Articles Posted in Virginia Supreme Court

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Jack Bays, Inc. did site work on the construction of a new church (New Life). Jack Bays contracted with several subcontractors, eleven of which were parties to this action. New Life obtained additional funds for the project through three lenders. The Lenders were listed on the deed of trust for the new financing. After New Life stopped making to Jack Bays due to lack of funding, Jack Bays recorded its memorandum of mechanics' lien against New Life and terminated the construction contract. All Contractors timely filed complaints against the Lenders. The circuit court ordered that the property be sold at public auction with the proceeds to be applied in satisfaction of the mechanics' liens in the following order of priority: Subcontractors, Jack Bays, and Lenders. The Lenders appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that the circuit court (1) did not err in finding that Jack Bays' lien was valid; (2) was not plainly wrong in determining that the Contractors' liens had priority over the Lenders' deed of trust; but (3) erred in approving the sale of the entire parcel of land to satisfy the Contractors' liens, where no evidence was introduced to support this decision. Remanded. View "Glasser & Glasser, PLC v. Jack Bays, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Mathewses conveyed a parcel of land by deed of trust to a credit union to secure a promissory note. PHH Mortgage Corporation subsequently became the holder of the note and the beneficiary of the deed of trust. After the Mathewses failed to make payments, PHH commenced foreclosure proceedings on the parcel. The Mathewses filed a complaint seeking a declaratory judgment that the foreclosure sale would be void because PHH had not satisfied conditions precedent to foreclosure set forth in the deed of trust. Specifically, they alleged that 24 C.F.R. 203.604 (the Regulation) required PHH to have a meeting with them thirty days before the commencement of foreclosure proceedings. The circuit court dismissed the complaint, concluding that the Regulation was incorporated into the deed of trust as a condition precedent to foreclosure but that, under Virginia common law, the party who breaches a contract first cannot sue to enforce it. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) borrowers may sue to enforce conditions precedent to foreclosure even if they were the first party to breach the note secured by a deed of trust through non-payment; and (2) the Mathewses pled sufficient facts for the Regulation to apply. Remanded. View "Mathews v. PHH Mortgage Corp." on Justia Law

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After Roger Hudspeth's employment with the Bank of the Commonwealth was terminated, Hudspeth filed a complaint against the Bank, alleging the Bank failed to pay him compensation owed for his employment. The Bank filed a motion to stay and compel arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), arguing (1) the Bank was a "customer" as defined by the FINRA Code of Arbitration Procedure for Customer Disputes (Customer Code), (2) Hudspeth was an associated person of a "member," and (3) because the dispute was between a customer and an associated person of a member, arbitration was mandatory under the Customer Code. The circuit court denied the Bank's motion, concluding that the Bank was not a customer under the Customer Code. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the Customer Code was susceptible to an interpretation under which the Bank could be considered a customer, and (2) because under the Federal Arbitration Act any doubts concerning the scope of arbitrable issues should be resolved in favor of arbitration, the circuit court erred when it denied the Bank's motion in this case. Remanded.