John D. Waller - Wooden & McLaughlin LLP

John D. Waller

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2015

John protects the interests of lenders, borrowers and guarantors when businesses default on secured loans.  This includes:

  • Serving as an advocate during the work out of underperforming loans
  • Filing and defending lawsuits to enforce promissory notes, guaranties and other written contracts
  • Foreclosing mortgages and enforcing personal property security interests
  • Preserving loan collateral by applying for court-ordered receiverships
  • Protecting lien rights in bankruptcy court
  • Purchasing or selling distressed loans
  • Representing court-appointed receivers
  • Acting as local counsel for out-of-state lawyers who need to foreclose liens within Indiana

John's practice also includes:

  • Asserting the rights of parties in complex, real estate-related litigation
  • Defending mortgage loan servicers and the corresponding trusts/investors in contested residential foreclosures, title insurance claims, and tax sale disputes
  • Defending medical malpractice lawsuits 
  • Representing companies and individuals in a wide variety of disputes

John publishes the blog "Indiana Commercial Foreclosure Law" at

Representative Cases
Creditors' Rights and Liabilities
    • Beginning in late 2009 through 2012, John represented the largest secured creditor of a substantial local home builder that is now defunct.  The client held a multi-million dollar loan secured by dozens of lots spread over several Central Indiana counties.  The engagement started with a contested Marion County receivership proceeding, which was stayed by the filing of an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy case in the Southern District of Indiana.  John and his colleagues got the client relief from the automatic stay in bankruptcy court and then negotiated a partial settlement that resulted in the borrower’s transfer of a block of lots to the client in lieu of a foreclosure.  The remaining thirty-seven lots, which involved multiple other liens, were the subject of a mortgage foreclosure suit John filed on behalf of the client in Boone County.  John obtained a summary judgment and decree of foreclosure for the client, and then worked with the client to sell the judgment and loan to a third party.  John subsequently was engaged by the third party assignee to oversee the thirty-seven foreclosure sales conducted by the Boone County Sheriff. 
    • In 2012 and 2013, John and his team were counsel for a local real estate investor in connection with the purchase of a distressed commercial mortgage loan from another a lender/mortgagee.  John initiated a foreclosure action and successfully got a receiver appointed over the subject property, a multi-use building in Indianapolis.  He and his team next secured a summary judgment against the borrower and the guarantor.  Immediately before the sheriff’s sale, the borrower filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.  John and his team promptly filed a motion to dismiss the bankruptcy action, which motion resulted in a two-day evidentiary hearing.  The court dismissed the case, and then the state court denied the borrower’s motion for relief from the prior judgment.  The firm’s client is now the owner of the project.
    • An out-of-state real estate investment firm retained John in 2010 in connection with the purchase of three distressed loans secured by three apartment complexes in Indianapolis.  John assisted with the acquisition of the loans, and appeared for the new mortgagee in the three existing foreclosure and receivership suits.  John promptly obtained three judgments and foreclosure decrees for the client in a combined amount of $38.6 million.  John then oversaw the sheriff’s sales of the three properties and had the receiverships terminated.

Business Disputes/General Litigation & Dispute Resolution

  • In 2014, John and his team represented a party that, with a partner, invested in the development of two properties in Indiana.  Each investment was secured by a mortgage.  The client’s partner defaulted under both deals.  In one case, the client’s partner, who was the owner of the property, sold the real estate, without notifying the client, and failed to pay the client its agreed-upon return.  Further, the sale occurred subject to the client’s mortgage, which the purchaser’s title company overlooked at closing.  John and his team initiated a breach of contract action against the client’s partner and a statutory strict foreclosure action against the new owner of the property.  The strict foreclosure action evolved into a title dispute with the new owner’s title insurance company surrounding the terms and conditions of the underlying credit agreement between the client and its partner.  Ultimately, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the client and against the partner and the new owner (in effect, against the title company).  Shortly before the sheriff’s sale, the title company paid what amounted to policy limits to the firm’s client – which essentially made the client whole.
  • In September, 2011, John was lead trial counsel for a builder in a construction dispute that involved mechanic’s lien and fraud claims.  The trial lasted a total of nine days in Johnson County, Indiana.
  • In August, 2010, John defended a hospital client of the firm's in a five-day medical malpractice jury trial in Vigo County, Indiana. 

Additional Information

Practice Areas

Banking and Financial Institutions

Business Disputes

Creditors' Rights and Liabilities

General Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Real Estate and Construction Disputes

DePauw UniversityBA 1990Indiana University School of Law-IndianapolisJ.D. 1993

Office Location

One Indiana Square, Suite 1800
211 North Pennsylvania Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204-4208
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2017 Lawyer of the Year in Mortgage Banking Foreclosure Law of the Indianapolis Metro Area
John D. Waller has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2017!

Practice Areas

Mortgage Banking Foreclosure Law