Community Banking

The lawyers at Lathrop GPM recognize that clients have a right to expect quality, responsiveness, and understanding from their counsel. Each is as important to us today as it was when the firm was founded in 1866. We believe that the lawyer-client relationship is ultimately a personal one, and that there is still a place for the lawyer as counselor. Our clients value our integrity, loyalty, and entrepreneurial spirit.

Lathrop GPM has a long history of serving financial institutions of all sizes with a special affinity for community banks. We provide a wide range of services to our community bank clients. Our understanding of this arena enables us to provide creative and practical solutions on legal, regulatory and compliance matters.

Our Community Bank team supports bank clients in matters of:

Commercial Lending

Lathrop GPM advises community bank clients on a wide variety of commercial lending activities and is experienced and prepared to help its clients efficiently and effectively complete transactions in a highly competitive commercial-capital marketplace. Lathrop GPM regularly assists clients with loans and financing of all types and sizes, including:

  • real estate secured projects
  • mezzanine financing
  • asset based loans
  • SBA loans
  • term loans
  • construction loans
  • revolving loans
  • refinancings

Our lawyers also regularly represent lenders regarding multi-lender issues arising out of:

  • loan participations
  • loan syndications
  • loan and portfolio sales
  • loan servicing

Consumer and Mortgage Lending

We advise our clients on a variety of consumer lending issues. We represent clients in matters ranging from mortgage loans to HELOCS to automobile finance and retail installment contracts. We have assisted community bank clients with matters involving:

  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
  • Equal Credit Opportunity (Reg. B)
  • UDAP
  • SAFE Act
  • Design and Regulation of Lending Products
  • Advertising and Marketing
  • Truth in Lending

Collateral Management 

In addition to our expertise in assisting community banks complete foreclosures and other work-out scenarios, Lathrop GPM lawyers have broad experience counseling clients on the management and disposition of collateral acquired by community banks. We understand that once collateral has been acquired, a bank’s goals for the collateral are typically to manage risk, maximize value, and divest the asset in a timely manner. Lathrop GPM’s Community Banking Team is well situated to assist clients in achieving these goals on both a strategic and tactical level, including:

  • systematizing collateral acquisitions & management proceedings
  • leasing REO property
  • voluntary foreclosures
  • deeds in lieu
  • forbearance agreements
  • loan workouts
  • REO property disposition

Limited Documentation Loans/Due Diligence Services

Commercially available “form” documents are not very flexible and do not provide lenders the protections that lawyer prepared documents do, but the economics of many deals do not allow for the expense of lawyer prepared documents. Lathrop GPM’s Community Banking team provides limited documentation and/or due diligence services on loans require more work. These services include:

  • drafting “add on” custom loan documents and addenda
  • review of loan collateral and proper securitization
  • review the “loan document package” to confirm that the documentation is adequate
  • review of ancillary documentation (leases, construction documents, etc.)
  • review of Borrowers’ “organizational documents” or trust documents

Operations and Compliance 

Lathrop GPM lawyers understand the rules that govern your operations and have extensive experience in supporting our clients’ consumer compliance and operations functions. We provide counsel to community banks in matters including:

  • deposit products/accounts
  • mobile banking
  • safe deposit operations
  • IT infrastructure
  • electronic banking
  • credit reporting and FCRA/FACTA
  • truth in savings
  • technology contracting
  • privacy compliance
  • outsourcing due diligence
  • online banking

Bank Board/Ownership

Officer and Director Responsibilities 

Our lawyers provide counsel to community banks and their officers and Boards of Directors on a variety of matters, including the development of Board policies, adoption of organizational changes, mergers and acquisitions, conflicts of interest, and management and compensation matters. Because our lawyers have experience serving on multiple boards we understand board responsibilities from a board member’s perspective.

Owners Responsibilities

We have assisted bank and bank holding company owners with a variety of ownership issues. We understand the complex regulations that restrict the free transfer of bank and bank holding company stocks and are experienced in advising bank owners on their succession planning needs. Lathrop GPM estate planners use a variety of estate planning techniques to help our clients achieve their goals, including:

  • wills
  • revocable trusts
  • irrevocable trusts
  • grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATS)
  • split dollar plans
  • charitable trusts
  • sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts (IDGTS)

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