Articles Posted in Banking

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Plaintiffs filed suit against several financial entities for foreclosing on a mortgage loan. The district court granted summary judgment for defendants. At issue were plaintiffs' claims under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA), Mo. Rev. Stat. 407.020. The court affirmed and held that the foreclosure was justified because defendants had a right to foreclose on the house and thus the MMPA claim failed as a matter of law because the loss was not caused by any misconduct on behalf of defendants. Likewise, plaintiffs' tortious interference claim failed because the foreclosure was legal. View "Wheatley v. JP Morgan Chase Bank" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit alleging that GCF violated the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq., by failing to clearly and conspicuously disclose the annual percentage rate (APR) and finance charge in his Retail Installment and Security Contract. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of plaintiff's motion for judgment as a matter of law where the Summary of Understanding was not completely integrated; the district court thus did not err in admitting parol evidence; and there was sufficient evidence to support GCF's affirmative defense of waiver. The court also affirmed the district court's denial of plaintiff's motion for a new trial where there was no record of what objections plaintiff would have raised had the district court turned on "white noise" during the initial portion of the trial, nor was he prejudiced; even if the district court erred by not sustaining plaintiff's objection to GCF's counsel's statement during closing argument, the statement was not such a magnitude that a new trial was warranted; the court rejected plaintiff's claims of error as to the discretionary evidentiary rulings; and there was no error in the district court's response to a jury question. View "Smiley v. Gary Crossley Ford, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Banking, Consumer Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 15 U.S.C. 1601-1667f, seeking to rescind their 2006 mortgage. Plaintiffs alleged that they did not receive sufficient copies of disclosures required by TILA at the December 2006 closing. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the bank, holding that plaintiffs have not demonstrated a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether they received only one notice. The court explained that a borrower's own conclusory denial of receipt of TILA disclosures, unaccompanied by details or other evidence supporting the denial, was insufficient to rebut the presumption of delivery created by section 1635(c). Therefore, plaintiffs' three-day rescission window of section 1635(a) barred their request for rescission. The court also held that plaintiffs did not raise any specific objections to the accuracy of the disclosure statement during the first summary judgment proceedings. Therefore, the district court's finding was the law of the case and plaintiffs' allegations were waived. Even if the argument were not waived, plaintiffs cannot prevail because the alleged error was not a violation of TILA. View "Keiran v. Home Capital" on Justia Law

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Bayer filed an interpleader action to determine its obligations with regards to a settlement reached with Texana that came about as a result of lawsuits that arose when Bayer introduced genetically modified rice into the United States commercial long-grain rice supply. Stearns Bank and Amegy are both bank creditors of Texana. The district court found for Amegy Bank. The court held that the district court erred in determining that Stearns Bank’s foreclosure extinguished its rights to pursue the proceeds of its original collateral; while Stearns Bank does not have an interest in the Settlement Payment as an after-acquired general intangible because that payment arose as proceeds of a commercial tort claim, it does have an interest in the Settlement Payment to the extent the payment is for damage to the original collateral; and the district court will have to determine on remand what part of the sum held in the registry of the court constitutes proceeds of Stearns Bank’s original collateral and what part does not constitute such proceeds. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded. View "Stearns Bank Nat'l Assoc. v. Amegy Bank Nat'l Assoc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Banking

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The Government filed suit to determine whether its 2004 tax lien on a foreclosed property had priority over several other competing interests in the property. The district court granted summary judgment for the Government. US Bank held an interest via a 2006 deed of trust, and appealed the district court's judgment. In chronological order, the 2004 deed of trust was recorded (March 29, 2004), the date the Government’s tax lien for unpaid 2004 taxes was assessed (November 21, 2005), and the date the 2006 deed of trust was recorded (July 11, 2006). The court concluded that the release-first sequencing combines with the lengthy gap in recording to prevent the court from considering the release of the 2004 deed of trust and recordation of the 2006 deed of trust to have occurred sufficiently contemporaneously to be part of the same transaction. Allowing U.S. Bank to stretch the notion of “same transaction” to include a more-than-two-month gap between release of an old deed of trust and recordation of a new one would undermine the integrity of the recording statute. The court concluded that the district court did not err by granting summary judgment to the Government because no genuine issue of material fact remains as to whether the 2006 deed of trust retained the priority of the released 2004 deed of trust. View "United States v. US Bank Nat'l Ass'n" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff requested payment for the one year remaining on his employment contract, but the FDIC advised that the payment was a prohibited “golden parachute,” under 12 U.S.C. 1828(k) and 12 C.F.R. 359.1, which the bank could not make without prior agency approval. Plaintiff, a former executive at Reliance Bank, filed suit against the bank and the FDIC, alleging a breach of contract under Missouri law and sought a declaration that federal law does not prohibit the payment. The district court upheld the FDIC determination and granted summary judgment to the bank. The court rejected plaintiff's argument that the agency determination is not worthy of deference because it is inconsistent with FDIC positions taken elsewhere. Rather, the court concluded that Chevron and Auer deference is irrelevant because the agency treats the word "contingent" as unambiguous and relies on its dictionary meaning. The court concluded that one could reasonably characterize the payment obligation as contingent on either plaintiff’s termination or his continued employment. In this case, plaintiff alleged the bank came to owe the payment because of his termination, not because of services he rendered. Therefore, the agency determined the payment was contingent on termination, and the court found this finding was neither arbitrary nor capricious. The court concluded that the bank’s obligation to pay plaintiff was rendered impossible when the FDIC determined the payment was a golden parachute. The court rejected plaintiff's remaining claims and affirmed the judgment. View "Rohr v. Reliance Bank" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit against Green Tree to prevent it from foreclosing on plaintiffs' home. Plaintiffs alleged that Green Tree lacked authority to foreclose. The district court granted Green Tree's motion to dismiss based on plaintiffs' lack of standing to challenge the assignment between creditors and concluded that plaintiffs' notice claim failed to state a plausible claim for relief under Ashcroft v. Iqbal. The court concluded that plaintiffs' invalid assignment claim is nearly identical to the claim in Quale v. Aurora Loan Services, LLC, where the court determined the homeowners did not have standing to raise such a claim because they “were not injured by the assignment” and any harm to the homeowners was not fairly traceable to the allegedly invalid assignment. The court also rejected plaintiffs' contention that the district court erred in dismissing their amended complaint where plaintiffs failed to state a facially plausible claim for relief. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Brown v. Green Tree Servicing LLC" on Justia Law

