Bank on It

Foreclosing on Meth Houses: Buyer Beware

State and national efforts to curb the opioid epidemic have put ongoing angst about the health and financial devastation associated with methamphetamine production and use on the news cycle’s back burner.

For home buyers and sellers and their lenders, the sometimes invisible meth problem continues to plague those who have unknowingly moved into a house or mobile home contaminated by meth, and for lenders who may wonder how or whether to foreclose on properties where there is a chance of contamination.

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An Interview with Commissioner Greg Gonzales

Greg Gonzales is the 18th commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions. He began serving in this role in 2005, appointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen, and has enjoyed reappointment to the position by both Governors Bill Haslam and Bill Lee. He joined the Department as this writer’s assistant general counsel and has served in a number of roles, including general counsel and assistant commissioner, prior to his appointment by Gov. Bredesen to the top job. He had served under former commissioners Billy Adams, Jeff Dyer, Dennis Phillips, Talmadge Gilley, Bill Houston, Fred Lawson and Kevin Lavender, a career that spans almost 33 years with the Department.

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Antitrust Issues in Bank Mergers

From time to time, mergers of banks doing business in the same markets make so much business sense as to cause us to wonder why they have not yet decided to “partner up.” As lawyers engaged in assisting in these transactions, the first job is almost always an analysis of whether or not there are anti-competitive factors that may stall or completely derail in-market mergers. 

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SARs and PEPs

The news is full of intrigue, innuendo, and perhaps even a few facts associated with certain financial transactions connected to a number of “politically exposed people” or “PEPs.” A PEP is an individual who, because of his or her prominent public functions or position, may present a higher risk for potential involvement in corruption, abuse of influence, or bribery because of the position he or she holds.

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Putting Lipstick on a Pig

Bank lawyers understand that there are phases to our practices. In good economic times, investors start new banks; in recessionary periods, we get our clients out of the ditch; and in between, we frequently help preside over both voluntary and shotgun weddings.

We are on the cusp between “good economic times” and wedding season. Since 2015, we have seen increased merger and acquisition

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FINTECH: Fad or Future

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has announced that it is moving forward with a proposal to charter and supervise a special purpose national bank for fintech companies. Loosely defined, a “fintech” company is a firm that uses new technology and innovation with available resources in order to compete in the marketplace of traditional financial institutions and intermediaries in the delivery of financial services.

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Reverse Mortgages: Paying the Piper

Among the late Senator Fred Thompson’s acting roles was spokesperson for the efficacy of a financial product called a “reverse mortgage.”

A reverse mortgage or a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) is a home loan for homeowners 62 or older that requires no monthly mortgage payments and permits the homeowner to convert her equity in the home into cash.

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