Justia Banking Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Utah Supreme Court
LeGrand Johnson Construction Co. v. Celtic Bank Corp.
The Supreme Court reversed the decision to award prejudgment interest to LeGrand and concluded that Celtic Bank was the prevailing party on the prejudgment interest issues.LeGrand Johnson Construction Company filed an action seeking to enforce its mechanic’s lien on property owned by B2AC, LLC for the unpaid value of construction services, and Celtic Bank, B2AC’s lender, sought to foreclose on the same property after B2AC failed to pay on its loan. The action resulted in a lien for $237,294 and an award of attorney fees and costs. Thereafter, the district court determined that LeGrand’s lien, rather than Celtic Bank’s lien, had priority and awarded LeGrand attorney fees and costs. The court then ruled that LeGrand was entitled to recover eighteen percent in prejudgment and postjudgment interest from Celtic Bank based on LeGrand’s contract with B2AC. The Supreme Court (1) reinforced its holding in Jordan Construction, Inc. v. Federal National Mortgage Ass’n, 408 P.3d 296 (Utah 2017), that prejudgment interest is not available under the 2008 version of the Utah Mechanic’s Lien Act; and (2) vacated the attorney fee award because it was based, in part, on the notion that LeGrand had succeeded in establishing its right to prejudgment interest. View "LeGrand Johnson Construction Co. v. Celtic Bank Corp." on Justia Law
2010-1 RADC/CADC Venture, LLC v. Dos Lagos, LLC
Dos Lagos, LLC and Mellon Valley, LLC defaulted on a loan in which Utah First Federal Credit Union owned a fifty-two percent interest and RADC/CADC Venture, LLC (RADC) owned a forty-eight percent interest. Utah First filed a deficiency action against Dog Lagos, Mellon Valley, and several guarantors (collectively, Dos Lagos). After the statute of limitations had expired, Utah First filed an emended complaint adding RADC as a party plaintiff. The district court awarded RADC the full amount of the loan, concluding that the amended complaint related back to the date of the original complaint under Utah R. Civ. P. 15(c). The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court of appeals did not err when it found that RADC’s claim was not time barred and awarded RADC the full deficiency amount. View "2010-1 RADC/CADC Venture, LLC v. Dos Lagos, LLC" on Justia Law
Crapo v. Zions First National Bank
Shayne Crapo defaulted on a $250,000 loan from Zions First National Bank. After the expiration of a three-year period with no payments being made on the loan, Zions Bank issued Mr. Crapo a Form 1099-C - a reporting tool designed to help the IRS track lenders’ debt forgiveness. Crapo claimed that he reported the $250,000 as income on his tax return, thus increasing his tax burden for that year. After Zions Bank brought a deficiency action to recover the amount due on the loan, Crapo argued that the Form 1099-C was prima facie evidence that Zions Bank discharged the debt and that Zions Bank was estopped from collecting the debt. The district court rejected Crapo’s arguments and granted summary judgment in favor of Zions Bank. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Crapo failed to show that there was a genuine dispute of material fact as to either actual discharge or estoppel. View "Crapo v. Zions First National Bank" on Justia Law
Federated Capital Corp. v. Libby
In 2005, Connor Libby and Elena Chapa (collectively, Defendants) signed credit card agreements with Federated Capital Corporation’s predecessor-in-interest, a Utah corporation with its principal place of business in Pennsylvania. The agreements contained a forum selection clause and choice of law provision that adopted Utah substantive and procedural law to govern any dispute under the contract. The agreements required Defendants to make monthly payments to the address specific on their billings statements, and each billing statement required Defendants to send their payments to an address in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Defendants defaulted in 2006. In 2012, Federated filed separate claims in separate proceedings against Defendants. In each proceeding, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants, ruling that Utah’s borrowing statute required the court to apply Pennsylvania’s four-year statute of limitations, thereby barring Federated’s claims. Federated appealed, arguing that the agreement’s forum selection clause precluded the application of Utah’s borrowing statute. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the borrowing statute applied to and barred Federated’s causes of action. View "Federated Capital Corp. v. Libby" on Justia Law
