Litigation & Appeals

Financial Services Litigation

Stites & Harbison's financial services litigation team offers its clients advocates and counselors with rich experience in the following practice areas:

  • Residential and commercial banking litigation
  • Business and real estate litigation
  • Bankruptcy
  • Securities and financial services litigation
  • Title insurance defense
  • Capital markets
  • White collar crime
  • Professional liability defense
  • Regulatory compliance

We represent financial institutions of all sizes in connection with the full spectrum of litigation and adversarial matters. Drawing from our members’ experience as in-house and outside counsel, we offer advice, innovative solutions, and efficient advocacy in the face of challenging state, national, and international lending environments.

Our team includes a former General Counsel for a residential mortgage lender and a former Consumer Protection Investigator with the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. Several members are recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® and Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business. The current Kentucky State Editor for the online legal journal, Houselaw, is also in our group, and, lawyers on our team hold numerous positions in charitable organizations related to the industry. For example, one of our lawyers is the former President and current pro bono counsel for Kentucky Habitat for Humanity.

Experience, capabilities and recent successes:

  • In Rogan v. Bank One, N.A. (In re Cook), 457 F.3d 561 (6th Cir. 2006), Stites & Harbison lawyers successfully protected the security interest of a bank that was the assignee of a mortgage and recorded its interest after bankruptcy had been filed.
  • In Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. v. Ky. Bar Ass'n, 113 S.W.3d 105 (Ky. 2003), we successfully represented a national mortgage loan company before the Kentucky Supreme Court in challenging bar association rules that prevent title companies from conducting real estate closings.
  • Stites & Harbison lawyers have successfully argued that the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act does not apply to mortgage loan transactions.
  • Our lawyers have also successfully represented lenders in litigation involving alleged violations of the Truth in Lending Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Homeowners' Equity Protection Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and various other state regulations and statutes.
  • We have successfully recovered a lender's losses by asserting claims against a title insurance carrier under an insured closing protection letter for losses arising out of the fraudulent actions committed by the title insurers agent.
  • We have an ongoing commercial foreclosure practice that handles the most difficult and complicated commercial and residential foreclosure actions in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia — often taking over for other firms when the foreclosure action diverges from the mainstream.
  • We won summary judgment on behalf of a lender in a commercial foreclosure action in which the holder of a prior-recorded mortgage failed to properly credit $500,000 at a previous loan closing and claimed that the subrogation agreement executed by the previous holder of its mortgage was unenforceable against its mortgage — preventing losses to the lender/client of almost $1 million.
  • We represented a title insurer in a multi-state recoupment action against a national lender — saving costs and attorneys' fees by aggressively pursuing discovery both before and early into the case and pushing for mediation — before the fees and costs incurred in the case prevented a reasonable settlement.
  • We have represented lenders in actions to recover losses resulting from mortgage fraud in circuit court, federal court, bankruptcy court, and family court.
  • We have performed extensive internal investigations, recommending changes to policies and procedures to prevent future losses.
  • We represent clients in government and internal investigations, and we know how to work with the authorities to obtain the criminal prosecution of a fraudulent agent or broker.
  • We currently defend accountants, lawyers, real estate agents, and home inspectors against professional liability claims and have the unique experience and capabilities to defend real estate brokers, escrow agents, and other professionals who are at risk of exposure in the current financial market.
  • We have assisted title insurers and lenders in investigations of closing agents and the agents’ escrow practices, and we believe in working quickly to minimize losses in fraud and defalcation cases.
  • Stites & Harbison lawyers recently defeated a putative class action alleging predatory lending on a dispositive motion, pre-certification.
  • We are currently defending a lender in a FLSA overtime class action.
  • Stites & Harbison has successfully argued that brokers and lenders do not owe a fiduciary duty to borrowers.
  • In Winchester Federal Savings Bank v. Winchester Bank, 359 F.Supp.2d 561 (E.D.Ky. 2004), Stites & Harbison lawyers successfully enjoined a new bank from using in its name the name of the city where it was located.
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Client Alerts

Secured Lenders Fail to Manage the Risk of “Springing Liens” at Their Peril

“Springing liens” are first priority statutory liens on property that spring into existence when certain obligations remain unpaid. Springing Liens can attach to real estate, for example, when the following obligations are not paid: taxes, condominium association dues, or claims for construction labor or materials.

by Elizabeth Lee Thompson July 29, 2021
Press Releases

Elizabeth Lee Thompson Appointed to NKU Board of Regents

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Governor Andy Beshear has appointed Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Elizabeth Lee Thompson as a member of the Northern Kentucky University (NKU) Board of Regents.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC July 13, 2021
Press Releases

Chad McTighe Appointed Chair of Stites & Harbison’s Business Litigation Service Group

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC is pleased to announce that attorney Chad McTighe has been appointed Chair of the firm’s Business Litigation Service Group. McTighe succeeds Phil Collier, who has served as the service group chair for 22 years. Both Collier and McTighe will continue their diverse legal practices in business litigation.

by Chadwick A. McTighe March 02, 2021
Press Releases

Stites & Harbison Welcomes Litigator Robin Miller

COVINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2021)—Stites & Harbison, PLLC welcomes attorney Robin D. Miller to its Covington, Ky., office.

by Robin D. Miller February 09, 2021
Press Releases

Stites & Harbison Welcomes Corey Dunn

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC welcomes attorney Corey Dunn to the firm’s Louisville, Ky., office.

by Corey Dunn February 08, 2021
Press Releases

Morgan Ward Appointed as Chair of Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has appointed Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Morgan Ward as Chair of Louisville Metro Government’s Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC January 25, 2021
Press Releases

Legal Aid Society Honors Morgan Ward with Outstanding Volunteer Award for 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Legal Aid Society has recognized Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Morgan Ward with its Outstanding Volunteer Award for 2020. Ward was one of three individuals honored with the award this year.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC November 10, 2020
Press Releases

Marjorie Farris to Be First Woman to Lead Stites & Harbison Law Firm

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC, announced today that Kentucky native Marjorie A. Farris will become the firm’s new Chair effective January 2021. She will be the first woman to lead the firm since its founding in 1832.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC November 06, 2020