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Representative Cases and Matters for Michelle L. Santoro

Surrogate’s Court Litigation - Property Turnover - Alleged Gift by the Decedent

Matter of Goldstein, Rockland County Surrogate’s Court (September 16, 2013, File No.: 2010-481/E)

Often, controversies in families arise as to gifts allegedly made by a decedent during his or her lifetime. Such controversies frequently result in a property turnover proceeding in the Surrogate's Court to deal with such alleged gifts. Here, McCarthy Fingar lawyers, Gail M. Boggio and Michelle L. Santoro, successfully opposed a summary judgment motion that sought dismissal of a property turnover proceeding brought by our client as Temporary Administrator of the decedent’s Estate and Co-Trustee of the decedent’s irrevocable trust. The turnover proceeding demanded that the Estate's Executor/Co-Trustee, who was also an estate and trust beneficiary, turn over property belonging to the estate and trust. In addition to summary judgment, the Executor/Co-Trustee also sought to have our client’s interest in the decedent’s trust forfeited due to a claimed violation of its “no contest” clause, and to have our client personally pay the executor’s legal fees. The court denied the motion in its entirety because the Executor/Co-Trustee failed to meet her burden that she was entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law and that issues of fact exist that would preclude summary judgment. In a related matter, the court similarly denied the movant’s (the Executor/Co-Trustee) request to vacate a temporary restraining order whereby the movant is precluded from utilizing funds and encumbering property whose sources are from the purported gift, requesting that our client post an undertaking and sought to surcharge our client.

Commercial Finance – Secured Lending - Multi-State Financing

Representation of Private Banking Client, as Lender, in a $18.8 Million Multi-State Secured Financing

Our commercial finance lawyers sometimes represent banks in transactions involving multiple parcels in multiple states. In one such transaction, Joe Harrington and Michelle Santoro represented one of the firm’s private lending clients on a multi-loan transaction, totaling $18.8 million, secured by four parcels in 3 states.

Commercial Finance – Commercial Foreclosure 

Representation of a Private Lending Client, as Lender on a Defaulted loan

Our commercial finance lawyers sometimes represent private lenders in foreclosure actions. Here, Michelle L. Santoro represented one of the firm’s private lending clients on a defaulted commercial mortgage, successfully obtaining a final judgment of foreclosure and sale. The property was later acquired by the lender and a private sale took place.

Commercial Finance – Successful Work-Out/Modification of Defaulted Mortgage Loans

Commercial foreclosure, then Negotiation & Documentation of Work-Out/Modification of a Defaulted Mortgage Loans for private lender


In addition to closing commercial loan transactions for its banking clients, the firm from time to time assists those clients and private lenders with commercial foreclosures, which sometimes leads to the work-out and/or modification of a problem loan. On behalf of one of the private lending clients, Michelle L. Santoro, with the assistance of Joseph P. Harrington, successfully obtained a final judgment of foreclosure and sale; however, on the eve of the scheduled sale, negotiated and documented a settlement and modification of the defaulted loans, to be secured by a first mortgage on a community center, thereby enabling the client to convert the defaulted loans into a performing asset.