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James H. Levine


James H. Levine, a member of Baker Donelson's Board of Directors, has extensive experience in health care financing and in the representation of banks, other financial institutions and borrowers in HUD-insured loan transactions for multifamily and senior housing facilities.

Professional Biography

Working out of the Chattanooga and Washington, D.C. offices, Jim practices in the areas of commercial lending, mergers and acquisitions, business organizations and commercial contracts, and has been counsel in hundreds of HUD-insured loans in the senior housing industry totaling approximately $3 billion in more than 40 states.

Jim has done extensive work on behalf of the American Bar Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association in providing comments to HUD's new multifamily and health care form loan documents, closing guides and opinion letters. Jim has wide-ranging experience in issues related to limited liability companies and has been a member of the Tennessee Bar Association's committee charged with modernizing Tennessee business organization laws. He also has extensive experience in the preparation and negotiation of commercial finance and corporate legal opinions.

  • Led representation of a client as lender's counsel in $19.5 million portfolio of HUD Section 232/223(f) HUD loans for five health care facilities located in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.

  • Represented a health care financing firm in a 10-site, $82 million skilled nursing facility portfolio of HUD Section 232/223(f) mortgage loans in Texas. This complex deal involved a number of challenges because the facilities were all leased under a master lease to a third-party operator and were subject to accounts receivable financing in addition to the HUD mortgage loans.
  • Represented a client as borrower's counsel in $100.2 million portfolio of HUD Section 232/223(f) HUD loans for nine skilled nursing facilities located in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky. These loans were unique in that several of the facilities are subleased to county-owned hospitals in Indiana in order to take advantage of enhanced Medicaid reimbursement and the facilities were all owned by subsidiaries of a health care REIT.

  • Represented a lending client in $55.3 million HUD Section 232/223(f) financing of four Illinois supportive living facilities. The four facilities were subject to a master lease and also had separate accounts receivable financing.

  • Representation of a client in $11.8 million HUD Section 232/223(f) financing of two Oregon retirement centers. The two facilities were subject to a master lease with a third-party operator.

  • Representation of a client in $12.7 million HUD Section 232/241(a)) financing for the construction of an addition to an Indiana skilled nursing facility.

  • Representation of a client in $13.1 million HUD Section 232/223(f) financing of two Virginia skilled nursing facilities. The two facilities were subject to a master lease.

  • Successfully closed HUD loan project changes of ownership for two large multifamily apartment communities on behalf of a major commercial real estate finance company. The properties were purchased for $129 million.

