Justia Banking Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Iowa Supreme Court
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In this dispute between a secured lender (Bank) and a grain elevator (Elevator) the Supreme Court reversed in part the district court's judgment in favor of the Bank, holding that the district court erred by applying the discovery rule but otherwise did not err. The Bank filed this civil action alleging damages for drying and storage charges withheld in a three-year period. The Bank asserted that the Elevator had a junior interest to the Bank's prior perfected security interests. The Elevator asserted affirmative defenses of, among other things, failure to state a claim and unjust enrichment. The district court granted the Bank's motion for summary judgment and denied the Elevator's motion for summary judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that the district court (1) correctly applied the two-year limitation period in Iowa Code 614.1(10), which barred the Bank's claims filed more than two years from the date of sale of goods subject to its perfected security interest; (2) erred by applying the discovery rule allowing the Bank to recover on transactions that occurred more than two years before it filed its civil action; and (3) correctly ruled that the Bank's prior perfected security interest trumped the Elevator's claim for storage and drying costs. View "MidWestOne Bank v. Heartland Co-op" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the foreclosure decree entered by the district court giving priority under a future-advances clause to the full amount of credit extended by the first lienholder rather than the maximum amount set forth in the notice provision of the first lienholder's mortgage, holding that the first lienholder's priority was capped at $148,000. A bank made a series of loans to a farmer and obtained a mortgage with a future-advances clause on a farm property. The bank's mortgage contained language stating that the mortgage secured credit in the amount of $148,000. The farmer later took out a loan from a second bank, also secured in part by the same farm property. When the first bank filed a foreclosure proceeding, the parties disputed whether the first bank's lien had priority for all amounts due to the first bank or only up to $148,000. The district court found that the first bank's priority was not limited to $148,000 but extended to all debt secured by the mortgage. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the first bank's priority was capped at $148,000, plus interest; and (2) the first bank was not allowed to collect default interest at eighteen percent as part of its first-priority lien where there was no written agreement to pay that rate. View "Blue Grass Savings Bank v. Community Bank & Trust Co." on Justia Law

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The district court erred in ruling that the coguarantors of a loan were not entitled to contribution from other guarantors of an underlying debt because the funds used to make the payments on the debt were provided to them by their respective parents. Here, the parents of the coguarantors provided funds to their children to pay part of the underlying debt. The funds were placed in accounts owned or co-owned by the coguarantors, who then paid down a debt with funds drawn from these accounts. The coguarantors sought contribution from the other guarantors of the underlying debt. The district court and court of appeals ruled against the coguarantors. The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the court of appeals and reversed the judgment of the district court, holding that the coguarantors were entitled to contribution from other guarantors on the undisputed facts of this case. View "Shcharansky v. Shapiro" on Justia Law

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The district court granted a request for entry of a charging order against a personal guarantor and judgment debtor’s transferable interest in an LLC. The judgment debtor and intervenor filed a motion to quash alleging that multiple levies and garnishments were improper. The district court granted the motion to quash. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the entry of the charging order was proper; but (2) the district court erred in granting the motion to quash because it is proper to have multiple levies and garnishments at the same time so long as they are under a single execution. Remanded. View "DuTrac Community Credit Union v. Hefel" on Justia Law

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Liberty Bank made five loans to the owner of real property (Property). Liberty Bank and five other banks entered into participation agreements related to the loan. Iowa Great Lakes Holding later defaulted on the loan, and the mortgage was extinguished. After the surrender and foreclosure, Liberty Bank and Central Bank entered into an agreement under which Central Bank acquired assets, including loans, from Liberty Bank. Liberty Bank conveyed the Property to a Central Bank affiliated entity via quitclaim deed. Central Bank then filed a declaratory action against Liberty Bank and the five participating banks seeking a ruling that it owned the Property free and clear of any interest of the participating banks. The district court granted summary judgment for Defendants, concluding that, under the participation agreements, Central Bank did not own the property in fee simple because Liberty Bank did not sell Central Bank a one hundred percent interest in the property. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the ownership interest of the participating banks in the mortgage and underlying collateral was superior to Central Bank, which claimed its interest was derivative of and limited to the interest held by Liberty Bank. View "Central Bank v. Hogan" on Justia Law

