Chelsea landlord claims “predatory” lender is charging a crippling interest rate as punishment after losing foreclosure case

Landlord wants $2M in damages

Aug.August 15, 2019 05:30 PM
416 West 25th Street and Maverick Real Estate Partners principal David Aviram (Credit: Google Maps and LinkedIn)

416 West 25th Street and Maverick Real Estate Partners principal David Aviram (Credit: Google Maps and LinkedIn)

Back in the spring, lender Maverick Real Estate Partners lost a foreclosure case it filed against the owner of a Chelsea apartment building.

But the legal battle isn’t over.

Landlord Andreas Steiner claims in a new lawsuit that Maverick continues to charge punitive default interest at the rate of 24 percent a year — or, as of May 30, about $1.4 million — even though Maverick’s case was dismissed.

“We are confident that Justice [Arlene] Bluth will, once again, see Maverick’s transparent tactics for what they are — a desperate and improper attempt to obtain payments from our client to which they are not entitled,” Steiner’s attorney, Terrence Oved, wrote to The Real Deal in an emailed statement.

David Avriam, Maverick’s principal, did not immediately return a request for comment.

Maverick, which Steiner’s attorneys called a “predatory lender” in the case, also has asked the landlord to pay back legal fees and unsubstantiated insurance and tax advancements, according to the lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday in New York County Supreme Court. The fees, including the interest demands, total around $1.48 million. Steiner wants $2 million in damages.

Maverick, through a limited liability company, acquired the debt for the five-story building at 416 West 25th Street in 2018 and soon after filed the foreclosure action against Steiner, claiming Steiner violated the terms of a $3.6 million consolidated loan agreement. Judge Bluth threw out the complaint in May, on the grounds that Maverick did not properly notify Steiner of his technical default on the mortgage.

Founded in 2010, Maverick buys defaulted first mortgages behind commercial properties in New York City. In December, the firm closed on a $200 million distressed debt fund, the firm’s fifth.

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