Articles Posted in Banking

by
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce loaned Dobson Bay Club II DD, LLC and related entities (Dobson Bay) $28.6 million for Dobson Bay’s purchase of commercial properties. The loan was secured by a deed of trust encumbering the properties. Under the terms of a promissory note, as a consequence for any delay in payment, Dobson Bay was required to pay, in addition to regular interest, default interest and collection costs and a five percent late fee assessed on the payment amount. When Dobson Bay failed to make the required payments, La Sonrisa de Siena, LLC, which bought the note and deed of trust, noticed a trustee’s sale of the secured properties, arguing that Dobson Bay owed more than $30 million, including a nearly $1.4 million late fee. At issue during the ensuing trial was whether the note was an enforceable liquidated damages provision. The superior court concluded that the late fee was enforceable as liquidated damages. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court vacated the court of appeals’ opinion and reversed the trial court’s partial summary judgment in favor of La Sonrisa on the liquidated damages claim, holding that an approximately $1.4 million late fee is unreasonable and an unenforceable penalty. View "Dobson Bay Club II DD, LLC v. La Sonrisa De Siena, LLC" on Justia Law

by
First American Title Insurance Company issued two title insurance policies to Johnson Bank for two properties that secured the Bank’s loans. The policies failed to disclose encumbrances that allegedly affected the value of the property and thwarted its intended use. The property owners defaulted on their loan obligations to the Bank. Based on the undisclosed encumbrances, the owners successfully sued First American to recover damages under their owners’ title insurance policies. Johnson Bank purchased the properties and notified First American of claims under its lender’s title insurance policies. The parties disagreed on the date for calculating the diminution in value of the two properties - whether the date of the loans or the foreclosure date. The superior court granted summary judgment for First American, concluding that the foreclosure date should be used to calculate damages. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) when an undisclosed title defect prevents the known, intended use of the property and causes the borrower to default on the loan, the lender’s diminution-in-value loss should be calculated as of the policy-issuance date; and (2) because the record in this case did not establish that the title defect caused the borrowers’ default and the Bank’s subsequent foreclosure, the cause must be remanded for further proceedings on that issue. View "First Am. Title Ins. Co. v. Johnson Bank" on Justia Law

by
The Rudgears, the owners of Wildwood Creek Ranch, LLC, borrowed money, through Wildwood, from the predecessor to BMO Harris Bank to finance construction of a home on a vacant lot. The loan was secured by a deed of trust. The home was never built, and the property remained undeveloped. Wildwood later defaulted on its loan, and BMO foreclosed on the property. A third party successfully bid for the property. BMO subsequently sued Wildwood and the Rudgears for the deficiency. The superior court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants, concluding that the Rudgears intended to use the property for a single-family residence and therefore qualified for anti-deficiency protection. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Arizona’s residential anti-deficiency statute does not bar a deficiency judgment against an owner of vacant property. Remanded for entry of partial summary judgment in favor of BMO. View "BMO Harris Bank, N.A. v. Wildwood Creek Ranch, LLC" on Justia Law

by
Loop 101, LLC (“Loop”) borrowed money from MidFirst Bank to construct an office building. The promissory note was secured by a deed of trust, and four individuals guaranteed payment. The note, deed of trust, and gurantees expressly waived the fair market value provision of Ariz. Rev. Stat. 33-814(A). MidFirst assigned its rights under the loan and deed of trust to CSA 13-101 Loop, LLC (“CSA”). After Loop defaulted on the loan, CSA bought the property at a trustee’s sale for a credit bid of $6.15 million. CSA then sued Loop and the guarantors for a deficiency judgment. Loop and the guarantors counterclaimed and filed a third-party claim against MidFirst for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. MidFirst and CSA moved to dismiss, arguing that Loop and the guarantors had waived their right to a fair market value determination. The superior court ruled that parties may not prospectively waive this provision, determined the fair market value of the property to be $12.5 million, and concluded that no deficiency existed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that parties may not prospectively waive the fair market value provision of section 33-814(A). View "CSA 13-101 Loop, LLC v. Loop 101, LLC" on Justia Law

