Justia Banking Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Family Law
Sanborn Savings Bank v. Connie Freed
Defendant and her then-husband bought a condo for $525,000 with the intention of making it their primary residence. To finance the purchase, the couple took out a mortgage with the Plaintiff bank. Defendant did not sign the note but consented to her husband doing so. The mortgage contained a "future advances" clause, which granted Plaintiff a security interest in the Mortgage covering future funds Defendant's husband might borrow.Four years later, Defendant's husband borrowed additional funds from Plaintiff to keep his business afloat. Defendant did not sign the note. A few months later, Defendant's husband filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and the condo was sold for $650,000, approximately $250,000 of which was deposited in escrow. The couple divorced and Defendant moved out of the state.In Defendant's husband's bankruptcy case, the court held a portion of the escrowed sale proceeds must pay down his business notes pursuant to the mortgage’s future advances clause and that he could not claim a homestead exemption. Plaintiff was granted summary judgment on its claims that Defendant's proceeds were also subject to the future advances clause and that Plaintiff could apply those proceeds to Defendant's husband's business note.Defendant appealed on several grounds, including unconscionability, contract formation, and public policy, all of which the court rejected, affirming the district court's granting of summary judgment to Plaintiff. View "Sanborn Savings Bank v. Connie Freed" on Justia Law
In re 25 Burnside Avenue, Narragansett, R.I.
The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the order of the superior court authorizing a permanent receiver to distribute the proceeds from the sale of 25 Burnside Avenue in Narragansett in accordance with the receiver's recommendations, holding that the order is vacated to the extent that it deducted the entire balance of an outstanding mortgage from Kevin Hunt's share of the proceeds.The property in this case was owned by Kevin and Alice Hunt as tenants by the entirety. After the family court dissolved the Hunts' marriage, Bank scheduled a sale of the property to foreclose upon the mortgage. Alice filed a petition for receivership to protect her equity interests in the property, and the property was placed into temporary judicial receivership. The receiver eventually sold the property and filed a final report and a recommendation on allowance of claims. The superior court entered an order adopting the receiver's recommendations. The Supreme Court held that the superior court justice (1) did not err when he concluded that the net proceeds were to be distributed equally between Kevin and Alice; (2) erred when he attributed the mortgage wholly to Kevin; and (3) did not err by ordering Kevin to pay rent retroactively. View "In re 25 Burnside Avenue, Narragansett, R.I." on Justia Law
Wooten v. Bank of Am., N.A.
Gary Wooten purchased property before marrying Iracy Wooten. Gary subsequently executed a deed of trust to secure a loan. Thereafter, Gary conveyed the property to himself and Iracy as tenants by the entirety. Approximately two weeks later, the lender recorded the deed of trust executed solely by Gary. Five years later, the lender filed suit against Gary and Iracy seeking a judicial reformation of the deed of trust to include Iracy as grantor or to declare her interest in the property to be encumbered by the deed of trust. Iracy responded that she knew nothing of the deed of trust or the loan and first learned of them during divorce proceedings with Gary. Meanwhile, a final divorce decree was entered ordering that the property be sold and any remaining proceeds be divided equally between the parties. In the lender’s proceeding, the lender argued that Iracy was judicially estopped from denying that her interest was subject to Gary’s deed of trust and that the divorce decree justified this conclusion. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of the lender. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court erred in applying the doctrine of judicial estoppel based solely upon the divorce decree. Remanded. View "Wooten v. Bank of Am., N.A." on Justia Law
Posted in: Banking, Civil Procedure, Family Law, Real Estate & Property Law
Avakian v. Citibank, N.A.
The Avakians purchased a house with a loan secured by a properly executed deed of trust. The property was their homestead, where they lived together. Citibank refinanced the loan. Unlike the original loan, the refinancing note only listed Norair as the debtor. Citibank required that the Avakians execute another deed of trust. Norair signed the Citibank deed of trust. The next day, Burnette signed an identical deed of trust. The deeds of trust did not mention each other, and did not refer to signature of counterpart documents. Citibank recorded them as separate instruments. The Avakians received a loan modification. Around the time of Norair’s death, Burnette received notice that Citibank was taking steps to foreclose. After Norair’s death, Burnette sought a declaratory judgment. The district court granted summary judgment to Burnette, finding that, because the two were living together when they signed the Citibank deeds of trust, the instruments were invalid. The Fifth Circuit reversed. Under Mississippi law, a deed of trust on a homestead is void if it is not signed by both spouses, but the Mississippi Supreme Court would likely hold that a valid deed of trust is created when husband and wife contemporaneously sign separate, identical instruments. View "Avakian v. Citibank, N.A." on Justia Law
Posted in: Banking, Contracts, Family Law, Real Estate & Property Law
Citizens State Bank Norwood Young Am. v. Brown
After Gordon Brown’s debt to Citizens State Bank Norwood Young America (Bank) became delinquent, Gordon petitioned to dissolve his twenty-three-year marriage to Judy Brown. The Browns executed a marital termination agreement that was incorporated into the marital dissolution decree. Pursuant to the dissolution judgment and decree, Gordon transferred to Judy several assets. When it was unable to collect from Gordon on the original judgment, the Bank brought this action under Minnesota’s Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (MUFTA) to levy execution on the assets Gordon transferred to Judy, alleging that the transfers were made with the intent to defraud the Bank. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the Bank, determining that the transfers were voidable under MUFTA. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s judgment granting the Bank authority to levy execution on assets fraudulently transferred to the extent necessary to satisfy the Bank’s claim, holding that MUFTA applies to transfers made pursuant to an uncontested marital dissolution decree. View "Citizens State Bank Norwood Young Am. v. Brown" on Justia Law
Posted in: Banking, Family Law
Brattleboro Savings & Loan Assn. v. Hardie, et al.
