Justia Alabama Supreme Court Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Bankruptcy
Eagerton v. Vision Bank
Fred and Nancy Eagerton appealed a summary judgment granted in favor of Vision Bank in the bank's action seeking to enforce the Eagertons' obligations under certain guaranty contracts. "Dotson 10s, LLC" was organized to operate a tennis club in Fairhope. Dotson 10s executed a note and security agreement with Vision Bank, and the bank obtained in exchange, unlimited personal guarantees from John and Elizabeth Dotson, and limited guarantees from the Eagertons. The Dotsons executed a second loan to which the Eagertons were not a party. The Dotsons defaulted on both loans, and the bank sued the Dotsons as the primary obligors, and the Eagertons as personal guarantors. Dotson 10s then filed for bankruptcy protection. Part of the reorganization plan provided in part that the two loans would be combined and paid in full. Dotson 10s subsequently defaulted on the bankruptcy plan. The properties were foreclosed and sold, with the proceeds applied to the consolidated loan. The circuit court then entered a partial summary judgment in favor of the bank against Dotson 10s, but denied the motion as to the Eagertons. The bank argued that the Eagertons were still responsible under their guaranty contracts for the deficiency remaining on the consolidated loan. The Eagertons argued that the creation of the consolidated loan without their knowledge or consent, operated to discharge them from any further obligations under their guaranty contracts. Upon review, the Supreme Court agreed, and reversed the circuit court's judgment in favor of the bank, and remanded the case for further proceedings. View "Eagerton v. Vision Bank " on Justia Law
EB Investments, L.L.C. v. Pavilion Development, L.L.C.
EB Investments, LLC and Pavilion Development, LLC filed separate appeals to challenge elements of a circuit court order holding that Pavilion was entitled to redeem certain property in Madison County in which EB Investments and other parties held legal interests. In 1997, Pavilion initiated an action to redeem 19 acres of land purchased at a foreclosure sale. In the years since, the Supreme Court has issued three opinions deciding various issues stemming from Pavilion's attempted redemption of that property. The property was subject to bankruptcy protection. In connection with a settlement agreement, three mortgages were executed on the property. Pavilion, as one of the mortgagees, sought to enforce its right of redemption to the property. In 2010, a trial court entered judgment outlining the steps Pavilion needed to take to perfect and complete its redemption. EB Investments and Pavilion took opposing sides on most legal issues in this case; however, they both argued that the trial court's judgment is not an appealable judgment because it does not address all the pending issues and resolve all the pending claims in this case. Other interested parties who filed responses in this case argued that the trial court's order was sufficient and urged the Supreme Court to end this long-running dispute. Upon review, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeals and offered guidance to the trial court to help expedite a resolution. View "EB Investments, L.L.C. v. Pavilion Development, L.L.C." on Justia Law
EB Investments, L.L.C. v. Pavilion Development, L.L.C.
EB Investments, LLC and Pavilion Development, LLC filed separate appeals to challenge an a court order that held Pavilion was entitled to redeem certain property in Madison County in which EB Investments, and multiple other parties, held legal interests. In 1997, Pavilion sought to redeem nineteen acres of land purchased by JBJ Partnership at a foreclosure sale. The land was purchased from a development project that went bankrupt. In 1995, the bankruptcy trustee supervised a settlement agreement through which the developer would make payments on the development to its creditors. When the developer defaulted on the settlement agreement, the property was foreclosed and sold. Over the following months and years, a host of counterclaims, cross-claims, and separate lawsuits were filed by various parties who had interests in the property. At issue in this particular case was which party is entitled to redeem the disputed property. The trial court determined that Pavilion was entitled to redeem the property. In its order, the court specified how Pavilion should perfect its redemption. If Pavilion failed to pay all sums required by the court's order, it would waive its right to redeem the property. The court denied the remaining post-judgment motions and certified its judgment as final. EB Investments and Pavilion both appealed that judgment. Though they took opposing sides on most issues in the case, both EB Investments and Pavilions challenged whether the trial court's order was indeed final. They argued that the judgment did not address all other pending issues before the court. JBJ and other parties responded and essentially asked the Court to end this long-running dispute. Upon careful review of the sixteen-year history of the case, the Supreme Court concluded that the trial court's attempt to end it was ultimately insufficient. The Court found that the trial court exceeded its discretion by certifying its judgment as final. Accordingly, the Court reversed the trial court's order, and remanded the case for further proceedings. View "EB Investments, L.L.C. v. Pavilion Development, L.L.C." on Justia Law
Ware v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Co.
Petitioner Monica Ware appealed a summary judgment in favor of Respondent Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, the trustee for HSI Asset Securitization Corporation. The Bank foreclosed on Petitioner and published notice of the foreclosure in a local Birmingham newspaper. The court entered summary judgment against her. Petitioner then filed a motion to amend or vacate the judgment and requested a hearing. The trial court refused to rule on Petitioner’s motion or hold a hearing. The motion was deemed denied by operation of law. On appeal to the Supreme Court, Petitioner challenged the timing and propriety of the summary judgment and its refusal to rule on her motion to amend or vacate. In affirming the trial court’s judgment, the Supreme Court "searched [Petitioner’s] briefs in vain for the argument that she actually made in the trial court, namely, that the foreclosure was "null and void. . . .[A] remand . . . would serve no purpose other than to afford her a 'second bite at the apple.'" The Court affirmed the lower court’s decision.