Fed. Nat’l Mortgage Ass’n v. Sundquist
Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) initiated an unlawful detainer action against Appellant, claiming ownership of Appellant's home pursuant to a trustee's deed it obtained from ReconTrust, a national bank that conducted a nonjudicial foreclosure sale in its capacity as trustee of the trust deed that Appellant had executed to secure her mortgage. After an immediate occupancy hearing, the district court entered an order of restitution requiring that Appellant vacate her home. At issue on appeal was whether ReconTrust had authority to conduct the foreclosure sale and convey Appellant's home to the FNMA where Utah Code 57-1-21 and 57-1-23 limits the power of sale to trustees who are either members of the Utah State Bar or title insurance companies with an office in Utah. The district court concluded that ReconTrust, as a national bank, was authorized to conduct the sale under federal law and that federal law preempted Utah law. The Supreme Court vacated the district court's order of restitution, holding that the relevant Utah statutes were not preempted by federal law, and therefore, a national bank seeking to foreclose real property in Utah must comply with Utah law. Remanded. View "Fed. Nat'l Mortgage Ass'n v. Sundquist" on Justia Law
Prinsburg v. Abundo
Alpine Vision entered into loan agreements with Prinsburg State Bank's predecessor in interest. Several individuals (Guarantors) executed personal guarantees for the loans. Knighton Optical subsequently purchased Alpine Vision and defaulted on the loans. Prinsburg sued the Guarantors to recover the balance. Prinsburg then sold the collateral but did not apply the sale's proceeds to the outstanding balance of the loans. The Guarantors objected to the sale. After the district court denied all but one of Prinsburg's claims on summary judgment, the parties stipulated to a list of statements consistent with the district court's findings and conclusions, and additionally to a statement that resolved the remaining claim in favor of the Guarantors. The district court accepted the parties' stipulations and summarily denied all of Prinsburg's claims. The court of appeals declined to consider Prinsburg's arguments on appeal, concluding that the parties' stipulations unambiguously resolved the case and precluded appellate review. The Supreme Court affirmed but on different grounds, holding that, because Prinsburg stipulated to the district court's resolution of this case, it was estopped from challenging that resolution on appeal. View "Prinsburg v. Abundo" on Justia Law
Pioneer Builders Co. of Nev., Inc. v. KDA Corp.
Pioneer Builders financed the purchase of an RV park (Property). At that time, the Property was subject to several existing recorded and unrecorded leases. When Pioneer attempted to foreclose on the property, some of the owners of the unrecorded leases (Defendants) argued that Pioneer could not foreclose on their lots because their interests in the Property were superior to Pioneer's. The district court found that, although Pioneer was entitled to foreclose on its loans, Pioneer had actual and constructive notice of the unrecorded leases. Accordingly, the court concluded that Pioneer's interest in the Property was inferior to the interests of the Defendants. The Supreme Court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendants, holding that the district court applied an incorrect legal standard regarding constructive notice and conflated the issue of whether Pioneer had notice of any recorded leases with whether it had notice of the unrecorded leases at issue. Remanded. View "Pioneer Builders Co. of Nev., Inc. v. KDA Corp." on Justia Law
Madsen v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
The procedural background of the extensive litigation underlying this case was discussed in Madsen IV. Following the Supreme Court's decision in that case, Appellant Nancy Madsen filed a new complaint alleging grounds for the same relief that was sought by the earlier complaint. The new complaint was dismissed as barred by res judicata, and this appeal followed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the litigation preceding the filing of Appellant's new action definitively resolved her claims and erected a res judicata bar to any subsequent complaint raising claims that could have and should have been raised in that litigation. View "Madsen v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A." on Justia Law