Romer Debbas Announces Formation of Fully Diverse, All-Woman Agency Lending & Affordable Housing Department

(L-R): Carmen I. Pagan, Esq., Partner; Catherine M. Azevedo, Esq., Senior Associate; Pamela U. Norbert, Esq., Associate

Romer Debbas, LLP, a recognized authority in the field of real estate law and general practice, announces the formation of a fully diverse, all-woman Agency Lending & Affordable Housing Department. The practice is led by 20-year industry veteran and firm partner Carmen I. Pagan, Esq., a native of Puerto Rico, who is joined by Senior Associate,  Catherine M. Azevedo, Esq., a second-generation Filipino American and Associate,  Pamela U. Norbert, Esq., a first-generation Nigerian American.

With an emphasis on affordable housing, Ms. Azevedo has primarily focused on the representation of commercial lenders, seller/servicers and other financial institutions in the financing of multifamily properties through the Fannie Mae Delegated Underwriting & Servicing product line and the Freddie Mac Seller-Servicer program. She has worked in-house with top financial institutions including agency lenders and a global wealth management firm and is well versed in due diligence review, successfully facilitating countless closings. In addition to commercial real estate, Ms. Azevedo has experience in corporate finance in connection with small business lending and has closed numerous loans in conformance with the U.S. Small Business Administration. A summa cum laude graduate of Fordham University, she received a Juris Doctorate degree from Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.

Ms. Norbert shares a primary focus on representing commercial lenders, seller/servicers and other financial institutions in the financing of multifamily properties, also with an emphasis on affordable housing. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Babcock University and a Juris Doctorate from Nigerian Law School. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Norbert obtained valuable experience as an attorney in Nigeria and as a paralegal in the United States, which includes a position at the Small Business Administration.

Most recently of counsel at Blank Rome LLP, Ms. Pagan joined Romer Debbas in December 2021, and is tenured in her representation of a wide range of clients from construction lenders, seller/servicers, and other financial institutions in all aspects of commercial lending with a focus on affordable housing.  She specializes and excels in helping her clients navigate complex multifamily lending matters, including conventional loans, senior housing and student housing originated through Freddie Mac Optigo Seller/Servicer and Capital Markets Execution programs, and Fannie Mae DUS program.

Ms. Pagan boasts respected and demonstrated experience with portfolio and cross-collateralization loans on the national level and other loans involving industrial development agencies, local municipalities and state housing finance agencies, ground and master leases, IRS Section 1031 like-kind exchanges, historic tax credits, manufactured home communities, affordable housing/subsidized complex structures, as well as real estate investment trusts and other various types of funds, among others.

A magna cum laude graduate of University of Puerto Rico, Ms. Pagan received a Juris Doctorate degree from Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University where she was named “Outstanding Woman in Law” in 2021. She is admitted to practice law in New York, Connecticut, and the Supreme Court of the United States, and has also qualified for a waiver to practice law in the District of Columbia. Most recently, Ms. Pagan was named a Power Lawyer by Schneps Media for her achievements and contributions to the real estate industry over the past years.

The Agency Lending & Affordable Housing Department is supported by Legal Assistant, Diana Roman, a native of Puerto Rico and Post-Closing Specialist, Ileana Estrada, a second-generation Puerto Rican American.

Integrating innovation with the experience of seasoned attorneys, Romer Debbas, LLP is regarded in the top ten of New York City law firms. Led by Michael J. Romer and Pierre E. Debbas, the firm uniquely focuses on commercial and residential real estate transactions with clients in local, national, and international markets. Practice areas also extend to include Bankruptcy, Corporate and Business Law, Immigration, Litigation, Taxation, Trusts and Estate.