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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Press Releases

Carolyn Purcell Michener Appointed to Fund for the Arts NeXtGen Board

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Fund for the Arts recently appointed Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Carolyn Purcell Michener to its NeXtGen Board. She will serve a three-year term.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 25, 2020
Client Alerts

The Tennessee COVID-19 Recovery Act

On August 12, 2020, the Tennessee General Assembly passed the COVID-19 Recovery Act (the “Act”), which was enacted into law by Governor Bill Lee’s signature on August 17, 2020.

by Michael B. Schwegler (Mike) August 18, 2020
Client Alerts

GSEs Announce New Fee for Consumer Residential Loan Refinances: Lenders Brace for Added Costs and Potential Compliance Concerns

On August 12, 2020, the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) delivered a harsh blow to lenders and consumers in the residential mortgage market when they announced they would impose a .5% fee (i.e., a 1/2 “point” in mortgage finance parlance) on refinance mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after September 1, 2020.

by Brian M. Bennett and Michael B. Schwegler (Mike) August 18, 2020
Client Alerts

Main Street Loan Program

Recently, the Federal Reserve initiated a new commercial lending facility that has been promised for months, the Main Street Lending Program (“MSLP”), consisting of three new loan facilities: the New Loan Facility, Expanded Loan Facility and Priority Loan Facility.

by Michael B. Schwegler (Mike) and J. David Wicker June 29, 2020
Press Releases

Chambers USA 2020 Honors 19 Stites & Harbison Attorneys

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Chambers USA selected 19 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in Kentucky and Tennessee for inclusion in their 2020 guide.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC May 05, 2020
Press Releases

Lauren Paxton Roberts honored as Nashville Bar Foundation Fellow

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The Nashville Bar Foundation recently named Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Lauren Paxton Roberts as a Fellow.

by Lauren Paxton Roberts April 27, 2020
Press Releases

Brian Bennett Appointed to Greater Louisville March of Dimes Board

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Greater Louisville Market of the March of Dimes has appointed Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Brian Bennett to its Board of Directors.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC March 30, 2020
Press Releases

Mid-South Commercial Law Institute Elects Erika Barnes to its Board of Directors

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The Mid-South Commercial Law Institute (MSCLI) recently elected Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Erika Barnes as a director of its 25-member Board of Directors.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC March 25, 2020
Press Releases

Stites & Harbison elects three attorneys to Management Committee

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC recently elected three members to the firm’s six-member Management Committee, replacing three attorneys who completed their terms of service. The new committee members are attorneys Erika Barnes, Carol Dan Browning and Richard Wehrle.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC March 05, 2020
Client Alerts

Tennessee Supreme Court Upholds $750,000 Statutory Cap on Non-Economic Damages in Civil Cases

The Tennessee Supreme Court, in an opinion published February 26, 2020, upheld Tennessee’s statutory cap on noneconomic damages in civil cases, codified at Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-39-102, which generally limits noneconomic damages, including pain and suffering, permanent injury, and loss of enjoyment of life, to $750,000.

by Lauren Paxton Roberts, J. Anne Tipps, and Rachel Dix Bishop March 04, 2020
Press Releases

Brian Bennett named to 2020 Bingham Fellows Class

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 27, 2020)—Leadership Louisville recently announced that Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Brian Bennett is one of 44 community leaders selected for membership in the 2020 Bingham Fellows class.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC January 29, 2020
Press Releases

Stites & Harbison Promotes Six Attorneys

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC announced that six attorneys have been promoted within the law firm effective January 2020.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC January 07, 2020
Client Alerts

Into the Weeds of the USDA Hemp Regulations

The long-awaited hemp industry regulations have finally (mostly) dropped. At the end of October, the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) finally issued its Interim Final Rule implementing the hemp-related provisions of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (“the 2018 Farm Bill”).

by Richard A. Vance and Grace E. L. Greenwell December 03, 2019
Press Releases

Morgan Ward appointed to Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission

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

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC November 11, 2019
Press Releases

Carolyn Purcell Michener selected for Fund for the Arts NeXt Ambassador Class of 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Fund for the Arts has selected Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Carolyn Purcell Michener for the NeXt Ambassador Class of 2020.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC October 28, 2019