Joshua N. Howley

Joshua N. Howley


Josh Howley, who is part of the Firm's Litigation Practice Group and a member of the Firm’s Management Committee, regularly practices in state and federal courts, including bankruptcy courts, primarily in New York and New Jersey.  One of his specialties is representing traditional lenders, hedge funds, servicers and receivers in asset recovery litigation. Mr. Howley is also frequently hired when mortgage loans go into default and the borrower asserts defenses. In a unanimous opinion dated July 1, 2020, Mr. Howley succeeded before the Supreme Court of New Jersey, on behalf of a prominent New Jersey bank, in establishing that an assignee of a lost original promissory note can enforce it based on a lost note affidavit even though the assignee was not the creditor that lost the original. This decision created strong, pro-lender precedent in New Jersey. 

He is an efficient and effective problem solver. While Mr. Howley is known for being aggressive, he understands that not all matters require a scorched earth approach.  This recognition is one of the things that makes him successful: he recognizes that each case is unique and he tailors his approach to the facts presented.

Mr. Howley prides himself on responsiveness.  He recognizes that the Firm's clients are retaining him for, in part, being available whenever necessary to solve their problems.  This includes overnight and on the weekend.

Mr. Howley clerked for the Hon. Charles J. Walsh, an esteemed New Jersey judge before starting at Skadden Arps in 2002, where he worked until joining Sills Cummis & Gross in February 2006.  He made partner at Sills Cummis in October 2010 at the age of 35.  He has been recognized by various publications, including the New Jersey Law Journal's 40 Under 40 list for 2011, Benchmark Litigation, Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers. (See Rankings & Recognition section below.) Mr. Howley is active in the Mortgage Bankers Association, and he is the Vice Chairman of the Board of the Northern New Jersey Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Mr. Howley has two young children who keep him grounded. He enjoys golfing, good food and wine, and seeing live music.

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Representative Matters

  • Successfully represented a prominent New Jersey bank before the Supreme Court of New Jersey in obtaining an important ruling that the lender, as the assignee of a promissory note, could enforce the note based on a lost note affidavit.
  • In a published decision from the New Jersey Appellate Division, deciding an issue of first impression in New Jersey, the court held in favor of the lender that the lender did not need to hold an original promissory note when it is lost in order to be able to enforce it.
  • Successfully representing a lender before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit involving allegations of mortgage fraud.
  • Winning a bench trial and the dismissal with prejudice of fraudulent transfer claims against an investment advisor and an individual.
  • Securing summary judgment in a commercial foreclosure action on behalf of a syndicate of lenders in connection with a $72 million loan.

Court Admissions

U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

Representative Decisions

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Client Alerts

Rankings & Recognition

Selected for inclusion in:

  • The Best Lawyers in America®*  2015-2022, Commercial Litigation
  • Benchmark Litigation: America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys®* 2020-2021
  • New Jersey Law Journal®* “40 Under 40” 2011    
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers®* 2016-2021, Business Litigation; General Litigation; Bankruptcy: Business
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers®*  "Rising Star" 2010-2014, Business Litigation and General Litigation  
* See Award Methodology. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.


Member, New Jersey Bankers Association
   – Member, Commercial Loan Committee
Member, American Bar Association    
   – Member, Section of Litigation
Member, New Jersey State Bar Association
   – Member, Financial Services Litigation Committee, Banking Law Section
Member, Essex County Bar Association
   – Member, Chancery Division Practice Committee
Barrister, Justice Morris Pashman American Inn of Court
Former Member, Banking Editorial Advisory Board, Law360 
Vice Chair of the Board, American Red Cross, Northern New Jersey Chapter, Fairfield, NJ