Lawrence P. Hanson

Curricula Vitae

Lawrence P. Hanson’s office is located on the shores of Mullett Lake in Indian River, Michigan where he has had a residence since 1987. He was raised in Fremont, Michigan and and maintained a home and office there in 2006 while he ran for Probate Judge. He has maintained a general civil law practice there since 2000, focusing on real estate transactions and litigation. He is a licensed Real Estate Broker.

He was formerly a partner in Bodman, Longley & Dahling’s Cheboygan Office. Prior to joining that firm in 1984, he was engaged in a general practice in Petoskey, Michigan. He started practicing with Legal Services of Northern Michigan, in its Alpena office, from 1979 to 1982, with a practice emphasis in consumer and bankruptcy law in an eight county area. He attended Muskegon Community College for two years, received his B.A. in history graduating cum laude from the University of Michigan in 1975 and his Juris Doctor from the Rutgers School of Law in 1979. He grew up in Fremont, Michigan.

Mr. Hanson has been a board member of the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, President of the Board of the Mullet Lake Area Preservation Society, board member of the Indian River Golf Course, board member of the State Health Coordinating Council and Northern Michigan Health Council. He is currently a board member of Northern Michigan Legal Services, Inc.

Mr. Hanson’s practice has focused on creditor’s rights, commercial law litigation and real estate. Represented commercial clients include North Bank, Monroe Bank & Trust, The CIT Group/ Equipment Financing, Inc., Grayling State Bank, First National Bank of Gaylord, Citizens National Bank of Cheboygan, Capac State Bank, Houghton National Bank, Straits Area Federal Credit Union, Onaway Community Federal Credit Union, FMB-Northwestern Bank, Northwest Federal Savings Bank of Spencer, Iowa and Ford Consumer Finance Company, Inc. He has represented these clients in complex commercial loan litigation, bankruptcy proceedings, loan workouts, collections and lender liability litigation in state and federal courts throughout Michigan. He has drafted and revised standard and special loan documents for financial institutions, including comprehensive inventory finance agreements, mortgages, commercial land contracts and mortgages and commercial loan guarantees, has presented sessions for lenders, and represents clients in the sale of their business and residential property.

Published Cases

Cases in which Mr. Hanson has been primary counsel, which resulted in published opinions includes:

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

Mr. Hanson represented Independent Bank in pursuing a claim for insurance coverage under an umbrella liability policy. The claim was removed to the federal district court, which agreed with the insurer’s defense and dismissed the action. The policy included language suggesting that it covered losses arising from discrimination loss in one section and excepted such claims from coverage in another. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the policy required the insurer to pay the costs of defending an employment discrimination lawsuit brought against the Bank by a terminated senior officer. 125 F .3d 983 (1997).

NBD/Ladd v Ford Consumer Finance Company, et al., 550 NW2d 826 (Mich App 1996)

In a Genessee County action, both Ford and NBD claimed a first priority security interest in mobile homes, which were sold out of trust by an insolvent dealer. Ford claimed priority because no certificates of title were issued or transferred as part of the purported sales of the mobile homes as is required by the title provisions of the Mobile Home Commission Act, MCLA 125.2330; MSA 19.855(130). Because such a “sale” is by statute ineffective, the mobile home remained the property of the dealer subject to Ford’s perfected inventory security interest. NBD financed the retail purchases from the dealer. Although it had not perfected its lien, by title notation, it claimed priority through the purchaser’s bona fide purchaser status, relying on UCC sections 2.403 and 9.307. Summary disposition was initially granted in favor of Ford, then on reconsideration, in favor of NBD and Ladd. Ford’s appeal resulted in reversal in the Court of Appeals. NBD sought leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court, which reversed the Court of Appeals without addressing the issues considered by the lower courts.

Frick v North Bank, 542 NW2d 331 (Mich App 1995)

In this case, a property owner brought an action in Iosco County against North Bank, alleging that it failed to act in accordance with industry practices relating to the construction financing of a condominium project. The Bank had lent $600,000 to build the first of two six-unit condominium buildings on property deeded by the Fricks to a developer. The developer gave the Fricks a mortgage for the sale price of $170,000, which was subordinated to the Bank’s construction mortgage in an agreement signed by the Fricks. The condominium units did not sell as predicted and the Bank foreclosed its mortgage after the developer stopped making payments on the construction mortgage. The Fricks could not recover their purchase price from the property or the developer. Mr. Hanson prevailed on a summary judgment motion in the trial court and the Fricks appealed. Mr. Hanson again was successful on behalf of North Bank in the Court of Appeals.

Eriksen v Fisher, 421 NW2d 193 (Mich App 1988)

This action arose out of a Cheboygan County land contract foreclosure. The land contract specified a 12% post-default interest rate, which the mortgagors claimed was usurious. In a claim filed to block foreclosure, the vendees asserted that all interest payments collected should be applied to reduce the principal on the note. At both the trial court level and the appellate level, Mr. Hanson successfully argued that the post-default rate was not usurious. Costs were awarded against the opposing counsel. Leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court was denied.

Marina Bay Condominiums, Inc v Schlegel, 423 NW2d 284 (Mich App 1988)

The plaintiffs were owners of a condominium project, and brought this action against a potential purchaser who had paid $2,600 into escrow as a deposit on one of the units. In addition to successfully arguing at both the trial court and appellate levels that its client was entitled to retain the deposit, Mr. Hanson also obtained an award of interest on the amount of the deposit from the date the complaint was filed.

