Eric (Rick) S. Rein Partner
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  • F 312.267.2240
Eric (Rick) S. Rein
"For a successful recovery, the objective is to discover, freeze and seize assets. The best way to achieve this is by reversing the litigation paradigm and focusing on recovering first, not last."

Rick is a partner at HMB and a member of the firm’s Litigation Group. He concentrates his practice on secured creditors’ rights, bankruptcy representation, loan enforcement and international litigation to recover claims and assets.

Rick regularly advises financial institutions, hedge funds, privately-held companies, bankruptcy trustees, receivers, non-bank lenders and high-net-worth individuals on a broad range of workout, restructuring and transactional matters. He helps secured creditors recover pledged collateral through Uniform Commercial Code sales and commercial mortgage foreclosures, as well as prosecute claims based on fraud, non-performing loans and intercreditor disputes. Additionally, he defends creditors against third-party claims when asserted.

Highly-regarded for his knowledge of international legal systems, Rick frequently serves as special counsel to corporations, individuals and their advisors as they navigate complex international banking and fraud matters. His pioneering status as the first U.S. Attorney to employ the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in Uruguay, obtain Norwich Pharmacal relief in Vancouver, British Columbia and enforce consent directives in bankruptcy court in the state of Washington make him a sought-after media expert on international asset recovery.

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Doing What’s Best for Your Business

Clients rely on Rick’s unique and expansive knowledge of international law and his business first approach to litigation. Rick focuses on what’s best for your business and what you’re trying to accomplish through litigation. Sometimes it’s best to settle, sometimes it’s best to go to trial. As an accomplished trial attorney, Rick is practical and aggressive.


Financial Institutions

  • Represented U.S. financial institution in enforcement of loan agreement and $2 million promissory note against an international container shipping company located in Bermuda.  Sued on the note in Bermuda, pursued post judgment collection there, as well as in Delaware, where discovery was conducted in aid of foreign judgment, and Hong Kong, where assets were identified against which to satisfy judgment. Jurisdictions involved: Bermuda, Delaware, Hong Kong
  • Represented U.S. financial institution in recovery of $1 million that was fraudulently transferred to Uruguay.  Funds represented account receivable collections that were collateral security for a line of credit.  Utilized Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty to repatriate transferred funds to Registry of District Court.  In order to access those funds that were exempt from seizure, appointed a receiver, had receiver enter plea agreement in criminal proceeding, and had restitution ordered.  One hundred percent of the funds fraudulently transferred held by Registry of District Court were paid to the victim as restitution. Jurisdictions involved: Illinois and Uruguay
  • Represented U.S. financial institution in recovery of less than $1 million paid to a forged payee, where funds were transferred to a bank in Lebanon.  Determined that recovery in Lebanon was unlikely, but successfully recovered money from parties located in the United States. Jurisdictions involved: New York and Lebanon
  • Represented U.S. financial institution in collection of $2 million loan from Mexican guarantors, who also had pledged stock in Mexican floral companies.  Unable to complete recovery because bank records, which were needed to trace transfer of assets, were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Jurisdictions involved: Illinois, Mexico, Texas
  • Represented U.S. financial institution in recovery of $1 million paid on illegally scanned check where funds were transferred to the Bahamas.  Through issuance of Mareva injunction, 100 percent of funds were repatriated to client. Jurisdictions involved: Bahamas, Illinois
  • Represented U.S. financial institution in recovery of forged check against Panamanian company.  After determining that the fraudsters had no identifiable assets, the client decided not to pursue the recovery. Jurisdictions involved: Illinois, Panama


Hedge Funds

  • Represented U.S. hedge fund defrauded in $23 MM of equipment finance transactions involving fictitious call centers. Jurisdictions involved: India, United Kingdom, Singapore, New Jersey, New York
  • Represented British Virgin Islands hedge fund in enforcement of $21 million judgment against an individual defendant who, with the assistance of his legal counsel, had fraudulently transferred assets to family members and their family-run companies.  Actions brought in four states and Letters Rogatory enforced in Cook Islands.  Judgment was settled for a significant amount. Jurisdictions involved: Cook Islands, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington, D.C.


  • Represented group of high net worth individuals and related corporations in recovery of $12 million loss, including approximately $4 million in cash, through preemptive discovery and issuance of Mareva injunctions.  Identified several co-conspirators involved in the fraud and millions of dollars in concealed assets. Jurisdictions involved: Barbados, Canada, Cayman Islands, Florida, Israel, New York, Switzerland
  • Represented six European and African-based individuals defrauded by extensive “pump and dump” securities fraud.  Fraudsters bought and sold stocks among themselves to inflate stock value and create a false market. They then sold millions of dollars worth of stock to hundreds of investors in the US., Europe and Africa.  Successfully identified assets, but client declined to pursue recovery. Jurisdictions involved: Belgium, California, Canada, Philippines, Thailand