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The Regional Utility Service Systems Commission (RUSS) brought a breach of contract action against the City of Mount Union. The district court entered judgment in favor of RUSS. The clerk of court subsequently issued a writ of general execution commanding the county sheriff to levy on all bank accounts held by the City at Iowa State Bank in Mount Union. The City filed a motion to quash the garnishment on the grounds that the bank account was exempt from execution under Iowa Code 627.18. The district court denied the motion to quash and claim of exemption. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the bank account was exempt under section 627.18 because the general funds in the account were “necessary and proper for carrying out the general purpose” for which the City was organized. View "Reg’l Util. Serv. Sys. v. City of Mount Union" on Justia Law

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Bank was the holder of a promissory note executed by Mortgagors and the mortgage that secured the note. After Mortgagors defaulted on the note Bank brought a foreclosure action and obtained an in rem judgment and decree of foreclosure against Mortgagors. More than two years after the entry of the original judgment, the property had not been sold, and Bank filed a notice of rescission of the foreclosure. Bank subsequently filed this foreclosure action and moved for summary judgment. Mortgagor counterclaimed for quiet title and wrongful foreclosure, arguing that she was entitled to own the property because the house was not sold within two years of the foreclosure decree. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Bank. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the two-year special statute of limitations in Iowa Code 615.1(1) does not limit the period of time for a mortgagee to rescind a prior foreclosure judgment. View "U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n v. Callen" on Justia Law

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At issue in this quiet title action was whether the two-year special statute of limitations in Iowa Code 615.1(1) applies only to judgment liens or whether the underlying debt is also extinguished after the end of the two-year period. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Bank. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) in accordance with U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n v. Callen, the two-year special statute of limitations in section 615.1(1) does not apply to rescission; and (2) Mortgagor’s unclean hands defense to foreclosure has been waived. View "Kobal v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, former customers of West Bank, filed a multiple-count proposed consumer class action lawsuit against the Bank challenging one-time nonsufficient funds fees the Bank charged when Plaintiffs used their debit cards to create overdrafts in their checking account. Plaintiffs alleged usury claims and sequencing claims. The district court denied the Bank’s motions for summary judgment on the usury and sequencing claims but granted summary judgment on the Bank’s motion for summary judgment on Plaintiffs’ usury claim arising under the Iowa Ongoing Criminal Conduct Act. In a companion case issued today, the Supreme Court concluded that the district court erred in denying the Bank’s motions for summary judgment except as to the good-faith claim involving the sequencing of overdrafts. Likewise, the Court here found that the district court also erred in certifying the class action on all claims except for Plaintiffs' good-faith sequencing claim. View "Legg v. West Bank" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, former customers of West Bank, filed a multiple-count proposed consumer class action lawsuit against the Bank challenging one-time nonsufficient funds fees the Bank charged when Plaintiffs used their debit cards to create overdrafts in their checking account. Plaintiffs alleged usury claims and sequencing claims. the Bank filed three motions for summary judgment asking the district court to dismiss all of Plaintiffs’ usury and sequencing claims. The district court denied the Bank’s motions for summary judgment on the usury and sequencing claims but granted summary judgment on the Bank’s motion for summary judgment on Plaintiffs’ usury claim arising under the Iowa Ongoing Criminal Conduct Act. The Bank filed this interlocutory appeal on the district court’s denial of its motions for summary judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that the district court erred in denying the Bank’s motions for summary judgment except as to Plaintiffs’ claim based on a potential breach of the express duty of good faith in the sequencing of postings of bank card transactions. Remanded. View "Legg v. West Bank" on Justia Law