Articles Posted in Banking

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Developer intended to develop real property into single-family residential lots and secured financing through Bank. Insurer provided a surety bond to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Insurer executed three Bond Agreements as surety for Developer. Developer later defaulted in its loan. In lieu of foreclosure, Developer deed the property to Bank’s property management company. Bank transferred the property to another internal holding company. The Commission subsequently complied with Bank’s request for the Commission to call Developer’s bonds and place the proceeds in escrow for the purpose of reimbursing Bank for completion of the necessary infrastructure projects required by Developer’s approved plat. Developer filed a declaratory judgment action alleging that the bonds were not callable and that payment on the bonds would result in Bank receiving an unjust enrichment. The trial court granted summary judgment for Defendants. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Developer was liable under the bond; and (2) Developer’s claims of error during discovery were unavailing. View "Furlong Development Co. v. Georgetown-Scott County Planning & Zoning Commission" on Justia Law

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In 1994, C. Barr and Joann Schuler subdivided their property, thereby creating the Woodlawn Springs Subdivision. Each phase of development was subject to a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (Declarations). The Schulers also incorporated the Woodlawn Springs Homeowners Association, Inc. (Association). The Schulers borrowed money from Your Community Bank, Inc. (Bank) to finance the construction. After the Schulers died, First Bankers Trust Company (First Trust) executed a deed in lieu of foreclosure conveying fifty subdivision lots to the Bank and a written Assignment and Assumption of Developer Rights (Assignment) in favor of the Bank. In 2011, the Association demanded that the Bank pay $15,000 in Association fees on the subdivision lots it acquired. The Bank refused to pay the fees and filed a declaration of rights action. The circuit court granted summary judgment for the Bank. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that, pursuant to the deed in lieu of foreclosure and the Assignment, the Bank had succeeded to all of the Developer’s rights under the Declarations, and therefore, was exempt from paying the Association fees. View "Your Cmty. Bank, Inc. v. Woodlawn Springs Homeowners Ass’n, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Brattons brought an action against CitiFinancial, Inc. (Citi) alleging that Citi erroneously placed a mortgage on their property and did not release the mortgage after it was notified of the error. The circuit court granted summary judgment for the Brattons and awarded damages pursuant to Ky. Rev. Stat. 382.365. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the Brattons failed to comply with the requirements of section 382.365(4) because they did not give notice by certified mail. The Supreme Court affirmed but on different grounds, holding that section 382.365 simply did not apply to the situation in this case.View "Bratton v. CitiFinancial, Inc." on Justia Law

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A Law Firm had an escrow account with a Bank and authorized an employee to sign checks on the account by herself. The employee began embezzling money from the Firm’s various escrow accounts by engaging in a scheme called “check-kiting,” which involved the employee writing and depositing checks between the Bank account and the Law Firm’s account at another bank. More than three years after the last activity on the Bank account the Law Firm sued the Bank, raising four claims, including violations of the Uniform Commercial Code and common-law causes of action. The court of appeals concluded that the claims were barred by the one-year repose period of Ky. Rev. Stat. 355.4-406. The Supreme Court affirmed on other grounds, holding that the claims were barred by the three-year statute of limitations under Ky. Rev. Stat. 355.4-111. View "Mark D. Dean, P.S.C. v. Commonwealth Bank & Trust Co." on Justia Law

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The underlying class action here was brought against Southern Financial Life Insurance Company, which sold credit life and disability insurance through lending institutions, by purchasers of Southern Financial's credit life and disability policies. During the discovery phase, the trial court entered an order compelling Southern Financial to produce certain loan information and documents regarding the putative class members and the insurance sold to them. Southern Financial did not comply with the order, arguing that the loan information was not in its "possession, custody or control" within the meaning of Ky. R. Civ. P. 34.01, but rather, the information was in the possession of the individual lenders. After applying principles of general agency law, the trial court overruled the objection. Southern Financial subsequently sought a writ of prohibition to prevent the trial court's enforcement of the discovery order. The court of appeals declined to issue a writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Southern Financial was legally in control of the information it was compelled to disclose in the trial court's order, and therefore, the trial court committed no error. View "S. Fin. Life Ins. Co. v. Pike Circuit Court" on Justia Law

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This case required the Supreme Court to determine whether Appellee, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) had "good cause" for failing to timely release a satisfied real estate lien it held on Gary and Sharon Hall's property. The circuit court concluded that the Halls were not entitled to statutory damages because, although MERS filed a release referencing the wrong mortgage, the Halls provided insufficient notice to MERS of the release's actual deficiency. Thus, the court found MERS had "good cause" not to file a new release once it checked and found it had already filed one. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that MERS satisfied the "good cause" requirement under these particular circumstances. View "Hall v. Mortgage Elec. Registration Sys., Inc." on Justia Law

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This case presented the question of whether the doctrine of equitable subrogation may be used to reorder the priority of a mortgage lien where the mortgage holder had constructive but not actual knowledge of a pre-existing lien when it paid off an earlier mortgage as part of a refinancing deal and there was no fraud or other misconduct that would have prevented the discovery of the lien. The trial court applied the doctrine to reorder the priority of liens. The court of appeals reversed, finding that the doctrine did not apply under the facts of this case. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because equitable subrogation is not available to a lienholder who has actual or constructive knowledge of a preexisting lien, the court of appeals was correct in concluding that the remedy was not available to the mortgage holder. View "Mortgage Elec. Registration Sys., Inc. v. Roberts" on Justia Law

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This case arose from a consolidated appeal. In the underlying cases, the respective property owners failed to satisfy their debt obligations to professional lending institutions, which precipitated the foreclosure proceedings. In both cases, the professional lenders asserted that their respective mortgages were superior to the general tax liens filed pursuant to Ky. Rev. Stat. 134.420(2). The circuit court entered a judgment granting the professional lenders' liens priority over the other liens. The court of appeals determined that the circuit court had erred in reordering the priorities and reversed the judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals, holding (1) the prior-recorded section 134.420(2) tax liens enjoyed priority pursuant to the long established first-to-file doctrine; and (2) the doctrine of equitable subrogation does not act to relieve a professional lender of a negligent title examination. View "Wells Fargo Bank v. Commonwealth" on Justia Law