Our Professional Team

Steven E. Ernest, Esq.


Bar Admissions



B.A., The American University
J.D., University of Miami School of Law, cum laude


Steven Ernest Geraci Law Firm

Steven E. Ernest, Esq.


Steven E. Ernest, Esq.


Areas of Practice



Mr. Ernest received his undergraduate degree from The American University in 1993 and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law (cum laude) in 1996. He was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1996 and is a member of the Bars of the Central, Southern, Northern and Eastern Districts of California.

He has an extensive transactional and litigation background, having filed and brought thousands of commercial cases to judgment. His focus has been for clients in the financial sector, successfully defending the world’s most prestigious luxury automaker in anti-trust, warranty, and fraud cases. As regional counsel to nationwide lenders, he has written their credit, purchase, and other transactional documentation, as well as export compliance, FCPA, and other regulatory compliance. As outside general counsel to several clients, he has navigated their employment, corporate, and real estate needs.

Associations & Memberships

  • Moderator of the Permanent Judicial Council, Presbytery of Los Ranchos (2018-present)
  • Trustee – Presbytery of Los Ranchos (2014-2017), Moderator (2017)
  • President, CEO and Chairman for the Finance Committee of San Clemente Presbyterian Church (2014-2015)
  • Director, Judge Advocate – Dana West Youth Sailing, Inc. (2006-2019)
  • Judge Advocate – Dana West Yacht Club (2002-2012)
  • President – PHRF of SoCal (2012), Judge Advocate (2006-2010), VP (2011)
  • Secretary – Beneteau First 36.7 of North America (2004 – 2009)
  • Judicial Extern to Honorable James N. Barr (US Bankruptcy Court – 1995)
  • Legislative Assistant to Congressman Edward R. Royce (1993)


  • Extensive first chair, lead trial, arbitration and mediation experience.
  • Specializes in the areas of commercial litigation, secured transactions and insolvency.
  • Represents clients in litigation involving secured transactions including recovery of collateral and compelling performance of contractual obligations.
  • Manages a large portfolio of cases defending and prosecuting contract actions for national financial institutions.
  • Extensive courtroom experience representing lenders in breach of warranty, Credit Reporting Act (both state and federal), and collection practices litigation.
  • Experience obtaining prejudgment remedies such as writs of possession, as well as in pursuing collection remedies before filing a lawsuit and after obtaining judgment.
  • Experience enforcing creditors' rights in California including handling over 7,000 replevin cases.
  • Serves as arbitrator and mediator in secured transaction cases.
  • Defends trademark infringement claims in federal court (first chair).
  • Defends landowners in premises liability actions.
  • Extensive drafting experience in the area of commercial and consumer finance including loan and security agreements, promissory notes, inter-creditor, settlement and work-out agreements.  Also standard corporate agreements including confidentiality agreements, consulting agreements and employment agreements.
  • Provided seminars to Mercedes-Benz Financial, AmeriCredit Financial Services, Chrysler Financial and Ford Motor Credit regarding collection practices, storage liens, reinstatement rights, Rees-Levering, Vehicle Leasing Act, insurance, Quartz, replevin, and bankruptcy.
  • Successfully managed and supervised team of partners and associates conducting due diligence related to the breakup of a major automaker which involved thousands of contracts and an incredibly tight turnaround time.  Project was completed on budget and ahead of deadline.
  • Conducts perfection of security audits for multiple creditors of their nationwide portfolios to ensure perfection of their security interests in floored inventory.


Post-Tenancy Eviction Process
Post-Tenancy Eviction Process
Residential Eviction Process
Residential Eviction Process
Giving a Tenant Notice What You Need to Know
Giving a Tenant Notice: What You Need to Know
Your Customer Filed for Bankruptcy—What Now?
Your Customer Filed for Bankruptcy—What Now?
The "New Normal" Approaches to Litigation
The Replevin Remedy
Honchariw v. FJM Private Mortgage Fund legal update
Honchariw v. FJM Private Mortgage Fund: Fundamental Shift to Default Interest in California with National Implications
Deficiency Judgments: How To Get Paid
Geraci’s Litigation team
Force Majeure in the Context of COVID-19
regulatory investigations
Understanding the Temporary Impacts of the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021
5 Tips to Limit Lender Liability
regulatory investigations
Breaking Down Breach of Fiduciary Duty & Fraud in a Securities Context
Assessing the Commercial Real Estate COVID-19 Recovery
A Step-by-Step Guide for Contractual Force Majeure Provisions
Litigation & Bankruptcy team
Recent Illinois Decision Could Have Sweeping Impact on Force Majeure Interpretation
Revesting Provision in a Chapter 13 Plan Will Not Shield That Postconfirmation $3.8 Million Stock Buyout Windfall From Creditors
The Benefits of Judicial Foreclosures
The Price of Stupidity - or How to Really Screw Up Servicing a Loan
Senator Sanders Introduces Bill That Caps Consumer Interest Rates at 15%
Senator Sanders Introduces Bill That Caps Consumer Interest Rates at 15%
The Smell of Money Burning - Official Figure on Insured Losses Reaches $9 Billion and Lenders Have Not Even Started Counting.
Pitfalls of Buying Claims in Bankruptcy
Federal Appeals Court Rights First American Title Company’s Wrong
New Florida Law Prevents Debtors From Contesting Property Surrender
Seventh Circuit Sends a Warning to Serial Bankruptcy Filers
Third Circuit Rules Title Companies Need Only Defend Covered Claims
Tennessee Couple Busts Title Insurance Myth
Ninth Circuit Ruling a Warning to Those Doing Business with Cannabis Industry
The Rise of Bitcoin in Bankruptcy
Household Debt Increases as Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filings on the Rise
Loan Servicer Found Liable For Contacting Debtors After Bankruptcy Discharge
SCOTUS Allows Bankruptcy Protections for Dishonest Debtors
CFPB Updates Mortgage Guidelines
California Federal Judge Upholds $7.93 Million Penalty for Mortgage Provider
Bank Requests Court To Reconsider Contested FCA Deal
The SCOTUS Rejects Review of Midland Securitization Case
RMBS Suit Against Morgan Stanley Gets Resurrected On Appeal
Contract Dispute Implicating Wells Fargo Data to be Arbitrated
LendingClub Requests Federal Court to Deny Class Certification
Banks Reach $65.5M Settlement in SSA Bond-Fixing Suit
Will The DOJ Join Ocwen's Case?
JPMorgan's $22M Swiss Franc Settlement Granted Initial Go-Ahead
Court Critical of DOL Fiduciary Rule Leaves Labor Proposing Compliance Delay
Texting Your Way into an Unwanted Binding Real Estate Contract
Loan Mod Fraud Suit Dismissed by Ninth Circuit
Buying Notes from Banks and Think You're Okay From Usury? Think Again.
CFPB Asks Court to Deny Ocwen from Expediting Constitutionality Ruling
Deutsche Bank Settles with the State of Maryland for $95 Million
How Corporations Can Prepare for CFPB Investigations
City of Philadelphia Decides to Sue Wells Fargo over Discriminatory Lending
Wells Fargo Faces Suit from City of Philadelphia Over Predatory Lending


Options After Default: California Foreclosure, Default Interest, Loss Mitigation, and Recourse
Contact Steven E. Ernest, Esq.
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We represent financial institutions and real estate professionals.
Unfortunately, we do not represent consumers.