Michael Caruso focuses his practice on creditors’ rights in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, commercial mortgage foreclosure, equipment finance and leasing, and business insolvency. He guides clients on non-performing commercial loans and leases, secured transactions, distressed real estate, surety bonds, tax liens, and other assets both in and out of bankruptcy court.
Michael regularly appears in the state and federal courts throughout New York and New Jersey and in bankruptcy courts across the country. He represents financial institutions, court appointed receivers and trustees, equipment lessors, healthcare companies, and real estate investors. He negotiates and closes loan sales, forbearance agreements, workouts and restructurings. Michael helps clients acquire distressed real estate.
In Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Michael is an effective advocate in asset sales, plan negotiation and confirmation, claim allowance and recovery, relief from stay, and adversary proceedings. Outside of bankruptcy, he prosecutes commercial mortgage foreclosures and enforces commercial loan guarantees. Michael also prosecutes and defends lawsuits under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act.
Upon graduation from Rutgers Law School, Michael clerked for the Hon. Jamie D. Happas, J.S.C. and the Hon. Andrea G. Carter-Latimer, J.S.C., each of the Superior Court of the New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County vicinage. While in law school, Michael received the distinction of “Top Ten Petitioner Brief” in the James J. Hunter Advanced Moot Court Competition.
- Rutgers Law School (J.D., 2007)
- Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (B.A., with honors, 2003)
- New Jersey
- New York
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York
- Successfully foreclosed, sold and/or dispossessed hundreds of millions of dollars in commercial real estate mortgages encumbering office buildings, shopping centers, manufacturing plants, hotels, and mixed-use real estate throughout New York and New Jersey;
- Routinely represented a Fortune 100 company in several Chapter 11 hospital reorganizations and liquidations throughout the United States, including Verity Health System of California, Trident Holding Company, Family Pharmacy, Inc., among others;
- Lead counsel in a $7 million sale of leased asphalt plant production and manufacturing equipment on behalf of an equipment lessor, as seller, during the lessee’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy;
- Represented a custodial receiver as court-appointed fiduciary for an architectural design and construction firm involved in shareholder dispute litigation, and ancillary lawsuits, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, the Southern District of New York, and the District of Nevada;
- Routinely represented several national surety companies involved in the Chapter 11 reorganizations and liquidations of Westinghouse Electric Company, Nine West Holdings, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, among others;
- Represented a national bank as proponent of a confirmed Chapter 11 plan of liquidation resulting in a $6 million sale of real estate and payment of the bank’s secured debt in full, including interest and attorneys’ fees;
- Represented a Chapter 11 trustee in the $13.7 million sale of a beachfront 354-unit apartment complex in Atlantic City, New Jersey, resulting in payment in full to holders of allowed secured, administrative, and priority unsecured claims;
- Lead counsel in a $3.2 million sale of twelve leased vessels on behalf of an equipment lessor, as seller, during the lessee’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy;
- Represented a New York City hospital and its affiliates as Chapter 11 debtors-in-possession in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York;
- Lead counsel for a real estate developer, as intervenor in a tax foreclosure of land, resulting in the successful acquisition of beachfront property integral to the waterfront redevelopment of Asbury Park, New Jersey;
- Lead counsel for three minority shareholders in a bankruptcy court adversary proceeding against the majority shareholder and Chapter 7 debtor resulting in a non-dischargeable $800,000 summary judgment for fraud and embezzlement; and
- Successfully prosecuted and defended lawsuits under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act.
Morris/Essex Health & Life Magazine, Top Lawyers, Bankruptcy and Workout (2022)
- Middlesex County Bar Association
- New York State Bar Association
- Appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey to serve a three-year term (2016 - 2019) as Member of the District V-A Ethics Committee, covering the City of Newark, responsible for investigating and hearing attorney ethics grievance cases