Litigation Support

Thousands of Hours at Deposition and Trial

We have logged thousands of hours in depositions and at trial, testifying in all manner of real estate valuation cases. We are a tremendous asset, not only for providing rock-solid analysis, but in crafting viable strategies to handle the most complex situations. We are the preeminent voice in matters of complex real estate valuation and litigation, particularly with respect to the stigma associated with contamination before, during, and after remediation. We hold particular expertise in dealing with large subject areas such as neighborhoods impacted by contaminated groundwater or company towns soaked in the byproducts of manufacturing.

As part of our mass appraisal methods, Greenfield Advisors uses statistically derived hedonic modeling, which has also proven to be extremely effective during the class certification stage of major litigations. Our experience with these complex mathematical models has strengthened our ability to explain commonality during class certification, knocking down the traditional arguments regarding the limitations of class actions and mass joinders due to differences between properties impacted by one or more sources of contamination. These models also bolster our mass appraisal methods, often allowing for large numbers of properties to be valued without the time and expense of a door-to-door process.

While we have made our name in some of the largest oil spill litigations of the day, we have expertise in a diverse set of circumstances.


Litigation Support

Mortgage-Backed Securities

Following the 2008 mortgage crisis, increased attention has been placed on residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). Litigation has followed with numerous high-profile, high-stakes cases being filed against banks in connection with their allegedly deceptive practices. Plaintiffs in these RMBS cases generally include the U.S. Government, investors, RMBS trustees, and insurers, with the legal claims differing depending on the plaintiff. Common claims include material misrepresentations or omissions regarding the underlying loans in offering documents; breaches of representations and warranties made in the applicable pooling and servicing agreements; or breaches of representations or warranties made in the transaction documents. Despite the variety of claims, litigation generally centers on the specifics of the underlying loans, the origination and due diligence process, and the governing agreements.

In recent years, Greenfield has become recognized as leading experts in RMBS litigation. We’ve helped successfully settle over two dozen such cases to date, with client recoveries topping $20 billion. In one of the company’s largest cases, Dr. John Kilpatrick, Managing Director at Greenfield Advisors, testified as an expert in FHFA v. Nomura et al. (No. 11-Civ- 6201 (DLC)) concerning an automated valuation model (AVM) to estimate property values of the underlying collateral associated with loans in the at-issue securitizations regarding whether the appraised values of subject properties were systemically inflated during the relevant time period.

Contaminated Property

We are regularly called upon to value the impacts of environmental contamination on adjacent and proximately located properties in both state and federal litigation matters. The stigma impact on the real estate marketplace is particularly complex and requires our deep understanding. When possible we also assist clients outside of the courtroom, providing detailed portfolio analysis to assess contamination-related risk from investment and insurance perspectives.

The transfer or development of contaminated property also poses special complications for which we are uniquely prepared. The determination of the highest and best use of such property requires attention to both pre- and post-remediation possibilities and factoring in the economic and societal concerns with both paths. We understand tax credits and other programs, which provide valuable tools to brownfield redevelopers. In some situations remediation is not a complete solution, so the “best use” must consider (for example) a permanent monitoring situation. Only when the long-term effect of contamination is completely understood can the appropriate way forward be determined.

Property Damage

Similar to our work with Contaminated Properties, Greenfield has a rich history in valuing properties with physical property damage. If a property has been harmed by fire, water, wind, construction defects, or some other source, we can assess what impact that damage may have on property value. 

Using accurate and reliable analyses, such as cost-to-cure, use & enjoyment, land & improvement valuation, erosion risk assessments, matched data analysis, and measuring impacts from stigma, we determine the full effect of damage to the property. 

As industry leaders in stigma, impaired, and unimpaired property valuation, we deliver Daubert-tested results that our clients can depend on. 

Consumer Case Support

Through our unbiased review method, we have a history of providing support in Consumer Cases to both banks and borrowers. Our team has expertise in every step of consumer protection cases. Our focus is on conducting an impartial audit of loan origination documents, closing procedures, and underwriting. 

Our areas of expertise in consumer protection matters include:

  • Consumer Protection Laws
  • Title Defects
    • Chains, Transfers, Assignments, Claims, MERS
  • Accounting
    • QWR, Error Resolution, and State Specific
  • ARMS, Charms, and Periodic Adjustments
  • Mortgage Servicing
  • Loan Onboarding
  • Mortgages
    • Forward Mortgages, Open-End Mortgages, Closed-End Mortgages, Reverse Mortgages (HECM), 2nd Lien Mortgages, and HELOCS
  • Commercial Loan Guarantees
  • Judicial and Non-Judicial Foreclsoures

Foreclosure Analysis

Greenfield Advisors specializes in real estate analysis, and foreclosure analysis is one of our primary areas of expertise. The Greenfield Advisors’ principals and staff have the knowledge to expertly identify foreclosure trends and the reasons for those trends. We are able to pinpoint how foreclosures ultimately affect the surrounding housing market and what valuation ramifications can be expected due to increasing foreclosures. Greenfield Advisors provides litigation support in foreclosure cases as well, testifying to any property valuation implications that result from any part of the foreclosure process.

Eminent Domain / Takings

Greenfield Advisors has considerable experience in eminent domain and takings matters. Our extensive property valuation expertise qualifies us as a credible expert to testify to the value of the property that is taken. Clients will consult with us to ensure they are properly compensated for land that is taken using eminent domain. Our appraisal and property valuation experience motivates and qualifies our research in determining fair market value.

Patent Infringement

At Greenfield Advisors, we are asked by clients to tackle very complex real estate issues. These issues are not limited to physical assets or interests related to real estate; sometimes we tackle issues related to real estate technology. This includes patents, trade secrets, and source code.

For example, our team of economists, statisticians, and programmers have built AVMs and have consulted on multiple assignments in the space. Our principals have consulted on several patent infringement cases and provided expert witness testimony. Our experience building these technologies allows us to be comfortable determining whether a competitor’s product infringes on a patent, whether an invention was obvious, and whether one performs better than the other.

Securities Analysis

Closely related to our mortgage-backed securities litigation support work, Greenfield Advisors has the expertise to perform highly complex securities analyses on a broad range of security types. Our team of analysts can evaluate the performance of any type of security, paying careful attention to countless data points. Our granular, forensic analyses set us apart and contribute to our track record of successful litigation support in this area.

Get In Touch

2101 4th Ave, Suite 1335
Seattle, WA 98121
Phone: +1 206 623 2935
FAX: +1 206 623 2985