In 2002, defendant Richard Hardie borrowed money from Brattleboro Savings & Loan Association in order to purchase a vacation home in Weathersfield. The loan was secured by a mortgage on the property and included a "second home rider" clause, asserting that the property was not a primary residence. Hardie was married to intervenor-appellee Lisa Mangini at the time, but was the sole owner of the property, and Mangini did not sign either the promissory note or the mortgage. Hardie twice refinanced the property without Mangini's participation, both with second home riders. By 2007, Hardie and Mangini's marriage was deteriorating. Mangini left the couple's New Jersey home and moved into the Weathersfield property. In 2008, Mangini filed for divorce in Vermont. In her divorce filing, Mangini claimed that the property had become her primary residence as of May 2007. Also in the divorce filing, Mangini requested "an award of the Weathersfield home and the adjoining land either without any encumbrances, or, in the alternative, that [Hardie] be responsible for paying off and releasing the mortgage to [Brattleboro Savings]." While Mangini was occupying the property and the divorce was pending, Hardie refinanced the mortgage on the Weathersfield property. The 2008 refinancing was completed without Mangini's participation, and Hardie again claimed that the property was a second home. In 2011, Brattleboro Savings commenced a foreclosure action on the property, naming only Hardie as a defendant. Despite not being named in the foreclosure case, Mangini filed an answer asserting an affirmative defense that she had established a homestead interest in the property prior to the 2008 mortgage, and that therefore the 2008 mortgage was "inoperative to convey" her homestead interest. Brattleboro Savings filed two motions for summary judgment, one requesting a foreclosure judgment against Hardie and the second seeking judgment against Mangini on her homestead claim. Mangini filed a cross-motion for summary judgment, detailing for the first time her claim that she had acquired an equitable interest in the property by her divorce filing. Brattleboro Savings appealed a superior court's decision denying its motions for summary judgment and granting Mangini's cross-motion for summary judgment, finding that Mangini held title to the Weathersfield property free and clear of a mortgage to plaintiff. The superior court ruled that the mortgage was inoperative because Hardie, mortgaged the property without the participation of Mangini in violation of 27 V.S.A. section 141(a). Upon review of the matter, the Supreme Court reversed the grant of Mangini's motion for summary judgment and the denial of Brattleboro Saving's motions for summary judgment, and remanded the case for further proceedings.View "Brattleboro Savings & Loan Assn. v. Hardie, et al." on Justia Law
Posted in: Banking, Family Law, Real Estate Law
Sykes v. Bank of America
Plaintiff, a recipient of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, appealed from the district court's judgment sua sponte dismissing his amended complaint under 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B). Plaintiff sought an Order to Show Cause, a temporary restraining order, and a preliminary injunction enjoining defendants from levying against his SSI benefits to enforce a child support order. At issue was whether 42 U.S.C. 659(a) authorized levy against SSI benefits provided under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 301 et seq., to satisfy the benefits recipient's child support obligations. The court concluded that SSI benefits were not based upon remuneration for employment within the meaning of section 659(a); section 659(a) did not preclude plaintiff's claims; and the Rooker-Feldman doctrine and the exception to federal jurisdiction for divorce matters did not preclude the district court from exercising jurisdiction over the matter. Accordingly, the court vacated the judgment to the extent the district court dismissed plaintiff's claims against the agency defendants and remanded for further proceedings. However, the court affirmed the portion of the judgment dismissing plaintiff's claims against Bank of America because his complaint had not alleged facts establishing that the bank was a state actor for purposes of 42 U.S.C. 1983. View "Sykes v. Bank of America" on Justia Law
Benefit Bank v. Rogers
Appellant Benefit Bank appealed from the circuit court's order finding that the mortgage it held to certain property was second and subordinate to the interest of Appellee Marilyn Rogers obtained in her divorce. Appellant appealed, arguing, among other things, that the circuit court erred in finding that Appellee's interest was prior to Appellant's interest because the divorce court lacked authority to impose a lien on real property to secure alimony payments. The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's order, holding (1) the divorce court did not lack the authority to impose the lien as it did, where it was stipulated to by the divorcing parties; and (2) the circuit court did not err in finding that the lis pendens filed by Appellee created or perfected a lien. View "Benefit Bank v. Rogers" on Justia Law
Posted in: Arkansas Supreme Court, Banking, Family Law, Real Estate & Property Law
Bank of America, NA v. Owens
As part of the distribution of property following the dissolution of Kenneth Treiger and J’Amy Lyn Owens’ marriage, a home belonging to them (the Maplewood property) was sold, and, pursuant to a trust agreement, the proceeds were deposited in a trust account. Bank of America NA (the Bank), which had obtained a writ of attachment on the Maplewood property, filed a declaratory judgment action to determine each party’s rights to the proceeds. This presented two issues for the Supreme Court's review: (1) to determine whether the “Supplemental Decree of Dissolution” (Supplemental Decree) established a lien on the Maplewood property in favor of Treiger; and (2) to determine whether various documents were valid judgments. Upon review, the Court concluded that the Supplemental Decree established an equitable lien on the Maplewood property in favor of Treiger in the amount of one-half of the proceeds of the court-ordered sale of the property. Furthermore, Documents "1375" and "13761" were valid judgments entitling Treiger to further awards but that Document "1370" was properly not given separate effect. Accordingly, the Court affirm in part and reversed in part the decision of the Court of Appeals.