Articles Posted in Banking

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The bank wanted to foreclose on appellant Gregory Erkins' property. Appellant alleged that he was incapacitated when he entered into the loan contract and attempted to use this defense against a bank that was a subsequent purchaser of the note. In the first appeal of this case, the Alaska Supreme Court held that summary judgment had been improperly granted to the bank, and remanded for further proceedings. On remand, the superior court granted summary judgment on different grounds, concluding the bank was a holder of the note in due course, and therefore immune from appellant's incapacity defense. The Supreme Court agreed with the superior court this time, and affirmed. View "Erkins v. Alaska Trustee, LLC" on Justia Law

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Members of Healy Lake Village Tribe who claimed to constitute the newly elected tribal council brought suit in superior court against Mt. McKinley Bank after the Bank refused to change the signatory authority on the Tribe’s accounts to reflect the alleged leadership change. A second group of tribal members, who also claimed to represent the Tribe based on a competing election, was granted intervention in order to contest the superior court’s jurisdiction. The superior court determined that the fundamental issue in the case was the determination of the legitimate governing body of the Tribe, which was an internal self-governance matter within the Tribe’s retained inherent sovereignty. The superior court dismissed the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and the group that brought the initial action appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court. Because determining the real party in interest would have required the superior court to decide matters solely within the Tribe’s retained inherent sovereignty, the Supreme Court affirmed the superior court’s dismissal of the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. View "Healy Lake Village v. Mt. McKinley Bank" on Justia Law

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In 2005, appellants Max and Peggy Espeland refinanced their home with E-Loan, Inc. Shortly thereafter, their loan was purchased by another bank and securitized. The Espelands eventually defaulted on the loan and their home was sold in a non-judicial deed of trust foreclosure. The Espelands brought an action in the superior court to void the sale, arguing mainly that inconsistencies in and multiple transfers of the loan and security documents caused defects in the chain of title. The superior court disagreed and granted summary judgment against the Espelands. The Espelands appealed. Thereafter, the Espelands moved for relief from judgment, citing fraud by the defendants. The superior court denied this motion. The Espelands filed a second appeal, and the Supreme Court consolidated the two appeals for decision. Because the Espelands did not produce any evidence of defects with the chain of title or with the foreclosure, the Supreme Court affirmed the superior court’s grant of summary judgment. Because after reviewing the record the Court saw no evidence of fraud or malfeasance, it affirmed the superior court’s denial of the motion for relief from judgment. View "Espeland v. OneWest Bank, FSB" on Justia Law

Posted in: Banking, Contracts

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In 2004 and 2005, while allegedly bedridden and taking prescription pain medication, Plaintiff Gregory Erkins took out two successive loans on his house. The proceeds of the second, larger loan were used in part to pay off the first. In early 2007, Plaintiff ceased making regular payments and this loan fell into default. His house was listed for foreclosure sale. Also, at some point between February 2005 and November 2007, the loan was assigned from Ameriquest Mortgage Company to Appellee Bank of New York Trust Company, N.A. Acting pro se, Plaintiff filed suit in the superior court against Alaska Trustee, LLC, Bank of New York (the current holder of the loan), and JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. (JP Morgan) (a party apparently unconnected to the proceedings except in that Bank of New York was listed as its successor). Plaintiff disputed the terms of the second loan, and argued fraud as well as lack of contractual capacity at the time of its origination. Several months after Plaintiff filed his complaint, as a trial date was about to be set, counsel for the defendants presented Plaintiff with a forbearance agreement. This agreement contemplated postponing the foreclosure sale in exchange for $2,000 monthly payments. Plaintiff executed this agreement. Allegedly unbeknownst to Plaintiff, the agreement also contained a waiver of claims broad enough to cover his claims against the defendants. Nine months later, the defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that this waiver of claims functioned as a settlement and released all of Plaintiff's claims in this suit. The superior court granted summary judgment to the defendants, finding no genuine issue of material fact barring judgment that they were not liable for any tort of Ameriquest, and that Plaintiff had released his claims in the forbearance agreement. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed that portion of the superior court’s decision finding that defendants could not be held liable for the alleged torts of Ameriquest. But the Court reversed that portion of the superior court’s order concluding that Plaintiff released his claims against the defendants by entering into a forbearance agreement because a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether the inclusion of the waiver of claims provision in the forbearance agreement constituted constructive fraud. View "Erkins v. Alaska Trust, LLC" on Justia Law