U.S. Bankruptcy Trustees

  • Represented a U.S. bankruptcy trustee for a cruise line business in prosecution and collection of multi-million dollar fraudulent transfers.  Filed preference actions against foreign defendants located in eleven European jurisdictions.  Reached settlement with defendants who had assets and dismissed defendants who did not have assets. Jurisdictions involved: Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Tahiti, Turkey, United Kingdom
  • Represented a U.S. bankruptcy trustee in the single largest individual bankruptcy in the state of Washington to recover assets when the debtor fled the country and stole, concealed and dissipated estate assets. Jurisdictions involved; France, Switzerland, Isle of Man, Belize, Canada, Washington

Secured Creditors

  • Represented FDIC as receiver for failed bank where contested release of borrower from note obligation and enforcing loan against both borrower, a neurosurgery center, and guarantor, the neurosurgeon. District court ruled release without consideration and after judgment and subsequent bankruptcies, collected the full balance owed on the $2MM loan
  • Represented FDIC as receiver for failed bank as secured creditor in bankruptcy of borrower, a real estate developer and hard money lender, indebted to the failed bank for over $20MM, who failed to disclose all of his assets and refused to comply with his duties as a debtor in bankruptcy such that he had to be incarcerated. Have recovered from bankruptcy estate over $5MM from sales of undisclosed assets on secured properties
  • Represented secured equipment lessor who fully recovered judgment of $4.9MM on guarantee by manager of limited liability company that operated a medical center which filed bankruptcy and had leased medical equipment. Defeat argument on summary judgment that stipulated loss value damages provision was a penalty under Illinois law
  • Represented secured equipment lessor in bankruptcy of one of the largest printing companies to have one of the $3MM equipment leases assumed with change in end of lease terms and to sell equipment securing second equipment lease
  • Represented secured creditor who appealed from decision the bankruptcy court denying its motion to modify automatic stay. The District Court held that trustee’s order abandoning collateral was not a “termination of insolvency proceedings” within meaning of Illinois statute providing that perfected security interest existing at time insolvency proceedings are commenced remains perfect until 60 days after termination of proceedings, and thus, secured creditor’s interest remained perfected despite expiration of five-year period during insolvency proceedings, and creditor’s rights in collateral would take precedence over buyer not in ordinary course of business
  • Represented bank who defended against party which was listed as a payee on checks who brought action against bank alleging conversion after bank paid out on the checks without obtaining the payee’s endorsement. District Court entered summary judgment in favor of the payee, and bank appealed. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that: (1) under Illinois law, bank could raise defense of unjust enrichment, and (2) material issues of fact precluded granting summary judgment in favor of the payee
  • Represented bank who defended action by Judgment creditor who brought action against lender to recover assets of debtor. District Court granted judgment creditor’s motion for summary judgment, and lender appealed. The 7th Court of Appeals reversed grant of summary judgment and held that: (1) future advances of the lender were protected for 45 days following attachment of the lien, and (2) “nonadvances” made by the lender to protect and preserve the collateral had priority over judgment creditor’s lien
  • Represented construction loan mortgagee who brought foreclosure action. Land contract purchaser counterclaimed for specific performance of the land contract. The Circuit Court  granted summary judgment to mortgagee as to priority of mortgagee’s lien, entered judgment of foreclosure and sale, and confirmed the sale and distribution. Purchaser appealed. The Illinois Appellate Court held that: (1) construction mortgage was subrogated to earlier-recorded mortgage, under equitable doctrine of conventional subrogation; (2) land purchase contract between land trust beneficiary and purchaser did not create a vendee’s lien under doctrine of equitable conversion; and (3) purchaser was not entitled to specific performance
  • Represented bank who brought action against borrowers for fraudulent transfers of properties out of land trusts, Circuit Court  entered judgment in favor of bank, and borrowers appealed. The Illinois Appellate Court held that: (1) bank had valid security interest in land trust; (2) borrowers’ transfer of property out of land trust was fraudulent conveyance; and (3) bank was not estopped from seeking relief for fraudulent conveyance although bank, as land trustee, executed trustee’s deed in connection with conveyance


University of Miami, J.D.

Washington University, B.A.




Western District of Michigan

Eastern District of Michigan

U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit


Best Lawyers in America, 2022

Asset Recovery Lawyer of the Year, 2014

Professional Memberships

  • American Bar Association, Commercial & Business Litigation Committee, International Litigation Subcommittee, Co-Chair
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Commercial Fraud Committee, Co-Chair
  • Chicago Bar Association, Member
  • International Bar Association, Member
  • Jewish Community Center of Chicago, Honorary Director
  • National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees, Member
  • National Association of Federal Equity Receivers, Member



  • Corporate Bankruptcies in 2021 and BeyondApril 12, 2021

    CHAPTER 11 FILINGS IN 2020 AND BEYOND Unless your January 2020 payroll included Nostradamus, the forthcoming global pandemic and resulting mass quarantines were largely unforeseeable. Last year’s unpredictability did, however, lead to the rather predictable material increase in Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings. Epiq Companies recently reported to the American Bankruptcy Institute that commercial Chapter 11 filings increased 29% in 2020.…