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) (2012 – 2024); Commercial Finance Law (2020 – 2024) 
  • Named the Best Lawyers® 2023 and 2018 Business Organizations "Lawyer of the Year" in Chattanooga
  • Selected to Mid-South Super Lawyers (2009 – 2012); Business/Corporate (2019 – 2023)
  • Named a Rising Star by Mid-South Super Lawyers (2008)
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Member – Chattanooga, Tennessee, Georgia and American Bar Associations
  • Former Board Member – Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Board of Commissioners – Chattanooga Housing Authority (2013 to present)
    • Chair (2018)
    • Vice Chair (2017)
  • Member – Rotary Club of Chattanooga
  • Former Board Member – T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital Foundation
  • Former Member – McCallie School Alumni Council
  • Alumni Schools Committee admissions representative for Yale University
  • Managing Editor – Tulane Environmental Law Journal (1996 – 1997)
  • Recipient – Tulane Environmental Law Journal "Excellence in Production" Award (1997)
  • Judicial Extern – Federal Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Wilkinson, Jr., Eastern District of Louisiana (1996 – 1997)
  • Former Member and Chairman of Executive Council of Business Law Section of Tennessee Bar Association
  • Former Member of committee charged by the Tennessee Bar Association with drafting new laws governing limited liability companies in Tennessee
  • Former member of the Tennessee Bar Association's Tennessee Business Entity Study Committee, which is charged with updating and modernizing Tennessee's business organization laws  
  • Former Board Member and Former Chairman of the Baroness Foundation (the charitable foundation arm of Erlanger Hospital)
  • Co-author – "2021 Changes to the HUD Form of Opinion in HUD-Insured Multifamily Loans," Opinions Matters, American Bar Association's Committee on Legal Opinions in Real Estate Transactions Newsletter, Volume 6, Number 3 (Fall 2021/Winter 2022)
  • Co-author – "HUD Weighs in on Questions in Long Term Care Finance," National Mortgage News (May 2014)
  • "FHA — Still Essential For Health Care Facilities," Law360 (September 2012)
  • "HUD Issues Proposed Amendments to Regulations Governing Insurance of Health Care Facility Loans," American Health Law Association (June 2012)
  • Co-presenter – "Lender Control of Deposit Accounts and Cash Flow Structures in Long Term Care Facility Financing," webinar (April 2023)
  • Panelist – "DACAs, DAISAs and Cash Flow Structure Consideration," 2022 HMAC Conference (June 2022)
  • Moderator – "Cash Management of LTC Facilities," 2018 Long Term Care Symposium (November 2018)
  • Moderator – "Coming Soon: New Section 232 Documents," First Annual Healthcare Mortgage Advisory Council (HMAC) Conference, Washington, D.C. (October 2018)
  • Panelist – "How to Facilitate Smooth and Timely HUD Closings in Loans for Healthcare Facilities," Southeast Mortgage Advisory Conference (SMAC) Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia (April 2017)
  • "If You've Got the Money, I've Got the Time: Financing – Capital Markets, HUD, EB-5," 2016 Long Term Care Symposium (November 2016)
  • Panelist – "Reflections on Working With HUD," Committee on Healthcare Financing Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C. (June 2016)
  • Moderator – "Insights on Financing Your Project or Portfolio – Getting the Results You Want," Baker Donelson Long Term Care Symposium (November 2014)
  • "HUD & Healthcare Facilities: Navigating the Rules," ABA Forum on Affordable Housing & Community Development Law, 22nd Annual Conference (May 2013)
  • "HUD LEAN: Changes and Updates," webcast, Irving Levin Associates, Inc. (July 2012)
  • "HUD Lender Underwriting Training," Section 232 Loan Program, Chicago, Illinois (September 2011)
  • "HUD Legal Opinions in Multifamily Loan Transactions: Understanding the New Opinion Form," ABA national teleconference CLE (July 2011)

Jim is such a hardworking person, and I know he is watching everything so closely. He probably catches and corrects any mistakes that are made before they get to us. He is professional and proficient. Jim is Baker Donelson to me. He's very responsive and resourceful. He gets stuff done and in a timely manner.

Senior Vice President and Regional Manager at an investment banking and mortgage banking services provider to health care, senior living and housing organizations

Jim helped us navigate a number of HUD deals that no one expected we could get done in a very tight timeframe of three months.

Executive Vice President, Acquisitions, a large publicly registered, non-traded real estate investment trust

The HUD loan advice Jim provides – that is another area where Baker Donelson really excels… Jim has good relationships with HUD folks and HUD lenders. Those are big things.

Vice President, Acquisitions, a large publicly registered, non-traded real estate investment trust

Jim has been a tremendous assistance in the HUD deals. The process is extremely difficult, and you are working at the government's pace. They work really hard to help us meet the deadlines we have. They just get us. They understand what we need to do, how we need to do it and how fast.

Vice President, Acquisitions, a large publicly registered, non-traded real estate investment trust

Jim has a personal touch. He's proactive about being involved in our partnership and makes a lot of effort. He comes to our company meetings and does trainings regularly. That's where he adds a lot of value. Not that others don't do that, but Jim adds value that way. He just handles things the right way.

Senior Vice President and Director of Asset Management, large provider of investment banking and mortgage banking services to health care, senior living and housing organizations

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