by
Developer obtained a loan from Bank to construct a commercial and condominium project. Bank secured its loan with two deeds of trust, the first of which attached before construction began on the project. Developer failed to pay the general contractor (Contractor) several million dollars for the project, and after Developer had sold many of the units, Contractor recorded a mechanics’ lien against the project. Contractor then sought to foreclose on its lien against Developer, the unit owners, and their lenders. The Owners and Lenders contested the foreclosure, arguing that they were equitably subrogated to Bank’s first deed of trust and thus had priority over Contractor’s mechanics’ lien. The trial court concluded that Contractor’s lien had priority. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Ariz. Rev. Stat. 33-992(A), which gives mechanics’ liens priority over liens recorded after construction begins on real property, does not preclude assignment by equitable subrogation of lien that attached before construction began on the project; and (2) when a single mortgage burdens multiple parcels, a third party may be entitled to equitable subrogation when that party has paid a pro rata amount of the obligation and obtained a full release of the parcel at issue from the mortgage. Remanded. View "Weitz Co., LLC v. Heth" on Justia Law

by
These consolidated cases involved two properties purchased by John Hogan. Each parcel became subject to a deed of trust when Hogan took out loans from Long Beach Mortgage Company. Hogan was delinquent on both loans, which triggered foreclosure proceedings. A notice of trustee's sale recorded for the first parcel identified Washington Mutual Bank as the beneficiary and Deutsche Bank as the beneficiary for the second parcel. Hogan filed lawsuits seeking to enjoin the trustees' sales unless the beneficiaries proved they were entitled to collect on the respective notes. The superior court dismissed the cases. The court of appeals affirmed, holding that Arizona's non-judicial foreclosure statute (Statute) does not require presentation of the original note before commencing foreclosure proceedings. The Supreme Court affirmed the superior court's orders dismissing Hogan's complaints and vacated the court of appeals, holding that the Statute does not require the beneficiary to prove its authority or show the note before the trustee may commence a non-judicial foreclosure. View "Hogan v. Washington Mut. Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

by
These consolidated cases involved two properties purchased by John Hogan. Each parcel became subject to a deed of trust when Hogan took out loans from Long Beach Mortgage Company. Hogan was delinquent on both loans, which triggered foreclosure proceedings. The trustee recorded a notice of sale for the first parcel, naming Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu) as the beneficiary. A notice of trustee's sale recorded for the second parcel identified Deutsche Bank as the beneficiary. Hogan filed lawsuits seeking to enjoin the trustees' sales unless the beneficiaries proved they were entitled to collect on the respective notes. The superior court granted the defendants' motions to dismiss. The court of appeals affirmed, holding that Arizona's non-judicial foreclosure statute did not require presentation of the original note before commencing foreclosure proceedings. The Supreme Court vacated the court of appeals and affirmed the superior court's orders, holding that Hogan was not entitled to relief because the deed of trust statutes impose no obligation on the beneficiary to "show the note" before the trustee conducts a non-judicial foreclosure. View "Hogan v. Washington Mut. Bank. N.A." on Justia Law

by
Dean and Stacey Norcutt bought a home for cash and satisfied the existing first mortgage held by Zions National Bank. They later discovered the home was also subject to a judgment lien obtained by Sourcecorp, Inc. that far exceeded the property's value. Sourcecorp subsequently initiated a sheriff's sale to foreclose on its judgment lien, and the Norcutts sued to enjoin the sale. The trial court granted relief to the Norcutts, and the court of appeals reversed. On remand, the trial court entered summary judgment for Sourcecorp. The Court of appeals reversed, holding that the Norcutts were equitably subrogated to the position of Zions Bank in priority over Sourcecorp. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Norcutts were equitably subrogated to the mortgage lien's priority for the amount they paid to satisfy the mortgage. Remanded. View "Sourcecorp, Inc. v. Norcutt" on Justia Law