  • Rick S. Rein Published in "Cross-Border Strategy to Recover on Claims Against Foreign Parties and Assets" by the American Bar AssociationNovember 3, 2020

    Read the full article by ABA here. Pursuing legal relief against foreign parties and assets is a complex task that requires a well-developed plan to achieve a cross-border recovery. Globalization has created new challenges for parties threatened by, or involved in, cross-border disputes. Internet communication has made electronic transactions seamless and easy to operate anywhere in the world. Tax havens…

  • Force Majeure? It’s Unorthodox, But I’ll Allow It: Bankruptcy Court Excuses § 365(d)(3) Performance Due to CoronavirusJune 10, 2020

    In an opinion for our troubled times, Northern District of Illinois Bankruptcy Judge Donald Cassling granted debtor Hitz Restaurant Group (“Hitz”) some reprieve from § 365(d)(3)’s strict requirements due to a combination of COVID-19 shutdown orders and a favorably-worded force majeure clause. Hitz’s landlord, Kass Management Services, Inc. (“Kass”) moved to lift the automatic stay after Hitz stop making its…

  • New Subchapter V of the Bankruptcy Code May Be the Salvation for Small Businesses to Survive COVID-19May 1, 2020

    The Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA) was enacted in February 2020 with no one anticipating the global pandemic. Today, the financial consequences have hit small businesses hard. The SBRA, commonly known as Subchapter V, may provide much-needed relief to small businesses as they struggle through the crisis. With the Subchapter V election likely to surge during and after the pandemic,…

  • John Guzzardo and Rick Rein Published in NABT American Bankruptcy Trustee JournalJanuary 15, 2019

    John Guzzardo and Rick Rein wrote an article for NABT American Bankruptcy Trustee Journal regarding the use of Consent Directives to locate offshore assets. A consent directive is a "rare bird" investigatory tool that litigants in the US may use to discover assets and information from debtors or third parties located anywhere in the world. Recently, the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy…



  • Delaware Bankruptcy Court Confirms Bankruptcy Court Has Authority to Issue Preliminary Injunctions To Freeze AssetsSeptember 2, 2021

    In 1998, The U.S. Supreme Court in Grupo Mexicano de Desarrollo S.A. v. Alliance Bond Fund, 527 U.S. 308, held that the District Court had no authority to issue a preliminary injunction preventing petitioners from disposing of assets pending adjudication of the respondents’ contract claim for money damages. Subsequently, courts have interpreted Grupo to carve out exceptions for equitable actions…

  • Inquiry Notice Applies to A Transferee’s Good Faith Defense to a Trustee’s Fraudulent Avoidance ActionSeptember 2, 2021

    On August 30, 2021, the Second Circuit decided in Irving Picard, trustee for the Liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC v. Citibank N.A., 20-1334, on “appeals of the latest installment in the long-running litigation arising from Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme” whether the District Court properly dismissed actions brought against initial and subsequent transferees, to avoid and recover transfers,…

  • As SPAC Deal Flow Increases, Expect Litigation to Follow SuitAugust 31, 2021

    With the recent rise in popularity of special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”), expect an uptick in SPAC related litigation to follow. SPAC’s are referred to as “blank check” companies because they are shell companies formed by a sponsor group to raise funds in an initial public offering (“IPO”) for the purpose of acquiring a yet-to-be-identified privately held target company. After…

  • Discovering and Recovering Cryptocurrency Assets Is Easier Than Originally SuspectedJuly 1, 2021

    It is no secret that the rapid development of cryptocurrencies and sudden surges in their popularity presented challenges to victims trying to recover their losses. Cryptocurrencies are a secure, decentralized and anonymous way to conduct transactions outside the customary banking channel. Criminals flocked to cryptocurrencies as a way to conduct illicit business without revealing their names or locations. But, the FBI’s recovery of Bitcoins paid to Colonial Pipeline in the ransomware attack reveals that cryptocurrencies are not as hard to track as criminals think.

  • The Rise Of Fraud Schemes From the CARES ActMay 7, 2021

    The CARES Act, which sought to provide economic assistance during the global health pandemic, is exalted as an essential federal initiative. One of the most visible pieces of that Act is the PPP, which seeks to provide immediate financial assistance in the form of SBA-guaranteed loans to small and medium-sized businesses impacted by the economic uncertainties of the novel coronavirus. An important yet severe consequence is the rise of fraud in connection with misuse of PPP loan proceeds.

  • University of Miami, J.D.
  • Washington University, B.A.
  • Illinois
  • Florida
  • Western District of Michigan
  • Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
500 West Madison Suite 3700
Chicago IL 60661

Phone: 312-606-3200 Fax: 312-606-3232
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