In re Northern Acres, Inc., 53 B.R. 641 (WD Mich 1985)

Mr. Hanson represented Hillman State Bank in bankruptcy proceedings and a state court action in Montmorency County in which the central issue was a priority dispute with respect to the land contract vendor’s interest in dozens of land contracts. The vendor bought large undeveloped parcels of land, subdivided them and sold them on land contracts. These land contracts were assigned to the bank to secure purchase money financing and were later also “sold” to “investors”. Judgment was entered in favor of the bank in both bankruptcy and state court. The state court judgment was affirmed on appeal.

Other Litigation

Mr. Hanson represented a group of subdivision residents against an individual violating a subdivision restriction involving the placement of a modular home in their subdivision. The subdivision residents prevailed at trial in this matter in the Cheboygan Circuit Court; which was summarily affirmed in the Court of Appeals.

In 1994, Mr. Hanson successfully defended a Bank against claims by a commercial builder, who contested the actions of the Bank in connection with the sale of certain collateral in an Iosco County action. The Bank had acted in accordance with the terms of a workout agreement. Another creditor had obtained a judgment against the builder, and a sheriff’s levy against the builder’s property. Since the Bank had a lien against the builder’s equipment under the workout agreement, the judgment creditor negotiated with the Bank for a release of the lien in exchange for a portion of the sale proceeds. The builder contested this arrangement, claiming that the Bank should have acted to stop the sheriff’s sale, and further claiming that all of the proceeds of the sale should have been applied against the debt to the Bank. Mr. Hanson was successful at trial in having all of the builder’s claims dismissed, and obtained a verdict in favor of the bank for principal, interest, and attorney fees.

In 1990, after Mr. Hanson started a collection and foreclosure action on behalf of a bank in Lapeer County against a large carrot farm, the defendants brought a multi-theory lender liability action against the bank. The complaint sought $2,500,000 in damages, allegedly arising from the Bank’s setoff of approximately $180,000 from the defendants’ accounts. Mr. Hanson obtained a summary judgment for the Bank.

In a 1990 Iosco County case, a dairy farmer, noteworthy for his jury trial and Appellate Court success in a suit against State Bank of Standish, filed suit against a client bank claiming damages arising from the bank’s decision not to advance further funds to his business. Mr. Hanson not only obtained a dismissal of the claim, but also an award of the bank’s attorney fees and costs against the plaintiff. Mr. Hanson was also successful in obtaining dismissal of plaintiff’s appeal.

In a collection action brought on behalf of a client bank, in Crawford County, the defendant raised a defense and counterclaim based on a lender liability theory. The defendant, a business owner, claimed that the President of the Bank had advised him to sell his business, thus causing his default on the loan. Mr. Hanson first successfully argued that the business owner’s claims were not defenses to the collection action and then were successful in having the counterclaim dismissed.

In 1994, a client-bank was sued by the conservator of the guarantor whose son had allegedly systematically transferred or encumbered the bulk of his father’s estate for his own benefit pursuant to a guarantee and a 1988 Durable Power of Attorney. The Conservator filed a complaint in a cause of action against the Bank in order to enjoin any foreclosure of the encumbered property and to seek a declaration of the Bank’s respective rights and obligations. A temporary restraining order was granted enjoining the Bank from proceeding with foreclosure. In support of the motion the Bank obtained an expert determination supporting the authenticity of guarantor’s signature on the guarantee and its Motion for Summary Disposition was granted in its entirety.

In another Monroe County case, Mr. Hanson represented the Bank in the liquidation of an auto dealership and action to collect on the loan guaranty. The guarantor defended on the basis that the Bank had failed to detect out of trust sales and had allowed the loan to exceed the amount stated in the guaranty. This case was settled after mediation on favorable terms to the Bank.

Mr. Hanson was lead counsel for a Bank in a Cheboygan County Circuit Court case tried in 1998. He successfully defended the bank from the purchaser’s claims of misrepresentation in the sale of a campground, sold by the bank after foreclosure. The plaintiff’s million dollar plus claims were rejected by the jury after 14 days of trial. A substantial award of attorneys’ fees for successfully defending the claims was recovered by the bank from the purchasers.


Mr. Hanson has also represented banks in connection with:

  • The bankruptcy of the owner of Newberry Square Mall in Commerce Township;
  • The bankruptcy of Medallion Investments, the owner of a Toledo medical building;
  • The bankruptcy and collection procedures following the collapse of a check kiting scheme in the Marquette area;
  • Participation loans with the owner of Shanty Creek Golf Course;
  • The bankruptcy of a marina in Iosco County in which the owner of the business allegedly with the knowledge of a loan officer, was fraudulently understating inventory levels to obtain further advances;
  • The bankruptcy of a furniture store chain. This case was resolved by the sale of all inventory, free and clear of liens, with the bank purchasing same;
  • The bankruptcy of an asphalt paving company in Cheboygan County;
  • The bankruptcy of an orthopedic surgeon. The bankruptcy court held that the surgeon’s $160,000 debt to the bank was non-dischargeable.
  • A multi-million dollar claim by business owner against a bank in Grand Traverse County Circuit Court arising from a bank account embezzlement by the business owner’s real estate partner.