Original Letter of Credit Must Be Presented For Complying Presentation: MEPT 757 Third Avenue LLC v. Sterling National Bank

May 2, 2017

By: Michael Evan Avidon, Jessica K. Bonteque, David Lackowitz, and Mark N. Parry

Moses & Singer LLP recently obtained an important favorable decision in MEPT 757 Third Avenue LLC v. Sterling National Bank, Index No. 652089-2016 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co., NY 2016). The court held that the original letter of credit must be presented for a complying presentation where the letter of credit, by its terms, expressly requires presentation of the original.

Our firm represented the issuing bank, which had issued a standby letter of credit upon application of a tenant as security for the tenant’s rent obligations to the landlord/beneficiary. The landlord/beneficiary's presentation included a certified copy of the letter of credit and its amendments (which copy the bank conceded was accurate) but failed to include the original letter of credit and its amendments as mandated by the credit’s express terms. The presentation was otherwise compliant. The court concluded that absent the originals, the bank need not honor the presentation and granted summary judgment in favor of the bank.

Moses & Singer’s attorneys have a long history of litigating important letter of credit cases, as illustrated in the attached list. For more information please contact us or visit our Banking and Finance page here and our Litigation page here.

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