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Grand Rios purchased a Brooklyn Park, Minnesota hotel and waterpark, assuming $4.61 million of the debt owed to Northeast Bank by the original owner, and purchased insurance from Hanover Insurance. The roof was damaged by a snowstorm. Sill was hired to handle the claim. Hanover issued checks totaling $350,000 made jointly payable to Grand Rios, Northeast, and Sill. Without Northeast’s endorsement, knowledge, or consent, Wells Fargo Bank paid the full amount of the checks to Grand Rios. Months later, Northeast and Grand Rios entered into a Settlement Agreement under which Grand Rios agreed to a voluntary foreclosure, assigned all insurance proceeds to Northeast, paid $50,000 to Northeast, and allowed a state court to appoint a receiver for the hotel and waterpark. Hanover made additional insurance payments of approximately $1.2 million. Ultimately Northeast received approximately $200,000 more than the debt Grand Rios owed and sold the property to CarMax. Northeast sued Hanover and Wells Fargo. The district court dismissed Hanover and granted summary judgment in favor of Northeast against Wells Fargo.. The Eighth Circuit reversed. While the payment constituted conversion under the UCC, Minn. Stat. 336.3-420, Northeast has not suffered any damages because it was subsequently paid the full amount of the debt for which the checks were security. View "Northeast Bank v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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Falco sold insurance for Farmers, under a 1990 Agent Agreement, which provided that Falco would be paid Contract Value upon termination of the Agreement. As a Farmers agent, Falco was entitled to borrow money from the Credit Union. In 2006, Falco obtained a $28,578.00 business loan and assigned his interest in his Agreement receivables—including Contract Value—as security. The loan document gave the Credit Union authority to demand payments that Farmers owed Falco; it could tender Falco’s resignation to levy on Falco’s Contract Value. Falco failed to make payments and filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, listing the loan on his schedules. Falco received a discharge in February 2011, covering his liability under his Credit Union loan. In April 2011, the Credit Union notified Farmers that Falco had defaulted and exercised the power of attorney to terminate his Agent Agreement. Farmers notified Falco that the resignation had been accepted, calculated Contract Value as $104,323.30, paid the Credit Union $29,180.92, and paid the balance to Falco. The Eighth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of defendants, finding that the Credit Union’s secured interest survived bankruptcy; it did not tortuously interfere with Falco’s Agreement because it had a legal right to terminate the Agreement; and Falco failed to show an underlying wrongful act or intentional tort as required under civil conspiracy. View "Falco v. Farmers Ins. Grp." on Justia Law

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Knickel approached Macquarie Bank about a loan to develop North Dakota oil and gas leases, providing confidential information about leased acreage that he had assembled over 10 years. Macquarie entered agreements with Knickel’s companies, LexMac and Novus. His other company, Lexar was not a party. Macquarie acquired a mortgage lien and perfected security interest in the leases and in their extensions or renewals. Royalties and confidential information—reserves reports on the acreage, seismic data, and geologic maps—also served as collateral. The companies defaulted. Because of the lack of development or production, many leases were set to expire. Knickel claims he agreed to renew only leases that included automatic extensions. Macquarie claims that Knickel promised to renew all leases serving as collateral in the names of LexMac and Novus. Upon the expiration of the leases without automatic extensions, Knickel entered into new leases in the name of Lexar, for development with LexMac and Novus, since they owned the confidential information. A foreclosure judgment entered, declaring that LexMac and Novus’s interest in the leases would be sold to satisfy the debt: $5,296,252.29,. Marquarie filed notice of lis pendens on Lexar’s leases, leased adjoining acreage, used the confidential information to find a buyer, and sold the leases at a profit of about $7,000,000. Marquarie filed claims of deceit, fraud, and promissory estoppel, and alleged that the corporate veil of the companies should be pierced to hold Knickel personally liable. The defendants counterclaimed misappropriation of trade secrets and unlawful interference with business. The Eighth Circuit affirmed summary judgment on all but one claim and judgment that Macquarie had misappropriated trade secrets. View "Macquarie Bank Ltd. v. Knickel" on Justia Law