperative borrower parties.

Experienced and Proven Team

Our dedicated commercial real estate and foreclosure team offers an extensive range of services to our clients in connection with the enforcement, workout and foreclosure of defaulted commercial mortgage loans and distressed properties. Many of our team members have exclusively handled these matters for decades. Our team is backed by over 200 attorneys and paralegals across all practice areas and industry teams, including specialties in bankruptcy, tax, litigation and environmental law.  

Deep Industry Knowledge Coupled With a Broad Range of Experience 

Our deep knowledge of real estate law combined with our vast litigation experience makes us particularly capable of developing effective and efficient strategies to enforce our clients’ rights in alignment with their business objectives. We are committed to unparalleled client service and finding the most efficient, cost-effective way to meet our clients’ needs while maximizing recovery.

Our experience includes all property types, including office, retail, industrial, multi-family, hospitality, regional shopping malls, manufactured housing communities and senior living. Based on our long experience and broad knowledge of real estate law and finance, litigation and dispute resolution, we effectively manage our role in all aspects and stages of distressed commercial real estate debt and related collateral, including: 

  • Judicial and nonjudicial foreclosures
  • Construction-related claims and litigation, including contractor defect, mechanics liens
  • Lease and contract enforcement
  • Guarantee enforcement
  • Receiverships, across the full spectrum of a receiver’s activities, including asset sales
  • Bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings
  • Forbearance agreements
  • Loan modifications, reinstatements and assumptions
  • Discounted payoffs
  • Deeds-in-lieu and deeds-in-escrow
  • Distressed real estate loan sales
  • REO property management, leasing and sales
  • Lender liability claims and related litigation
  • Fraudulent transfers and voidable transactions
  • Investor and intercreditor litigation involving syndicated and club loans, participations and pooling and servicing agreements
  • Fraud investigations and litigation

Extensive Geographic Reach

With offices throughout Michigan and in Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Florida, Canada, Mexico, Poland and China, and attorneys licensed in multiple jurisdictions, Miller Canfield offers local roots, regional and national knowledge and cross-border representation throughout the world. While our U.S. practice focuses on assets in the Midwest, primarily in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin, it extends nationwide, and internationally, when necessary.


We represent leading commercial and investment banks, insurance companies, credit unions, financial institutions, private equity funds, CMBS master and special servicers, private investors and non-bank lenders throughout the capital stack, in connection with troubled loans and distressed real estate debt, portfolio and CMBS programs, and bankruptcies of parties involved in those transactions. We also represent receivers over commercial real estate, where we leverage our extensive knowledge of and experience with the complexities inherent in distressed assets.

Leading Edge Issues and Litigation Success

We have successfully litigated some of the industry’s leading cases in connection with novel issues, particularly involving receiver’s sales, lender liability, deficiency liability, springing liability and guarantee enforcement, and assignments of leases and rents.